The wonders of human guilt and scapegoating

Have you ever felt guilty for something you did and tried to make it up via reparative actions? Remember how good that felt? Well, us neither. But apparently some people really feel that way after doing a good deed! But to feel good after you felt guilty, you need to feel guilty first, right? And that’s why we are inducing the feeling of guilt into you, our dear participant, during this experiment! But too make it not too boring, we even brought another variable in, namely Scapegoating, which essentially means that you project your negative feelings and thoughts that you have for the leader of your social group onto a member of the group who is not in high social regards, so you don’t endanger the hierarchy of said group. The interesting questions are now: Will active involvement in scapegoating, or passively observing it, lead to a higher willingness to engage in reparative or compensatory behaviours? Furthermore: When a participant scores high on state guilt will it lead to a higher willingness to engage in in reparative or compensatory behaviours? And lastly: does guilt act as a mediator on the relationship between scapegoating and reparative behaviours? By mere coincidence these questions are very similar to our research hypotheses. And to answer these questions, and (again by mere coincidence) simultaneously answer our research hypotheses we conducted an experiment with three conditions in which we randomly allocated our participants. But before the actual experiment begins, they must fill out a questionnaire through which we can assess their proneness to feel guilty. After that they will receive a text, dependent on the group they are in, in which they will be either actively part of the scapegoating procedure (condition 1), passively observing the scapegoating (condition 2) or read a neutral text for comparison (condition 3).

Research practical group 9

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