|dc.description.abstract||This master thesis reports the result of an experiment on laypersons attribution of blame and
evaluation of moral wrongness in the aftermath of money laundering transgressions by a
bank. We manipulate two key variables of theoretical and practical interest. First, we
manipulate whether the bank choose to self-report the transgressions, or a newspaper
discovers the activity and report it. Second, we manipulate whether the money laundering
transgressions took place close to the participants home (low social distance) or in a foreign
country (high social distance). To test our hypotheses, we conduct a survey-experiment on
Amazon Mechanical Turk with 181 US citizens.
We find that the bank’s reporting choice significantly impacts attribution of blame through
its effect on attribution of intent to the bank for the money laundering transgressions.
However, we do not find that social distance impacts either attribution of blame or
evaluation of the moral wrongness of the money laundering transgressions. Furthermore, we
find that participants prior attitudes towards the harm of money laundering significantly
impacts both attribution of blame directly and through their effect on attribution of intent and
causation to the bank for the transgressions.
In addition, we find that participants’ willingness to change their bank affiliation after
revelation of the bank’s role in the money laundering activity is significantly impacted by
their moral identity. Of further interest is the finding that the bank’s reporting choice (Selfreporting
the transgressions, or the later discovery and reporting of journalists) also impacted
the willingness to change bank affiliation. Banks who choose to come clean receive
substantial credit in the public both when blame is attributed and when the layperson choose
whether they want to continue the customer relationship.||en_US