USF St. Petersburg campus Honors Program Theses (Undergraduate)

First Advisor

Mark Pezzo, Ph.D. Associate Dean, College of Arts and Sciences

Second Advisor

Eric Odgaard, Ph.D. Assistant Professor, College of Arts and Sciences

Third Advisor

Thomas Smith, Ph.D. Director, Honors Program


University of South Florida St. Petersburg

Document Type


Date Available

April 2012

Publication Date


Date Issued

September 2006


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.


A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the University Honors Program, University of South Florida St. Petersburg.

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