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Existential guilt. Primary data from the longitudinal study 1985.

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Researchers

Name
Montada, Leo
Reichle, Barbara
Schneider, Angela

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Dataset Information

Title Existential guilt. Primary data from the longitudinal study 1985.
Original Title Existentielle Schuld. Primrdatensatz der Lngsschnitterhebung 1985.
Citation Montada, L., Reichle, B., & Schneider, A. (2004). Existential guilt. Primary data from the longitudinal study 1985. [Translated Title] (Version 1) [Files on CD-ROM]. Trier: Center for Research Data in Psychology: PsychData of the Leibniz Institute for Psychology Information ZPID. https://doi.org/10.5160/psychdata.malo85ex05
Language of variable documentation German
Responsible for Data Collection Montada, Leo; Reichle, Barbara; Schneider, Angela
Data Collection Completion Date 1985
Dataset Publication 2004
Dataset ID malo85ex05
Study Description In light of the objective deprivation of different victim groups, demographic data, attitudes, justice preferences, cognitions, emotions, and behavior of 434 adult West Germans were collected in a longitudinal study. Two response patterns were identified: defensive reactions (denial of one's own responsibility for the plight of the disadvantaged, blaming the disadvantaged for their own misery, trivialization of seriousness of the situation, justification of one's own better standing in life, and anger directed toward the disadvantaged) and prosocial reactions (perception of one's responsibility for the plight of the victims, subjective ratings of the unjust situation, recognizing the relationship between one's own privileged standing and the underprivileged situation of the disadvantaged, and existential feelings of guilt). Defensive reactions, stemming from a threat to a belief in a "just world", can be predicated longitudinally. The more people believe in a just world the more derogatory they will react when confronted with those worse off than themselves. This dismissive and derogatory stance toward underprivileged people only strengthens their belief in a just world. Prosocial reactions, however, are motivated more by existential guilt (an unease about the discrepancy between one's own, not always deserved, privileged situation vs the others' unprivileged situation).
The record contains the complete primary data of the interviewed people on both measurement occasions. Relevant derived data are also reported.
Hypotheses -
Keyphrase emotional reactions to victims & disadvantaged persons, existential guilt & moral indignation & sympathy & anger & anxiety, control beliefs & responsibility & belief in a just world, 434 subjects, longitudinal empirical study, primary data
Funding German Research Foundation
Rating The quality criteria are presented in detail by Schneider, Montada, Reichle and Meissner (1986). Implementing objectivity can be seen as a given due to the fully standardized specifications. Reliability ranges from moderate to good. Results concerning validity are not reported.

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PSYNDEX Classification and Controlled Terms

Classification Motivation & Emotion
Social Processes & Social Issues
Social Perception & Cognition
Controlled Terms Guilt
Responsibility
Social Perception
Attribution
Personality
Data Collection

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Research Method Description

Research Method Description Questionnaire Data
Classification of Data Collection Fully Standardized Survey Instrument (provides question formulation and answer options)
Research Instrument The present study made use survey instruments which had been previously developed by the research group in context of previous studies, though some slight modifications were made (see Montada, Schmitt & Dalbert, 1983; Schneider, Reichle & Montada, 1986).
The survey instrument consists of 14 subunits which were administered at 4 different times. The order was the same at both study times (see the time distribution of the data collection). The following instrument was used: "Demographics Questionnaire Part 1" (Demographiefragebogen Teil 1, or DG2). Taking part in this short questionnaire, which measured age, gender, and number of children, implied consent to participate in the investigation.
"Demographics Questionnaire Part 2" (Demographiefragebogen, or DG3): Covered further demographic data of subjects (university degree, profession, estimation of the probability of their own unemployment or that of their partner, religiosity, income, community size), as well as information on their social and political commitment.
Political activities and objectives (AZ2): To measure subjects' various public policy objectives it was necessary to assess how meaningful each subject viewed their own political action as well as their willingness to commit themselves to this goal. AZ2 and DG3 yielded the final criterion necessary for group formation.
"Existential Guilt Inventory" Part 1 (Existentielle Schuld Inventar Teil 1, or ES2) and Part 2 (ES3): In combination with 9 situations - presenting 3 areas of potential impact (future prospects of young people, living conditions, working conditions and/or psychosocial situation) for people belonging to 3 groups (the unemployed, people from Third World nations, Turkish guest workers) - 8 thoughts/feelings are formulated to represent cognitive and emotional reactions. The situations 1-3 address the future prospects of young members of these 3 groups.
Groups: Situation 1 portrayed Turkish youth, Situation 2 portrayed young people in the Third World, and Situation 3 portrayed unemployed youth in the Federal Republic of Germany. Situations 4-6 dealt with the issues "living conditions": Situation 4 focuses on the housing situation of Turkish guest workers in Germany, Situation 5 the general living and housing conditions of people in the Third World, and Situation 6 addressed housing shortages due to unemployment in West Germany. In Situations 7-8, working conditions of the Turkish guest workers (7) and that of people in the Third World (8) are addressed. Situation 9 focuses on the psycho-social consequences of unemployment.
ES2: Relativization of the situation of the disadvantaged, sloped perception between oneself and the disadvantaged, existential guilt, realization of the unjust difference between oneself and the disadvantaged, justification one's own privileges, blaming those in the situation for the situation itself, self-motivated responsibility to take action, satisfaction with one's own privileges.
ES3: Compassion for the disadvantaged, concern for one's own situation in regards to the social discrepencies, realization of the connection between the plight of the disadvantaged and one's own better social position, fear of privilege loss, anger directed at the disadvantaged, a call to action for those in power, anger at the injustice, hopelessness in regards to possible betterment.
Internal consistency - positive polarity (IK3) and negative polarity (IK4): The instrument measures the self-perceived internal consistency and consistency centrality. In IK3 all items are worded positively; in IK4, negative.
Room for Action (Handlungsspielraum, HS2): Each of the 9 deprived situations (3 deprivation areas x 3 disadvantaged groups) described in ES2 and ES3 should, without being explicitly discussed, elicit subjective thoughts about what one can do about the situation.
Distributive fairness - group-specific (Verteilungsgerechtigkeit, VG2): Principles of justice (achievement principle, basic needs principle) are stated that address that various advantageous and economic strategies which can be created to ease distribution issues when it comes to privileges between industrialized nations and the Third World, between Turkish guest workers and Germans, and between the employed and the unemployed.
Just-World-View (Gerechter-Welt-Glaube, GW2): Addresses a general just-world belief, or the conviction of a basically just world, as well as a domain-specific just-world belief that reflects the view that the differences which are found between the disadvantaged and the privileged in various situations are not unjustified.
Distribution Justice (Verteilungsgerechtigkeit, VG3): Measures 4 principles of justice: achievement principle, basic needs principle, the principle of equality, and the principle of procedural justice. The item contents are formulated according to the categories distribution (possessions, symbolic value, privileges and rights, social standing), context (economic, promotion-oriented, and relationship-oriented) and mode of action (withdrawal, allocation).
Life Satisfaction (Lebenszufriedenheit, LZ2): Subjects assess their general life satisfaction in regards to their past, present, and future. Additionally, domain-specific satisfaction with their personal privileges in regards to secure future privileges, prosperous living, working conditions, and mental health secured through employment, social status, financial security, and housing situation.
Attitudes toward the disadvantaged groups (EO2): Assess this attitude using an adjective list containing positive and negative characteristics as well as measuring sympathy/antipathy for the 3 disadvantaged groups and for successful German citizens. The prevalence of the each groups characteristics is measured.
Social Desirability (CM2): Crowne & Marlowe (1960), translated by Lck & Timaeus (1969). The answers are mainly given on a 6-point rating scales.
Data Collection Method Data collection in the absence of an experimenter
- Mail Survey
Time Points repeated measurements
Survey Time Period Longitudinal analysis
U1: June/July 1985, 4 test time-points with 14 days between; U2: November/December 1985, 4 test time-points with 14 days between; Measures: T1: DG2; T2: DG3, AZ2, ES2, IK3; T3: ES3, HS2, VG2, LV2; T4: VG3, LZ2, IK4, EO2, CM2
Characteristics -
Population Germans, who are privileged in terms of their specific characteristics of prosperity, citizenship, and employment in comparison to the disadvantaged groups (people in the Third World, Turkish guest workers, and the unemployed)
Experimental Pool Individuals
Sample Sample 1.1: Employees with high job security, such government officials (N = 327).
Sample 1.2: Employees with lower job security, such owners of medium-sized or small companies (N = 393).
Sample 2: localized random sample: Residents of relatively privileged neighborhoods (N = 2,803).
Sample 3.1-3.6. Students of the University of Trier (N = 619).
Subject Recruitment Sample 1: Every second telephone subscriber in Trier, taken from the official telephone directory 16, 1984/85, registered with an occupation that fit the criteria "high job security.
Sample 2: Recruited through the registration office of the city of Saarbrcken.
Sample 3: Recruited via lectures in the summer semester of 1985.
Sample Size 434 individuals
Return/Drop Out Of the 4,142 questionnaires distributed, 991 questionnaires were returned (23.9%) at Time 1. Of these subjects, 434 (43.8%) returned questionnaires at Time 2. Drop-out was 56.2%.
Gender Distribution 40,8% female subjects (n=177)
59,2% male subjects (n=257)
Age Distribution 19-84 years
Special Groups -
Country Germany
Region Rhineland-Palatinate; Saarland
City Trier; Saarbrcken
Variables Subject ID
Demographic characteristics (age, sex, children, education, occupation, likelihood of own unemployment, religion, education, occupation, likelihood of partner's unemployment, income, community size, current political and social engagement) (covariate, variables to criterion group formation)
Political activities and objectives (criterion variable for group formation)
Existential guilt (criterion variables, core variables)
Room for action (covariate)
Internal consistency (covariate)
Distributive justice (covariate)
Just world belief (covariate)
Life satisfaction (covariate)
Attitudes toward the disadvantaged groups (covariate)
Social desirability (control variable)
With the exception of the subjects' numbers, all variables (at both time-points) are available

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Data Status

Data Status Complete Data Set
Original Records Questionnaire filled out by either the subject or the experimenter containing closed and/or open answers
Transformation Subjects' responses were transferred into the data matrix using simple coding. The data from the Time 2 of investigation were identified by the number 2 and the letter R in the variable name. This data matrix (malo85ex05_rd) is provided with the corresponding code book (malo85ex05_kb). Much of the derived data, essentially the mean values of many of the items, are provided. The derived data matrix (malo85ex05_ad) and the transformation procedures (malo85ex05_aa) are also provided.

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Description of the Provided Data

Description Primary data for the study
File Name malo85ex05_pd.txt
Data Content 434 subjects, 1,257 variables
Data Points 434*1,257=545,538 data points
Variables Subject ID (1), period of investigation, (2) Demographic variables (2x18 = 36), Current political and social engagement (2x39 = 78), Political activities and objectives (2x96 = 192), Existential guilt (2x162 = 324), Room for action (2x9 = 18), Internal consistency (2x32 = 64), Distributive justice (2x76 = 152), Just-world belief (2x15 = 30), Life satisfaction (2x13 = 26), Attitudes towards the disadvantaged groups (2x144 = 288), Social desirability (2x23 = 46)
MD5 Hash 9d906e24fe037098146c5a264d93b69
  
Description Primary data and derived data for the study
File Name malo85ex05_ad.txt
Data Content 434 subjects, 1,437 variables
Data Points 434*1,437=623,658 data points
Variables Subject ID (1), period of investigation, (2) Demographic variables (2x18 = 36), Current political and social engagement (2x39 = 78), Political activities and objectives (2x96 = 192), Existential guilt (2x162 = 324), Room for action (2x9 = 18), Internal consistency (2x32 = 64), Distributive justice (2x76 = 152), Just-world belief (2x15 = 30), Life satisfaction (2x13 = 26), Attitudes towards the disadvantaged groups (2x144 = 288), Social desirability (2x23 = 46), derived variables (180)
MD5 Hash c55962eb818f89e9b588217934dd68d4
  

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Description of Additional Materials

Description File Name
German codebook of primary data set malo85ex05_pd.txt malo85ex05_kb.txt
Transformation instructions of primary data set malo85ex05_pd.txt malo85ex05_aa.txt

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Publications Directly Related to the Dataset

Publications Directly Related to the Dataset
Montada, L. & Schneider, A. (1988). Justice and emotional reactions to victims (E.S.-Bericht Nr. 7 (= Berichte aus der Arbeitsgruppe "Verantwortung, Gerechtigkeit, Moral" Nr. 47)). Trier: Universitt, Fachbereich I, Psychologie.Datensatz 0031653
Montada, L. & Schneider, A. (1990). Coping mit Problemen sozial Schwacher: Annotierte Ergebnistabellen (E.S.-Bericht Nr. 9 (= Berichte aus der Arbeitsgruppe "Verantwortung, Gerechtigkeit, Moral" Nr. 52)). Trier: Universitt, Fachbereich I, Psychologie.Datensatz 0112056
Montada, L. & Schneider, A. (1991). Justice and prosocial commitments. In L. Montada & H.-W. Bierhoff (Eds.), Altruism in social systems (pp. 58-81). Lewiston, ME: Hogrefe & Huber.Datensatz 0058492
Montada, L., Schneider, A. & Meissner, A. (1988). Blaming the victim: Schuldvorwrfe und Abwertung (E.S.-Bericht Nr. 8 (= Berichte aus der Arbeitsgruppe "Verantwortung, Gerechtigkeit, Moral" Nr. 49)). Trier: Universitt, Fachbereich I, Psychologie.Datensatz 0033724
Montada, L., Schneider, A. & Reichle, B. (1988). Emotionen und Hilfsbereitschaft. In H.-W. Bierhoff & L. Montada (Hrsg.), Altruismus. Bedingungen der Hilfsbereitschaft (S. 130-153). Gttingen: Hofgrefe.Datensatz 0040361
Reichle, B., Schneider, A. & Montada, L. (1998). How do observers of victimization preserve their belief in a just world - Cognitively or actionally? Findings from a longitudinal study. In L. Montada & M. J. Lerner (Eds.), Responses to victimizations and Belief in a Just World (pp. 55-64). New York: Plenum.Datensatz 0133817
Schneider, A., Meissner, A., Montada, L. & Reichle, B. (1987). Validierung von Selbstberichten ber Fremdratings (E.S.-Bericht Nr. 5 (= Berichte aus der Arbeitsgruppe "Verantwortung, Gerechtigkeit, Moral" Nr. 41)). Trier: Universitt, Fachbereich I, Psychologie.Datensatz 0035895
Schneider, A., Montada, L., Reichle, B. & Meissner, A. (1986). Auseinandersetzung mit Privilegunterschieden und existentieller Schuld: Item- und Skalenanalysen I (E.S.-Bericht Nr. 3 (= Berichte aus der Arbeitsgruppe "Verantwortung, Gerechtigkeit, Moral" Nr. 37)). Trier: Universitt, Fachbereich I, Psychologie.

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Utilized Test Methods

Utilized Test Methods
Lck, H.E. & Timaeus, E. (1969). Skalen zur Messung manifester Angst (MAS) und sozialer Wuenschbarkeit (SDS-E und SDS-CM). Diagnostica, 15, 134-141.Datensatz 9000356

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Further Reading

Further Reading
Bierhoff, H.-W., Cohen, R. L. & Greenberg, J. (Eds.). (1986). Justice in social relations. New York: Plenum.Datensatz 0023438
Dalbert, C., Montada, L., Schmitt, M. & Schneider, A. (1984). Existentielle Schuld: Ergebnisse der Item- und Skalenanalysen (P.I.V.-Bericht Nr. 16 (= Berichte aus der Arbeitsgruppe "Verantwortung, Gerechtigkeit, Moral" Nr. 24)). Trier: Universitt, Fachbereich I, Psychologie.Datensatz 0002305
Dalbert, C., Schmitt, M. & Montada, L. (1983). Existentielle Schuld: ausgewhlte Untersuchungshypothesen (P.I.V.-Bericht Nr. 14 (= Berichte aus der Arbeitsgruppe "Verantwortung, Gerechtigkeit, Moral" Nr. 21)). Trier: Universitt, Fachbereich I, Psychologie.Datensatz 0001145
Dalbert, C., Steyer, R. & Montada, L. (1988). Die konzeptuelle Differenzierung zwischen Emotionen mit Hilfe von Strukturgleichungsmodellen: Existentielle Schuld und Mitleid. Psychologische Beitraege, 30, 541-555.Datensatz 0028373
Montada, L. & Reichle, B. (1983). Existentielle Schuld: Explikation eines Konzeptes (P.I.V.-Bericht Nr. 11 (= Berichte aus der Arbeitsgruppe "Verantwortung, Gerechtigkeit, Moral" Nr. 18)). Trier: Universitt, Fachbereich I, Psychologie.Datensatz 0000015
Montada, L., Dalbert, C., Reichle, B. & Schmitt, M. (1986). Urteile ber Gerechtigkeit, "existentielle Schuld" und Strategien der Schuldabwehr. In F. Oser, W. Althof & D. Garz (Hrsg.), Moralische Zugnge zum Menschen - Zugnge zum moralischen Menschen. Beitrge zur Entstehung moralischer Identitt (S. 205-225). Mnchen: Kindt.Datensatz 0023937
Montada, L., Schmitt, M. & Dalbert, C. (1983). Existentielle Schuld: Rekrutierung der Untersuchungsstichprobe, Erhebungsinstrumente und Untersuchungsplan (P.I.V.-Bericht Nr. 13 (= Berichte aus der Arbeitsgruppe "Verantwortung, Gerechtigkeit, Moral" Nr. 20)). Trier: Universitt, Fachbereich I, Psychologie.Datensatz 0000014
Montada, L., Schmitt, M. & Dalbert, C. (1985). Thinking about justice and dealing with one's own privileges: A study on existential guilt (P.I.V.-Bericht Nr. 22 (= Berichte aus der Arbeitsgruppe "Verantwortung, Gerechtigkeit, Moral" Nr. 32)). Trier: Universitt, Fachbereich I, Psychologie.Datensatz 0011721
Neppl, R. (1986). Zur Wahrnehmung und Bewertung der Gerechtigkeit der Einkommensverteilung. Regensburg: Roderer.Datensatz 0020041
Oser, F., Althof, W. & Garz, D. (Hrsg.). (1986). Moralische Zugnge zum Menschen - Zugnge zum moralischen Menschen. Beitrge zur Entstehung moralischer Identitt. Mnchen: Kindt.Datensatz 0020492
Reichle, B. & Dalbert, C. (1983). Kontrolle: Konzepte und ausgewhlte Bezge zu existentieller Schuld (P.I.V.-Bericht Nr. 12 (= Berichte aus der Arbeitsgruppe "Verantwortung, Gerechtigkeit, Moral" Nr. 19)). Trier: Universitt, Fachbereich I, Psychologie.Datensatz 0001144
Reichle, B., Montada, L. & Schneider, A. (1985). Existentielle Schuld: Differenzierung eines Konstrukts (E.S.-Bericht Nr. 1 (= Berichte aus der Arbeitsgruppe "Verantwortung, Gerechtigkeit, Moral" Nr. 35)). Trier: Universitt, Fachbereich I, Psychologie.Datensatz 0016044
Schmitt, M., Montada, L. & Dalbert, C. (1984). Erste Befunde zur Validitt des Konstruktes Existentielle Schuld (P.I.V.-Bericht Nr. 17 (= Berichte aus der Arbeitsgruppe "Verantwortung, Gerechtigkeit, Moral" Nr. 25)). Trier: Universitt, Fachbereich I, Psychologie.Datensatz 0002307
Schneider, A., Reichle, B. & Montada, L. (1986). Existentielle Schuld: Stichprobenrekrutierung, Erhebungsinstrumente und Untersuchungsplan (E.S.-Bericht Nr. 2 (= Berichte aus der Arbeitsgruppe "Verantwortung, Gerechtigkeit, Moral" Nr. 36)). Trier: Universitt, Fachbereich I, Psychologie.Datensatz 0016043

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