The one-of-us effect in decision evaluation

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Judgment-by-outcomes denotes basing retrospective evaluation of decisions on the valence of their outcomes (success versus failure). Although decisions are typically evaluated in social contexts, so far judgment-by-outcomes has been studied without regard to this context. This study examines the moderating effect of evaluator's identification with the decision maker (the one-of-us-effect) on the influence of outcome information on the evaluation of Arab and Jewish subjects were presented with two cases recounting operations by either Arab or Jewish underground directed against the British authorities in Palestine. One case was a success (from the underground's point of view) and one ended in failure. Consistent with the one-of-us effect, identification with the decision maker variably canceled the influence of outcome information altogether, accentuated or weakened its influence, or determined which outcome constituted successful and unsuccessful outcomes. The one-of-us effect exercised a differential influence over different facets of decision evaluation, influencing most strongly the assignment of sanctions (in-group decision makers were mostly rewarded, out-group decision-makers were mostly punished regardless of outcomes). Next, in order of potency, the effect influenced the evaluation of decision justification, the evaluation of the decision maker, and the evaluation of the quality of decision process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-71
Number of pages19
JournalActa Psychologica
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 2001


  • Cognitive process
  • Decision evaluation
  • Decision making
  • Outcome bias
  • Social identity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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