Is torture ever justified? The influence of group membership, interrogation approach, and success on attributions of interrogator behavior and perceived acceptability of torture

Julia Rose LaBianca, University of Texas at El Paso

Abstract

The purpose of these three experiments was to determine what factors affect Americans’ attitudes toward torture and the interrogators who engage in torture. Using theories of intergroup bias, fundamental attribution error, and cognitive dissonance, the three experiments investigated how people make behavioral attributions for an interrogator, as well as how people perceive the acceptability, ethicalness, effectiveness, and procedural justice of the technique used. Four variables were manipulated: group membership of the interrogator and detainee, outcome of the interrogation, and type of interrogation tactic used. It was expected that people would make attributional and attitudinal judgments in a manner that preserved the integrity of their in-group. Specific hypotheses are discussed prior to each experiment.^

Subject Area

Social psychology|Psychology

Recommended Citation

LaBianca, Julia Rose, "Is torture ever justified? The influence of group membership, interrogation approach, and success on attributions of interrogator behavior and perceived acceptability of torture" (2016). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI10151123.
http://digitalcommons.utep.edu/dissertations/AAI10151123

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