The Effects of Culture on Active and Passive Reactions to Financial Offenders; The Moderating Role of Type of Harm

Kyriaki Fousiani, Jan Willem Van Prooijen

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In the present research, we examine how culture influences individuals’ reactions to financial offenders. We hypothesized that horizontal individualists deploy increased active reactions (i.e., punishment-oriented) whereas vertical collectivists deploy increased passive reactions (i.e., condemning beliefs) to financial offenders. Moreover, we hypothesized that horizontal individualists would react stronger to a financial offender when an offense has instrumental (i.e., related to material costs) as opposed to symbolic (i.e., related to one’s self-image) implications for a victim, while vertical collectivists would show the opposite pattern of results. In Studies 1 and 2 we directly compared British (i.e., a horizontal individualist culture) versus Greek (i.e., a vertical collectivist culture) participants. Study 3 aimed to replicate Studies 1 and 2 by measuring cultural values at the individual level. The results obtained in the three studies provided support for most of our hypotheses. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
JournalVictims and Offenders
Early online date23-Feb-2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 23-Feb-2022


  • individualism-collectivism
  • financial offender
  • punishment
  • beliefs about offenders

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