Effects of Accusations on the Accuser: The Moderating Role of Accuser Culpability

Derek D. Rucker*, Richard E. Petty

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Recent research has shown that people can enhance their own reputations by accusing others of faults they possess. However, it is unclear by what mechanism accusing others of one's own misdeeds helps to enhance the reputation of the accuser, and there is no evidence for boundary conditions for this devious tactic. The present research provides evidence that accusations suggest information about the accuser's values and that it is the assumed values of the accuser that are responsible for increases in the accuser's reputation. Furthermore, the present research demonstrates that accusations may only be effective in increasing an individual's reputation when the individual has faults to deflect. When an individual possesses no faults, accusations can actually damage the individual's reputation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1259-1271
Number of pages13
JournalPersonality and Social Psychology Bulletin
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2003


  • Accusations
  • Projection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology


Dive into the research topics of 'Effects of Accusations on the Accuser: The Moderating Role of Accuser Culpability'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this