Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: doi:10.22028/D291-29020
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Title: “Thou Shalt Kill”: Practicing self-control supports adherence to personal values when asked to aggress
Author(s): Denson, Thomas F.
Wilkowski, Benjamin M.
DeWall, C. Nathan
Friese, Malte
Hofmann, Wilhelm
Ferguson, Elizabeth L.
Capper, Miriam M.
Kasumovic, Michael M.
Language: English
Title: Journal of experimental social psychology
Volume: 69
Startpage: 71
Endpage: 78
Publisher/Platform: Elsevier
Year of Publication: 2017
Publikation type: Journal Article
Abstract: Poor self-control is a root cause of aggression and criminality. But people can improve their self-control through repetitive practice. Because self-control involves acting in accordance with personal values, practicing self-control can promote attainment of value-consistent goals. The present research tested the hypothesis that practicing self-control could both decrease and increase obedient aggression. In Experiment 1, relative to the active control group, participants who practiced self-control were more hesitant to engage in mock violence (e.g., “cutting” the experimenter's throat with a rubber knife), especially for participants high in dispositional empathy. In Experiment 2, practicing self-control increased obedience to kill insects, but only among participants who felt little moral responsibility for their actions. There was a trend for decreased killing among participants who felt morally responsible for their actions. Our findings suggest that when asked to behave aggressively, self-control promotes adherence to personal values, which may or may not fuel aggression.
DOI of the first publication: 10.1016/j.jesp.2016.09.001
URL of the first publication:
Link to this record: hdl:20.500.11880/27831
ISSN: 0022-1031
Date of registration: 17-Sep-2019
Faculty: HW - Fakultät für Empirische Humanwissenschaften und Wirtschaftswissenschaft
Department: HW - Psychologie
Professorship: HW - Prof. Dr. Malte Friese
Collections:SciDok - Der Wissenschaftsserver der Universität des Saarlandes

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