Abstract

Prior research has found that the behaviors of entitled employees can often affect other employees around them, resulting in outcomes such as lower job satisfaction and higher job tension, but no research has examined how these outcomes occur. Entitlement has been surmised to function as a stressor, but there is no concrete evidence for this and any explanation for the link between experiencing others' entitlement and experiencing strain outcomes have been theoretical. Thus, it is important to understand precisely how entitlement is perceived by coworkers. The primary goal of this study was to examine proximal outcomes of entitlement behavior. Additionally, this study introduced new variables that may influence the way people perceive entitlement: the perceiver's own entitlement level and the impact of the entitled behavior. The inclusion of these variables allows for demonstrating that reactions to entitlement can differ depending on the characteristics of the people experiencing it and on the way that it impacts them. To address these issues, this study used an experiment to examine how people react to their coworkers' entitlement. Participants were randomly assigned into different impact conditions (victim, unaffected, beneficiary, or control) and outcomes were assessed. Observing entitlement generated negative affect, anticipated future conflict with the perpetrator, and dislike for the perpetrator. There were also differences in the way people reacted to entitled behavior depending on the impact of the behavior. Observers' own entitlement also had a minimal impact on these reactions. Directions for future research on perceptions of entitlement are discussed.

Notes

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Graduation Date

2021

Semester

Summer

Advisor

Ehrhart, Mark

Degree

Master of Science (M.S.)

College

College of Sciences

Department

Psychology

Degree Program

Industrial and Organizational Psychology

Format

application/pdf

Identifier

CFE0008640;DP0025371

URL

https://purls.library.ucf.edu/go/DP0025371

Language

English

Release Date

August 2026

Length of Campus-only Access

5 years

Access Status

Masters Thesis (Campus-only Access)

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