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The present research investigated event-related, contextual, demographic, and dispositional predictors of the desire to punish perpetrators of immoral deeds in daily life, as well as connections among the desire to punish, moral emotions, and momentary well-being. The desire to punish was reliably predicted by linear gradients of social closeness to both the perpetrator (negative relationship) and the victim (positive relationship). Older rather than younger adults, conservatives rather than people with other political orientations, and individuals high rather than low in moral identity desired to punish perpetrators more harshly. The desire to punish was related to state anger, disgust, and embarrassment, and these were linked to lower momentary well-being. However, the negative effect of these emotions on well-being was partially compensated by a positive indirect pathway via heightened feelings of moral self-worth. Implications of the present field data for moral punishment research and the connection between morality and well-being are discussed.
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