Pluralistic ignorance in revenge attitudes and behavior in interpersonal relationships

Susan D. Boon, Stephen M. Yoshimura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


We investigated whether people's perceptions of social norms concerning interpersonal revenge reflect a tendency for individuals to believe that others' revenge attitudes and behavior differ from their own (i.e., pluralistic ignorance). As part of a survey on revenge experiences in relationships with romantic partners, family members, and associates (e.g., friends), participants (N = 534) judged the acceptability and frequency of revenge in significant personal relationships. As expected, participants believed that others (a) saw revenge as more acceptable and (b) engaged in revenge more frequently than they did themselves. They did not, however, perceive others' revenge attitudes and behaviors to be any more variable than their own attitudes and behaviors actually were. Explanations for and implications of these findings are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)258-271
Number of pages14
JournalPersonal Relationships
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2014


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