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“Did You See That?” The Effect of Social Sharing on Witnesses’ Reactions to Observed Incivility

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Title: “Did You See That?” The Effect of Social Sharing on Witnesses’ Reactions to Observed Incivility
Author: Garant, Jessica
Department: Department of Psychology
Program: Psychology
Advisor: Hausdorf, Peter
Abstract: Andersson and Pearson’s (1999) incivility model suggest that witnessing incivility can lead to negative responses. Although research has focused on the impact of observed incivility on witnesses’ emotions, attitudes, and behaviours, no studies have explored the impact of social sharing on incivility outcomes despite the fact that people talk about upsetting experiences (Rimé, 2009). Results from 83 female undergraduate students (assigned to a situational or personal experimental condition) demonstrated that listening to an observer reframing in terms of situational factors reduced the witnesses’ negative affect which lowered the amount of task allocated to the instigator (as an indicator of punishment). Reframing reduced witnesses’ negative affect, their negative attitudes toward the instigator and the negativity of the instigator’s work-related evaluation. However, reframing had no effect on the extent to which witnesses were willing to help the instigator. In sum, shared situational attributions could reduce the incidence of an incivility spiral.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10214/9914
Date: 2016-07


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