The current investigation examined the untested effects of perspective taking on revenge. After taking the perspective of their offender (or not), victims of an experimentally induced injustice were given the opportunity to exact revenge. When the violation was ambiguous, perspective taking resulted in favorable attribution biases and reduced revenge. In contrast, perspective taking increased desires for revenge when the violation was clear. Both effects were apparent only for victims with a high interdependent self-construal, suggesting that they are motivated by the desire to condemn moral threats to one's social self-concept, either by attributing the offender's immoral actions to an external cause (decreased revenge) or taking a stand against the offender's immorality (increased revenge).
- Perspective taking