For Whom Does Deterrence Affect Behavior? Identifying Key Individual Differences

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Deterrence threats are essential mechanisms for affecting behavior, yet they are often ineffective. The literature is beginning to consider individual differences underlying differential susceptibility to deterrence. The present study sampled 223 adults from Amazon Mechanical Turk and used an experimental cheating paradigm to examine the role of 3 individual differences, including morality, self-control, and rule orientation, underlying differential susceptibility to deterrence. The results indicate that deterrence threats may be more influential for people who have low moral disengagement, who possess more self-control, or who are more rule oriented. These findings indicate that important individual differences underlie susceptibility to deterrence.

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