Use of Intentional Information in Colombian Victims' Evaluations of Retributive and Transitional Justice

John Anibal Gomez Varon, Fordham University

Abstract

This study assessed judgments of fairness, emotions and unforgiveness motivations of 57 participant victims of the armed conflict in Colombia, as they were presented with two kinds of hypothetical justice scenarios, retributive and transitional, for a combatant who had killed, either intentionally or accidentally—non-intentionally, the participants’ close relative. Results show that moving from a lesser punishment to a harsh legal sentence reduced victims’ negative emotions, and increased positive emotions and perceived fairness. Retributive justice was also associated with less negative emotion expression at the upper lip and the lower orbit of the eye—EMG of levator labii superioris, and with less sympathetic nervous system response—skin conductance. Furthermore, when this kind of justice was presented, victims whose close relative was killed by accident reported lower levels of outrage, than victims whose relative was intentionally killed. Likewise, when the murder was non-intentional, victims’ levels of outrage and contempt increased when they imagined transitional justice, compared to retributive justice. These findings are discussed in light of the dual-process theory of moral reasoning, and the role of emotion-based and controlled reasoning processes when victims evaluate justice decisions.^

Subject Area

Social psychology|Developmental psychology|Cognitive psychology

Recommended Citation

Gomez Varon, John Anibal, "Use of Intentional Information in Colombian Victims' Evaluations of Retributive and Transitional Justice" (2017). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI10288991.
https://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI10288991

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