PERCEIVED FREEDOM, ACCIDENT SEVERITY AND EMPATHIC VALUE AS DETERMINANTS OF THE ATTRIBUTION OF RESPONSIBILITY
Authors: Gleason, James M.; Harris, Victor A.
Source: Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal, Volume 4, Number 2, 1976 , pp. 171-176(6)
Publisher: Scientific Journal Publishers
Abstract:The effects of severity of an accident, perceived freedom of the perpetrator, and empathic value of the victim were examined in a 2 × 2 × 2 factorial design. 192 subjects read detailed accident scenarios and then made judgments as to the responsibility of each of a number of plausibly responsible agents. In line with the hypotheses, subjects attributed more responsibility to the perpetrator under high severity than low severity conditions, and more responsibility under high than low perceived freedom. The hypothesis that more responsibility would be attributed to the perpetrator when the victim was human than when the victim was a dog was not supported. Additionally, there was no clear evidence for victim derogation. The implications of these findings for defensive attribution and just world hypotheses as well as for methodological issues are discussed.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 1976
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