Damned If You Do and Damned If You Don't: Assigning Blame to Victims Regardless of Their Choice
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.
MSU Digital Commons Citation
Rice, Stephen; Hackett, Holly; Trafimow, David; Hunt, Gayle; and Sandry, Joshua, "Damned If You Do and Damned If You Don't: Assigning Blame to Victims Regardless of Their Choice" (2012). Department of Psychology Faculty Scholarship and Creative Works. 162.