Varieties of trust-betrayal: emotion and relief patterns in different domains

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Abstract

This study investigates the emotional responses to betrayal in two domains—social norms and personal acquaintances. The study relies on a newly developed Betrayal-Domain Questionnaire and the Portrait Value Questionnaire. Study 1 confirmed the existence of two distinct betrayal domains differing in the pattern of emotional response evoked, in the actions that relieve negative emotions and the influence of values on the emotional response. In the social norms domain, betrayal evokes predominantly anger-related emotions that can be alleviated effectively, whereas in the personal domain, more profound negative emotions are elicited by betrayal and fewer actions can relieve them. Study 2 replicates the findings with a modified questionnaire designed to comply with more stringent methodological restrictions.

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