Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 423592
Title Perceiving Pure Evil: The Influence of Cognitive Load and Prototypical Evilness on Demonizing
Author(s) Prooijen, J.W. van; Veer, E. van de
Source Social Justice Research 23 (2010)4. - ISSN 0885-7466 - p. 259 - 271.
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11211-010-0119-y
Department(s) Marketing and Consumer Behaviour
WASS
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2010
Keyword(s) social categorizations - punishment - judgment - justice
Abstract The present research sought to investigate the psychological dynamics underlying demonizing, that is, the tendency to see others as personifications of pure evilness. Building on an integrative theoretical framework, it is hypothesized that the extent to which a perpetrator matches prototypical expectations of evilness shapes demonizing responses to offenders particularly when cognitive resources are impaired. In two experiments, participants were asked to memorize either a difficult or an easy telephone number (cognitive load vs. control), and were then asked to evaluate a perpetrator who murdered a young woman (Experiment 1) or who kidnapped a child (Experiment 2). Results revealed that the extent to which the description of the perpetrator was consistent with a prototypical evilness scheme influenced demonizing particularly under conditions of cognitive load. It is concluded that impairment of cognitive resources increases the influence of prototypical evilness on demonizing
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