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You are fair, but I expect you to also behave unfairly: Positive asymmetry in trait-behavior relations for moderate morality information

Rusconi, Patrice, Sacchi, Simona, Capellini, Roberta, Brambilla, Marco and Cherubini, Paolo (2017) You are fair, but I expect you to also behave unfairly: Positive asymmetry in trait-behavior relations for moderate morality information PLoS ONE, 12 (7).

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Abstract

Trait inference in person perception is based on observers' implicit assumptions about the relations between trait adjectives (e.g., fair) and the either consistent or inconsistent behaviors (e.g., having double standards) that an actor can manifest. This article presents new empirical data and theoretical interpretations on people' behavioral expectations, that is, people's perceived trait-behavior relations along the morality (versus competence) dimension. We specifically address the issue of the moderate levels of both traits and behaviors almost neglected by prior research by using a measure of the perceived general frequency of behaviors. A preliminary study identifies a set of competence- and morality-related traits and a subset of traits balanced for valence. Studies 1±2 show that moral target persons are associated with greater behavioral flexibility than immoral ones where abstract categories of behaviors are concerned. For example, participants judge it more likely that a fair person would behave unfairly than an unfair person would behave fairly. Study 3 replicates the results of the first 2 studies using concrete categories of behaviors (e.g., telling the truth/ omitting some information). Study 4 shows that the positive asymmetry in morality-related trait-behavior relations holds for both North-American and European (i.e., Italian) individuals. A small-scale meta-analysis confirms the existence of a positive asymmetry in traitbehavior relations along both morality and competence dimensions for moderate levels of both traits and behaviors. We discuss these findings in relation to prior models and results on trait-behavior relations and we advance a motivational explanation based on selfprotection.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences > School of Psychology
Authors :
NameEmailORCID
Rusconi, Patricep.rusconi@surrey.ac.ukUNSPECIFIED
Sacchi, SimonaUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Capellini, RobertaUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Brambilla, MarcoUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Cherubini, PaoloUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Date : 11 July 2017
Identification Number : 10.1371/journal.pone.0180686
Copyright Disclaimer : © 2017 Rusconi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Contributors :
ContributionNameEmailORCID
http://www.loc.gov/loc.terms/relators/EDTRao, HengyiUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Depositing User : Clive Harris
Date Deposited : 13 Jul 2017 10:59
Last Modified : 13 Sep 2017 14:22
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/841636

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