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Sjöström, Arne, Magraw-Mickelson, Zoe ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2951-0501 and Gollwitzer, Mario ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4310-4793 (2018): What makes displaced revenge taste sweet. Retributing displaced responsibility or sending a message to the original perpetrator? In: European Journal of Social Psychology, Vol. 48, No. 4: pp. 490-506

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The present research investigates the psychological dynamics underlying displaced revenge. We examine (1) the effect of entitativity on displaced revenge tendencies, including potential mediators of this effect, and (2) the conditions under which taking displaced revenge is satisfying for avengers. In three studies, we show that (a) perpetrator group entitativity predicts the tendency to take displaced revenge via perceptions that the vengeful action is effective in delivering a message to the original perpetrator, (b) that displaced revenge is satisfying when the group continues to exist in its original form, but not when the perpetrator has left the group or when the group has dissolved, and (c) that displaced revenge is most satisfying when both the original perpetrator and the target of revenge understand why revenge has been taken. These findings imply that sending a message to the original perpetrator is an important aspect of the psychological dynamics underlying displaced revenge.

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