ERIC Number: ED199574
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Sep
Information About Alcohol Consumption as a Determinant of Responsibility Attributions.
Kreutzer, Jeffrey S.; And Others
For many years researchers have investigated the relationship between alcohol consumption and human aggression. A "policy-capturing" methodology was used to determine how judgments of responsibility for aggressive behavior are influenced by information about a person's alcohol consumption, sex, and degree of injury to a victim. Male subjects (N=8) read descriptions of an argument in which one person was shoved to the floor by an aggressor. Each subject read 24 descriptions with variations in the extent of injury, the sex of participants, and the amount of alcohol consumed by the aggressor. For each description, subjects rated the aggressor's responsibility, the internal-external causality of his actions, and the length of time he should spend in jail. Large individual differences were found, indicating a wide variance in judgment policies. Alcohol consumption was the primary determinant of judgments of responsibility and causality, but the utilization of information varied greatly. Judgments of sentence length were determined primarily by injury. Only a few subjects supported the notion that drunken aggression is excusable. Half of the subjects judged the aggressor to be more responsible as alcohol consumption rose; over half of the subjects judged the aggressor's behavior to be more internal as alcohol consumption rose. (NRB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (88th, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, September 1-5, 1980). Best copy available.