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What does otherwise mean in the passage? Does it mean in a different way, or in a different situation?

In one experiment, a target individual who refused to complete a racist task was appreciated by neutral judges, but disliked by participants who had been asked to complete the racist task prior to the target — and who overwhelmingly did so without complaining. To participants who had willingly gone along with the problematic behavior, the otherwise exemplary stance of the rebel apparently represented a threat to their moral self-regard, which they addressed by putting him or her down, and reporting less respect for, and attraction to, the rebel. Demonstrating the role of the self-concept, participants whose self-concept had been secured before seeing the rebel (by reflecting on an important quality or value, and how they had recently demonstrated it) did not show the same backlash, even if they had done the racist task first. In fact, participants thus “self-affirmed” were able to learn from the rebel’s gesture. They admitted having had more freedom at the time of the task, and reported less comfort with their own choice.

Personality, Identity, and Character: Explorations in Moral Psychology

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  • It means "apart from", or "except". Their stance was examplary, but was disapproved by those particants who had acted differently. In other words, it wasn't examplary to them, so it seems a rather odd thing to say. Commented Jun 15, 2021 at 8:33
  • So, it was exemplary stance to everybody except them?
    – user131753
    Commented Jun 15, 2021 at 8:38
  • It says "To participants who had willingly gone along with the problematic behavior...." The peculiarity is like saying "this drink is first class, but tastes awful." Commented Jun 15, 2021 at 8:38

2 Answers 2

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To participants who had willingly gone along with the problematic behavior, the otherwise exemplary stance of the rebel apparently represented a threat to their moral self-regard...

I understand it like this

To those participants (...) the stance of the rebel which would normally/generally be considered exemplary if taken out of this particular context/in any other different context apparently represented a threat to their moral self-regard.

See this meaning and example given by Cambridge

except for what has just been referred to:

  • The poor sound quality ruined an otherwise beautiful film.
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  • +1 Interestingly if you take either your or my answer , both the alternative meanings of otherwise work in this case. Different or "except for what has just been referred to" But there again "Except also means with this difference" according to the dictionary we are both using.
    – Brad
    Commented Jun 15, 2021 at 9:46
  • @Brad While I understand why you chose the meaning of "different" I am not sure you can simply replace "otherwise" with "different" without changing the meaning of the sentence. This is probably why whoever DVed you did so.
    – fev
    Commented Jun 15, 2021 at 10:00
  • Agreed but conversely you cannot just place otherwise with either not including or except for what has just been referred to as a direct replacement but that was not DVed so I assume some other reason. It is not unusually for my posts to be DVed even when the answers are undisputed. It has happen three times today already. But I am not here for points or praise I just want to help learners. I also learn things myself some of the guys on here are far out of my class.
    – Brad
    Commented Jun 15, 2021 at 10:23
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The answer is a simple dictionary definition; differently


To participants who had willingly gone along with the problematic behaviour, the different, exemplary stance of the rebel apparently represented a threat to their moral self-regard


otherwise adverb (DIFFERENTLY)

differently, or in another way: Ref C.E.D.

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