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Journal Article


Alves H, Correia I. Span. J. Psychol. 2013; 16: E69.


Instituto Universitário de Lisboa (ISCTE-IUL), Centro de Investigação e Intervenção Social (CIS-IUL), Lisboa (Portugal).


(Copyright © 2013, Complutense University of Madrid, Publisher Cambridge University Press)






Research has shown that: individuals positively distinguish themselves from most other people; being consistent is positively valued; injunctive and descriptive norms are perceived to protect victims. Joining these findings, we argue that individuals present themselves as following injunctive and descriptive norms towards victims to a higher extent and more consistently than most people. In an experimental study 273 university students of both sexes indicated what they and most other people would approve of (injunctive norm) or typically do (descriptive norm) regarding various reactions towards either an innocent or a noninnocent victim. The reactions involved secondary victimization (devaluation/derogation, avoidance, suffering minimization, blaming the victim) and non secondary victimization (valuation, contact, suffering acknowledgment, not blaming the victim). Participants perceived themselves and most people as approving of more non secondary than secondary victimization reactions, except for blaming the noninnocent victim. Participants indicated they approved of most of the normative reactions to a higher extent than most people, which is interpreted as a new instance of the Primus Inter Pares effect. Participants also indicated they would show more consistency between their injunctive and descriptive norms, especially towards the innocent victim. Results suggest that individuals perceive themselves as more immune to perverse norms than most people.

Language: en


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