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Advances in Psychological Science    2015, Vol. 23 Issue (6) : 1061-1069     DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2015.01061
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Paying it Forward: The Effect of Selfishness Transmission
YU Junxuan; KOU Yu
(Beijing Key Laboratory of Applied Experimental Psychology; Institute of Developmental Psychology, School of Psychology, Beiing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China)
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Once people became victims of others’ selfishness, they would be more likely to treat another innocent person selfishly. That is considered as paying the selfishness forward, namely the effect of selfishness transmission. Descriptive norm and psychological entitlement can account for the mechanism of selfishness transmission. Meanwhile, some personal and situational factors, such as justice sensitivity, moral identity, moral salience, as well as anonymity, may moderate this process. Previous studies have focused on how the victims would punish and retaliate against the selfish person who hurt them, but little is known about how victims would treat the third innocent person. Future researches should discuss the effect of cognitive factors (e.g. general trust, moral judgment), as well as the influence of emotions and empathy in selfishness transmission.

Keywords selfishness transmission      fairness      victims      generalized reciprocity     
Corresponding Authors: KOU Yu, E-mail:   
Issue Date: 25 June 2015
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YU Junxuan,KOU Yu. Paying it Forward: The Effect of Selfishness Transmission[J]. Advances in Psychological Science, 2015, 23(6): 1061-1069.
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