Reactions to incongruous negative life events, Social Justice Research
We hypothesized that incongruous misfortunes generate stronger affective reactions and perceptions of injustice than do equally severe and equally probable congruous misfortunes. Incongruous misfortunes are defined as ones that bring to mind thoughts or images of the misfortune either happening to a different person or happening to the same person by a different means. In a series of studies, victims of incongruous negative life events (e.g., wartime casualties of friendly fire) were expected to experience stronger reactions of regret, shock, outrage, and perceived injustice than victims of more congruous versions of the same events. Differences between reactions to incongruous misfortunes and subjectively improbable misfortunes are explored.
Michelle L. Buck, Dale T. Miller
Buck, L. Michelle, and Dale T. Miller. 1994. Reactions to incongruous negative life events. Social Justice Research. 7(1): 29-46.