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24-08-2021 | Original Article

An Experimental Investigation of the Impact of Blame Appraisals and Moral Injury Beliefs on Psychological Outcomes

Auteurs: Joel Hoffman, Angela Nickerson

Gepubliceerd in: Cognitive Therapy and Research | Uitgave 2/2022

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Abstract

Background

Research suggests that appraisals regarding moral violations play an important role in linking trauma exposure with complex psychological responses. There, however, is a need for experimental research to elucidate the causal impact of moral appraisals on psychological outcomes.

Method

This study experimentally investigated the impact on psychological responses (i.e., emotions, intrusions, rumination) of (1) specific blame appraisals in the context of a moral stressor, (2) broad, pre-existing moral beliefs that others (Moral Injury [MI]-Other) or the self (MI-Self) has acted in a way that violates one’s morals, and (3) the interaction between these variables. This study used mental imagery of a motor vehicle accident to simulate a moral stressor. Participants were 108 university students.

Results

Results indicated that blaming oneself resulted in greater guilt, anger and sadness, compared to blaming others. Additionally, participants intrusions were dependent upon interactions between MI-Self beliefs and blame appraisals, with participants who blamed others reporting more intrusive memories if they had High MI-Self beliefs. Furthermore, greater rumination was reported when participants who blamed others but only if both MI-Other and MI-Self beliefs were present.

Conclusions

These results demonstrate the importance of both specific blame appraisals and broad moral beliefs, as potential mechanisms linking exposure to moral violations and psychological outcomes.
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Metagegevens
Titel
An Experimental Investigation of the Impact of Blame Appraisals and Moral Injury Beliefs on Psychological Outcomes
Auteurs
Joel Hoffman
Angela Nickerson
Publicatiedatum
24-08-2021
Uitgeverij
Springer US
Gepubliceerd in
Cognitive Therapy and Research / Uitgave 2/2022
Print ISSN: 0147-5916
Elektronisch ISSN: 1573-2819
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/s10608-021-10264-y

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