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Daniels Fund Lecture on Blame & Social Norms with Dr. Boyoung Kim

November 19, 2019 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm


Verbally expressed criticism of moral transgressions is an important tool people use to regulate each other’s behavior, but there has been little research on the social norms that govern such criticism. We examined whether a principle of proportionality regulates expressed moral criticism. The proportionality principle predicts that people should uphold a norm against overblaming (stronger criticism than the transgression severity warrants) and a norm against underblaming (weaker criticism than the transgression severity warrants). Participants read about multiple transgressions that varied in severity, each followed by the transgressor’s friend expressing moral criticism that varied in intensity (e.g., disapproved of, reproached, lashed out at). For each item pair, participants judged how appropriate the friend’s criticism was, elicited in three different ways across studies: Participants provided either direct ratings or selected the most fitting criticism from a list varying in intensity or classified each criticism as Appropriate or Not Appropriate. Across 4 studies, people’s judgments revealed a strong norm against overblaming but only a weak norm against underblaming.

Boyoung Kim is a 1st-year post-doctoral researcher at the U.S. Air Force Academy’s Warfighter Effectiveness Research Center. She received her Ph.D. in Psychology from Brown University and Master’s degree in Experimental Psychology from Korea University. Her research interests lie in the field of social cognition, particularly, in social norms, moral judgments and decision making, and human-robot interaction.


November 19, 2019
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
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Boettcher Room
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Arthur Lakes Library
1410 Illinois St.
Golden, CO 80401 United States
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