Frustration-Affirmation? Thwarted Goals Motivate Conformity to Social Norms for Violence and Non-Violence

Agostini, M. (Speaker), Kreienkamp, J. (Speaker), Leander, P. (Speaker), Wolfgang Stroebe (Speaker), Spears, R. (Speaker), Zomeren, van, M. (Speaker), Otten, S. (Speaker), Kuppens, T. (Speaker), Arie W. Kruglanski (Speaker)

Activity: Talk and presentationProfessional or public event Academic


The present research addresses the paradox that thwarted goals can increase both individuals’ endorsement of violence and endorsement of pro-sociality. Across five studies, we show that thwarted goals motivate conformity to norms that may advocate either. Studies 1-3 establish that thwarted goals increase attraction to violence among U.S. adults of a lower educational background and/or men who endorse a masculine honor culture. Study 4 manipulates the perceived ingroup norm demonstrating that in college educated Americans, thwarted goals increase sensitivity to whichever norm is salient: pro-war or anti-war. Finally, to generalize our model beyond a focus on violent means, Study 5 demonstrates that goal-thwarted Europeans report increased willingness to volunteer for refugee support activities, but only if they perceived strong ingroup norms to volunteer. Altogether, the present research supports a frustration-affirmation mechanism, whereby thwarted goals increase sensitivity to group norms for behavior, whatever these may be.
Event titleASPO conference 2019: null
Event typeConference
LocationWageningen, Netherlands
Degree of RecognitionNational