Skip to main content
Kent Academic Repository

Moderators of the disapproval of peer punishment

Eriksson, Kimmo, Andersson, Per A, Strimling, Pontus (2015) Moderators of the disapproval of peer punishment. Group Processes and Intergroup Relations, 19 (2). pp. 152-168. ISSN 1368-4302. (doi:10.1177/1368430215583519) (KAR id:65485)


Recent studies have found disapproval of peer punishment of norm violations. This seems puzzling, given the potential benefits peer punishers contribute to the group. We suggest part of the answer is that peer punishers tend to come across as aggressive and as such may be viewed as more problematic than beneficial to have around. We used simple computer animations of geometric shapes to enact 15 precise variations of social sanctions against a norm violator. More than 1,800 subjects were recruited to watch an animation and judge the behavior and character of the animated agents. They also completed a trait aggression measure. Across the variations peer punishment was typically disapproved of, especially when severe or openly aggressive, and especially by subjects low on trait aggression. We conclude that there seems to be a social norm against peer punishment and that dislike of aggressiveness seems to be part of the reason why.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1177/1368430215583519
Additional information: Included in Kimmo Eriksson's PhD thesis "Informal punishment of non-cooperators"
Uncontrolled keywords: trait aggression; social norms; social judgment; social control; peer punishment
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Depositing User: K. Eriksson
Date Deposited: 15 Dec 2017 18:31 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2021 13:51 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

  • Depositors only (login required):

Total unique views for this document in KAR since July 2020. For more details click on the image.