The Effect of True Self-Attributions on the Endorsement of Retributive and Restorative Justice. Academic Article uri icon


  • We examined how the attribution of criminal behavior to an individual's "true" self influences justice preferences. In Study 1 (N = 521), the extent to which undergraduates attributed a crime to a target's true self positively predicted their endorsement of a retributive form of punishment and negatively predicted their endorsement of a restorative form of punishment. Study 2 (N = 404) was preregistered and replicated these associations, even when controlling for other perceived causes (e.g., personality, environment). In Study 3 (N = 282), undergraduates rated retributive punishment more favorably and restorative punishment less favorably when induced to think that the crime was (vs. was not) reflective of the target's true self. Study 4 (N = 935) was preregistered and replicated these experimental effects across different types of crime vignettes in an online sample. These results highlight the ways that intuitions about "true" selves shape punishment preferences.

author list (cited authors)

  • Maffly-Kipp, J., Rivera, G. N., Schlegel, R. J., & Vess, M.

publication date

  • January 1, 2021 11:11 AM