The present study looks into the impact of personal experience on judgments of others’ and one’s own decisions. The key hypothesis in this study was that those subjected to large amounts of failure would become more lenient in their judgments of others compared to those subjected to large amounts of success. Participants, adults recruited via the survey site Prolific, were given a survey with a portion in which to judge others’ decisions in chance-based scenarios, followed by a portion in which participants made their own decisions in similar scenarios, followed by a third portion in which they once again judged others’ decisions. The results showed that the experiential condition had a main effect on variables of judgment of others as well as personal feelings during experience. Variables of individual differences between participants in just world belief (JWB), tendency to forgive (TTF), and risk propensity were also taken into account as possible covariates. With the addition of these covariates into the analysis, the majority of the main effects of experience condition disappeared, indicating that these personal variables have a greater impact on judgments of others than experience.


Wilhelms, Evan




Experience, judgment, chance, just world, forgiveness, risk

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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