The authors thank Barry Schlenker, Jason Jones, and Cynthia Koenig for their helpful comments on earlier drafts of the manuscript. We are also grateful to Andrew Baum and two anonymous reviewers for their guidance in revising this research.
The Protestant Work Ethic, Expectancy Violations, and Criminal Sentencing1
Version of Record online: 31 JUL 2006
Journal of Applied Social Psychology
Volume 33, Issue 3, pages 522–535, March 2003
How to Cite
Christopher, A. N., Marek, P. and May, J. C. (2003), The Protestant Work Ethic, Expectancy Violations, and Criminal Sentencing. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 33: 522–535. doi: 10.1111/j.1559-1816.2003.tb01910.x
- Issue online: 31 JUL 2006
- Version of Record online: 31 JUL 2006
To test the hypothesis that endorsement of the Protestant work ethic would be related positively to sensitivity to criminal behavior that violated expectations, American college students (N = 159) read scenarios describing a crime committed by a typical or an atypical offender. After answering questions about the crime, they completed Mirels and Garrett's (1971) Protestant Work Ethic (PWE) scale. Extent of punishment was positively related to PWE for atypical criminal behavior. Yet, high PWEs also were more likely to perceive an affluent criminal as experiencing greater remorse for a blue-collar crime than a white-collar crime. We relate our results to perceptions of criminal behavior, information-processing tendencies among individuals endorsing the PWE, and jury selection considerations.