To Oppress or not to Oppress: What Makes Good People go Bad

Oppression is defined as prolonged cruel or unjust treatment or exercise of authority. We propose to study the conditions under which one group will oppress another. To do so, we systematically vary factors related to group identity, environment and incentives to deepen our understanding of the factors underlying and supporting the oppression of one group by another. Our proposed design studies the role of entitlement, leadership, and punishment in encouraging one group to drain resources from another group. We further propose to investigate how oppressive behavior effects generalized and group specific trust.