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NCJ Number: 148632 Find in a Library
Journal: Social Justice Research  Volume:7  Issue:1  Dated:(March 1994)  Pages:69-90
Author(s): J Maes
Date Published: 1994
Page Count: 22
Type: Literature Review
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Netherlands
Annotation: This article discusses the attribution of responsibility to victims of adverse fate ("blaming the victim") under the perspective of Just World Theory (Lerner, 1980) and the Defensive Attribution Hypothesis (Walster, 1966; Shaver, 1970).
Abstract: Whereas Just World Theory suggests that the belief in a just world is the decisive motive of increased attributions of responsibility, the Defensive Attribution Hypothesis assumes that these attributions are motivated by the need to believe in internal locus of control. Research evidence shows both motives as conceptually linked and empirically correlated. The central question is whether belief in a just world and belief in internal control are facets of the same latent variable or empirically distinguishable constructs, and whether they contribute independently to attributions of responsibility and blame to victims of misfortune. Results of a questionnaire study that assessed opinions about cancer and cancer victims are reported. There is evidence from factor analyses that the two motives are distinguishable constructs. The correlation patterns and the results of multiple regression analyses show that both motives are meaningfully related to attributions of responsibility. Moreover, findings indicate that belief in a just world is not a homogeneous construct. The author suggests extending Just World Theory to clarify the function of justice motives in the person's search for meaning in life events. 5 tables and 47 references
Main Term(s): Victims of Crime
Index Term(s): Victim crime precipitation; Victim reactions to crime
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