ERIC Number: ED240473
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Attribution of Responsibility for Accidents Involving Blameworthy Acts.
DeJoy, David M.; Klippel, Judith A.
Considerable research has been directed at examining motivational bias in the attribution of responsibility for accidents. To assess the influence of unsafe actions on the attribution of responsibility for traffic accidents of varying severity, 96 college students read scenarios in which the level of unsafe driving behavior (none, drinking, drinking and speeding) and the severity of accident outcome were experimentally varied. Subjects were asked to evaluate the degree of responsibility of the perpetrator, the importance of chance, and other possible causes. The results indicated that both increasing levels of unsafe act and severity of outcome were associated with increased attribution of responsibility. Severity-dependent attribution of responsibility was apparent even in the absence of obvious unsafe acts by the perpetrator. The commission of unsafe acts produced a tendency in the observers to attribute greater responsibility to the actions and chracteristics of the perpetrator rather than to chance or situational factors. A denial of personal similarity with the perpetrator was also found under such circumstances. (Author/JAC)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Blame; Speeding
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (91st, Anaheim, CA, August 26-30, 1983).