Are predictions and perceptions of post-traumatic growth a form of ultimate justice reasoning?

Harvey, Annelie J. and Blackie, Laura (2021) Are predictions and perceptions of post-traumatic growth a form of ultimate justice reasoning? European Journal of Personality. ISSN 1099-0984

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1177/08902070211014030

Abstract

Researchers have questioned whether self-report questionnaires adequately assess post-traumatic growth as it was theorized (positive personality change after trauma), versus assessing a broader coping mechanism. Across four studies, we examine whether individuals report post-traumatic growth as a coping mechanism to restore a sense of justice. In Studies 1 and 2, participants predicted greater post-traumatic growth for a hypothetical victim after a severe accident that caused grave suffering (and disrupted one’s belief in a just world), compared to an accident that caused minimal suffering (and did not disrupt one’s belief in a just world). Both perceptions of deservingness of post-traumatic growth for the victim (a belief in a just world mechanism) and engagement in deliberative rumination (a post-traumatic growth mechanism) mediated the effect of suffering on the prediction of post-traumatic growth in Study 2. The same pattern of results held when participants considered their own imagined suffering (Study 3), and when participants reported post-traumatic growth from distressing events in their own lives (Study 4). As such, we conclude that following an episode of suffering, either occurring to another or to oneself, self-reports of post-traumatic growth on questionnaires can reflect two distinct motivations: (1) an attempt to cope with perceived injustices and (2) the will to search for meaning in one’s suffering.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Post-traumatic Growth, Ultimate Justice Reasoning, Deservingness, Deliberative Rumination, Belief in a Just World
Faculty: Faculty of Science & Engineering
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic User
Depositing User: Symplectic User
Date Deposited: 03 Mar 2021 15:28
Last Modified: 24 Mar 2022 09:29
URI: https://arro.anglia.ac.uk/id/eprint/706384

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