Projection as an interpersonal influence tactic: The effects of the pot calling the kettle black

Derek D. Rucker*, Anthony R. Pratkanis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

In his analysis of Nazi propaganda, Ellis Freeman identified an influence tactic based on projection: accusing another person of the negative traits and behaviors that one possesses and exhibits with the goal of deflecting blame away from one's own misdeeds and toward the accused. Although the use of projection as an influence tactic is not limited to fascist regimes and its consequences can be socially devastating, the projection tactic has not been subjected to experimental analysis. In four experiments, the authors found that projection was effective in (a) increasing the blame placed on the target of the projection and (b) decreasing the culpability of the accuser (or projectionist). These effects occurred despite (a) raising suspicions about the motives of the projectionist, (b) providing evidence that the projectionist is guilty of the deed, and (c) timing the projection so that it occurred after the misdeeds came to light.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1494-1507
Number of pages14
JournalPersonality and Social Psychology Bulletin
Volume27
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Projection as an interpersonal influence tactic: The effects of the pot calling the kettle black'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this