Damned if you do and damned if you don't: Assigning blame to victims regardless of their choice

Stephen Rice, Holly Hackett, David Trafimow, Gayle Hunt, Joshua Sandry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

The just world literature implies that when someone is a victim of suffering, observers will somehow attribute the suffering to the behavior of the victim. In the current study, participants read a scenario about a person who had either converted or not converted to a new religion. This same person later either experienced no tragedy or was a victim of an unrelated brutal robbery which permanently disabled him. When the target person was victimized, participants were reluctant to attribute blame to the person or to his morality; however, they were quick to assign blame to the victim's choice to convert. Interestingly, even when the victim had not converted, participants still assigned blame to the decision to not convert.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-8
Number of pages4
JournalSocial Science Journal
Volume49
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2012

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