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Does empathy undermine justice? Moderating the impact of empathic concern for a White policeman on responses to police interracial violence

Johnson, James D. and Lecci, Len (2019) Does empathy undermine justice? Moderating the impact of empathic concern for a White policeman on responses to police interracial violence. British Journal of Social Psychology, TBC . TBC. ISSN 0144-6665

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Abstract

White participants completed a measure of White guilt and read a passage describing a White police officer who shot an unarmed Black man. The victim’s Facebook page information and picture indicated that he engaged in stereotypical or counterstereotypical activities in his everyday life. Participants then reported their empathic concern for the officer, perceptions of whether they thought the officer had racist motives for his actions, and their perceptions regarding the appropriate punishment for the officer. For the stereotypical victim, regardless of White guilt level, greater empathy for the officer was associated with lower perceived officer racism and less punitive responding towards the officer. In the counterstereotypical condition, the inverse association between officer empathy and the central outcome variables (perceived racism and punitive responding) was reduced for high White guilt participants. Thus, under certain conditions feelings of White guilt reduce the likelihood that empathic responding towards the officer leads to greater ‘punitive leniency’ for his harmful actions towards a disadvantaged group member.

Item Type: Journal Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: empathy, White guilt, Black victim stereotypicality, use of excessive force
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Arts, Law and Education (FALE) > School of Social Sciences
Depositing User: Fulori Nainoca - Waqairagata
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2019 16:52
Last Modified: 11 Feb 2021 10:22
URI: http://repository.usp.ac.fj/id/eprint/11843
UNSPECIFIED

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