Motivation and Emotion

, Volume 35, Issue 1, pp 1–13 | Cite as

Deservingness and emotions: Testing a structural model that relates discrete emotions to the perceived deservingness of positive or negative outcomes

  • N. T. Feather
  • Ian R. McKee
  • Noel Bekker
Original Paper


A study is described that tested a model (Feather in Eur Rev Soc Psychol 17:38–73, 2006) relating emotions to the appraisal of outcome deservingness for self or other person. Outcome deservingness was assumed to depend on the evaluative structure of action/outcome relations (Feather in Values, achievement, and justice: studies in the psychology of deservingness. Kluwer/Plenum Publishers, New York, 1999b). The study tested predictions about relations between this structure and the emotions of pleasure, admiration, pride, resentment, anger, sadness, sympathy, guilt, regret, disappointment, and surprise. The study used a hypothetical scenario involving an applicant for a position in an organization where the applicant could either be other or self. Results that focused on planned comparisons and the action by focus interactions supported the analysis for both the positive outcome and the negative outcome conditions and they were consistent with the hypothesis that the appraisal of outcome deservingness would mediate at least in part the type of emotion that was reported when a positive or negative outcome followed a positive or negative action. Results were discussed in relation to the social psychology of justice and the emotions.


Deservingness Action/outcome evaluations Discrete emotions Self and other perspective 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Psychology, Faculty of Social and Behavioural SciencesFlinders UniversityAdelaideAustralia

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