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Title: Disgraced professionals: Revelation of immorality decreases evaluations of professional competence and accomplishment
Competence and morality are two of the most important dimensions in social evaluation. Recent studies have suggested the primacy of morality, showing that information about immorality of an ordinary target person decreases evaluation of their competence. We examined the effect of moral taint on multiple non-moral judgments: ratings of the competence, accomplishment, and contribution of fictitious professionals who were described as highly successful in various fields. Moral taint significantly decreased participants’ non-moral social evaluations of professionals regardless of their field. Mediation analyses showed that the negative impact of immoral character on competence judgments is more strongly mediated by the decrease in participants’ psychological involvement with the target, rather than a decrease in perceived social intelligence of the target. These findings suggest that motivation to distance oneself from immoral others plays a critical role in the revision of social evaluations.
Authors:
; ; ;
Editors:
Fitch, T.; Lamm, C.; Leder, H.; Teßmar-Raible, K.
Award ID(s):
1827374
Publication Date:
NSF-PAR ID:
10231804
Journal Name:
Proceedings of the 43rd Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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