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Ire and punishment: Incidental anger and costly punishment in children, adolescents, and adults.
J Exp Child Psychol. 2022 06; 218:105376.JE

Abstract

Why do children, adolescents, and adults engage in costly punishment to sanction fairness violations? Two studies investigated the differential impact of incidental anger on the costly punishment of 8-year-olds, 13-year-olds, and adults. Focusing on experimentally manipulated incidental anger allows for a causal investigation as to whether and how anger affects costly punishment in these age groups in addition to other motives such as inequity aversion. Study 1 (N = 210) assessed the effect of incidental anger (vs. a neutral emotion) on second-party punishment, where punishers were direct victims of fairness violations. Study 2 (N = 208) examined third-party punishment, where the punisher was an observer unaffected by the violation. Across ages, incidental anger increased the second-party punishment of unequal offers but not equal offers. Thus, anger seems to play a causal role in the punishment of unfairness when fairness violations are self-relevant. As predicted, adults' third-party punishment of unequal offers was higher in the incidental anger condition than in the neutral emotion condition. Children's third-party punishment of unfairness was not affected by the emotion condition, but incidental anger increased adolescents' third-party punishment across offers. Overall, our data suggest that the association between anger and costly punishment is based on the self-relevance of the violation. In third-party situations, where unfairness does not affect the self, social-cognitive processes that develop well into adulthood, such as emotional appraisals, might be necessary for third parties to engage in costly punishment.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Psychology, University of Warwick, Gibbet Hill, Coventry CV4 7AL, UK; School of Psychology, University of Plymouth, Drake Circus, Plymouth PL4 8AA, UK. Electronic address: michaela.gummerum@warwick.ac.uk.School of Psychology, University of Plymouth, Drake Circus, Plymouth PL4 8AA, UK; Department of Psychology, Liverpool Hope University, Hope Park, Liverpool L16 9JD, UK.Social, Economic, and Organizational Psychology, Leiden University, 2300 RA Leiden, the Netherlands.Social, Economic, and Organizational Psychology, Leiden University, 2300 RA Leiden, the Netherlands; Leiden Institute for Brain and Cognition, Leiden University, 2300 RA Leiden, the Netherlands.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

35114578

Citation

Gummerum, Michaela, et al. "Ire and Punishment: Incidental Anger and Costly Punishment in Children, Adolescents, and Adults." Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, vol. 218, 2022, p. 105376.
Gummerum M, López-Pérez B, Van Dijk E, et al. Ire and punishment: Incidental anger and costly punishment in children, adolescents, and adults. J Exp Child Psychol. 2022;218:105376.
Gummerum, M., López-Pérez, B., Van Dijk, E., & Van Dillen, L. F. (2022). Ire and punishment: Incidental anger and costly punishment in children, adolescents, and adults. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 218, 105376. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jecp.2022.105376
Gummerum M, et al. Ire and Punishment: Incidental Anger and Costly Punishment in Children, Adolescents, and Adults. J Exp Child Psychol. 2022;218:105376. PubMed PMID: 35114578.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Ire and punishment: Incidental anger and costly punishment in children, adolescents, and adults. AU - Gummerum,Michaela, AU - López-Pérez,Belén, AU - Van Dijk,Eric, AU - Van Dillen,Lotte F, Y1 - 2022/01/31/ PY - 2021/06/30/received PY - 2022/01/10/revised PY - 2022/01/10/accepted PY - 2022/2/4/pubmed PY - 2022/3/18/medline PY - 2022/2/3/entrez KW - Adolescents KW - Anger KW - Children KW - Emotional appraisals KW - Second-party punishment KW - Third-party punishment KW - Unfairness SP - 105376 EP - 105376 JF - Journal of experimental child psychology JO - J Exp Child Psychol VL - 218 N2 - Why do children, adolescents, and adults engage in costly punishment to sanction fairness violations? Two studies investigated the differential impact of incidental anger on the costly punishment of 8-year-olds, 13-year-olds, and adults. Focusing on experimentally manipulated incidental anger allows for a causal investigation as to whether and how anger affects costly punishment in these age groups in addition to other motives such as inequity aversion. Study 1 (N = 210) assessed the effect of incidental anger (vs. a neutral emotion) on second-party punishment, where punishers were direct victims of fairness violations. Study 2 (N = 208) examined third-party punishment, where the punisher was an observer unaffected by the violation. Across ages, incidental anger increased the second-party punishment of unequal offers but not equal offers. Thus, anger seems to play a causal role in the punishment of unfairness when fairness violations are self-relevant. As predicted, adults' third-party punishment of unequal offers was higher in the incidental anger condition than in the neutral emotion condition. Children's third-party punishment of unfairness was not affected by the emotion condition, but incidental anger increased adolescents' third-party punishment across offers. Overall, our data suggest that the association between anger and costly punishment is based on the self-relevance of the violation. In third-party situations, where unfairness does not affect the self, social-cognitive processes that develop well into adulthood, such as emotional appraisals, might be necessary for third parties to engage in costly punishment. SN - 1096-0457 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/35114578/Ire_and_punishment:_Incidental_anger_and_costly_punishment_in_children_adolescents_and_adults_ L2 - https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0022-0965(22)00005-4 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -