When Do We Blame Victims?

Examining the tendency to attribute blame to crime victims reveals a striking dichotomy. Some types, such as children, elicit intense emotional reactions from the public. Alternatively, others, such as the typical victims of street crimes, garner substantially less concern. According to the “just world” hypothesis, these latter groups may be perceived by the public as criminally involved, and so “blameworthy” for their victimization. A recebt study published in the journal Victims and Offenders tests this hypothesis—specifically, researchers evaluate whether perceptions of the extent of victims’ involvement in crime are associated with dispositional attributions for victimization. Data from a recent national survey (N = 760) are analyzed. To extend generalizability, they replicate results with a college sample (N = 733). Findings indicate that victim-offender overlap perceptions vary consistently by crime type. There is also consistent evidence that perceiving a larger victim-offender overlap is associated with the view that the causes of criminal victimization are, in part, dispositional—and thus that crime victims hold personal responsibility.

For the abstract

           

Related Stories

  • Chinese Police Arrest Caretaker in Kindergarten Poisoning Scheme
  • Executing the Astrologer
  • The Hoddle Street Massacre
 

 
disclaimer

The information provided on the PsyWeb.com is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her health professional. This information is solely for informational and educational purposes. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Neither the owners or employees of PsyWeb.com nor the author(s) of site content take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading this site. Always speak with your primary health care provider before engaging in any form of self treatment. Please see our Legal Statement for further information.

PsyWeb Poll

Are you currently taking or have you ever been prescribed anti-depressants?
Yes
50%
No
50%
Total votes: 3979