Marketing Papers

Document Type

Technical Report

Date of this Version

12-2005

Publication Source

Journal of Behavioral Decision Making

Volume

18

Issue

5

Start Page

311

Last Page

318

DOI

10.1002/bdm.507

Abstract

Prior research has confirmed Thomas Schelling's observation that people are more sympathetic and hence generous toward specific identified victims than toward “statistical” victims who are yet to be identified. In the study presented in this article we demonstrate an equivalent effect for punitiveness. We find that people are more punitive toward identified wrongdoers than toward equivalent, but unidentified, wrongdoers, even when identifying the wrongdoer conveys no meaningful information about him or her. To account for the effect of identifiability on both generosity and punitiveness, we propose that affective reactions of any type are stronger toward an identified than toward an unidentified target. Consistent with such an account, the effect of identifiability on punishing behavior was mediated by self‐reported anger.

Copyright/Permission Statement

This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Small, D.A. & Loewenstein, G. (2005). The Devil You Know: The Effects of Identifiability on Punishment. Journal of Behavioral Decision Making 18, no. 5: 311-318., which has been published in final form at http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/bdm.507.

This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving https://authorservices.wiley.com/author-resources/Journal-Authors/licensing-open-access/licensing/self-archiving.html.

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Date Posted: 15 June 2018

This document has been peer reviewed.