Mark Pezzo, Ph.D. Associate Dean, College of Arts and Sciences
Eric Odgaard, Ph.D. Assistant Professor, College of Arts and Sciences
Thomas Smith, Ph.D. Director, Honors Program
University of South Florida St. Petersburg
Scarce literature regarding the mechanisms of offense-taking exists. However, a broad survey of literature in social psychology points to several possible mechanisms such as: breaking cultural norms, sensemaking and the correspondence bias (Gilbert, 2000), intent, and individual differences. In this paper two individual differences are examined: need for cognition and narcissism. A survey presenting four scenarios, two generally offensive situations and two personal affronts, showed that those high in need for cognition were less likely to make a negative character judgment about the "offender" in several scenarios, while there was no distinguishable difference between those high or low in narcissism.
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McDougal, Sarah J., "Taking Offense and Individual Differences: Who We Are Determines What Offends Us" (2006). USF St. Petersburg campus Honors Program Theses (Undergraduate).