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Randy McCarthy, 'Do Perpetrators and Victims Rely on Different Information When Judging Whether Aggressive Behaviors Are Justified?', Aggressive BehaviorLICENSE FOR USE
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RANDY MCCARTHY (email@example.com) ABSTRACT
Perpetrators perceive their aggressive behaviors as more justified than victims do. This difference in perception may be due to each person relying heavily on their private thoughts and experiences, which effectively means that perpetrators and victims consider different information, and value that information differently, when judging whether an aggressive behavior is justified. The current manuscript contains four studies that tested these ideas. When judging whether an aggressive behavior is justified, perpetrators reported relying heavily on their thoughts and motives (Studies 1-3) and victims reported relying heavily on their experience of being harmed (Study 2). Further, as people considered the perpetrator’s thoughts that led to the aggressive behavior, perpetrators, but not victims, became more confident in their judgments (Study 3). Finally, when judging their aggressive behavior, people felt their judgments were less biased than a “typical person’s” judgments would be (Study 4). Collectively, these studies demonstrate some of the cognitive reasons that perpetrators and victims disagree on their judgments about whether an aggressive behavior is justified and, consequently, some of the cognitive barriers that need to be overcome for successful conflict resolution to occur.