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Educational Programme
Final Grade
Year of Graduation
Ekaterina Ivanova
Relations Between Corruption Scandals Awareness and Corruption Acceptability
Applied Social Psychology
(Master’s programme)
The present study investigates the link between grand corruption and petty corruption. More

specifically, the author attempts to capture the influence of awareness of grand corruption

investigations, which were undertaken in Russia in 2015-2016, on ordinary people’s

acceptability of cooperative corruption, defined as a bribery of a public official pursuing

citizen’s personal interest. Resting on corruption and social psychology research, the study

regards perceived descriptive norms of bribery, or the perceived frequency of others’ bribing

behavior, and perceived bribery justification, or the extent to which one sees bribing as

justified, as mediators for the corruption investigations awareness/acceptability of bribery

nexus, which is also hypothesized to be moderated by one’s bribery experience. The

mediation analysis fails to provide evidence for the corruption investigations to have any

significant impact on both personal and descriptive norms of bribery and bribery justification.

However, the results make it possible to consider the perceived descriptive norm and bribery

justification as predictors of bribery acceptability. What is more, the evidence of pluralistic

ignorance as regards corruption was detected. Apparently, as long as we treat others as more

corrupt than we are, corruption has all grounds to flourish.

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