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Title: Familial Guilt: A Cross-Society Comparison of Judgments of Collective Family Responsibility
When a group member commits wrongdoing, people sometimes assign responsibility and blame not only to the wrongdoer but also to other members of the same group. We examined such assignment of collective responsibility in the context of exploitation of one family by another. Participants were recruited from the United States and South Korea, which are known to vary in cultural norms and endorsement of collectivistic values. Participants in both countries rated the degree to which an agent (grandson) should be held responsible for his grandfather’s exploitation of a victimized family, while varying the closeness of familial connection. Participants’ responsibility judgments showed sensitivity to whether the grandson received financial benefit from the wrongdoer and to the perceived closeness between the grandson and the wrongdoer. Korean participants imposed greater responsibility on the agent than did American participants. Implications for understanding the influence of social norms on moral judgments are discussed.
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Proceedings of the 44th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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