People Judge Intentional Harms More Severely, Study Finds

The Huffington Post:

Was it clearly an accident, or more of a malicious move? How we perceive an action affects how we judge it, according to a new study from Princeton University researchers.

For the study, published in the journal Psychological Science, researchers had participants read about the CEO of a profit-sharing company who invested poorly, leading to his employees losing part of their paychecks. Some of the study participants were told that the bad investment was made intentionally, while others were told it was just an innocent mistake. Those who were told the investment was made intentionally were more likely to perceive the pay cut as worse, even though everyone technically lost the same amount of money.

“These studies suggest that people might not only penalize intentional harm more, but actually perceive it as intrinsically more damaging,” the researchers, Daniel Ames and Susan Fiske of Princeton University, said in a statement.

Read the whole story: The Huffington Post

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