ERIC Number: ED235408
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1983-Mar-24
Reference Count: N/A
Causal Attributions and Person Perceptions in an Incident of Spouse Abuse.
Jacobsen, Rebecca H.; Calhoun, James F.
Research suggests that observers of spouse abuse are likely to arrive at overly dispositional causal explanations for the abusive behavior, and reject both the abusing spouse and his victim. To examine observers' causal attributions and person perceptions under varying conditions, 160 college students read a vignette about an incident of spouse abuse in which the abuser either made a sincere apology and sought help, or only left a brief note. Subjects answered questions about their causal attributions and perceptions of the abuser and the victim; and then either role played the abuser and victim in a discussion after the fight, or engaged in a group discussion of the incident. Subjects then completed another questionnaire. There were no consistent differences found with respect to sex or the sex composition of the group. The results suggested that people viewed a spouse abuser less negatively and made more situational causal attributions about his behavior when he took positive steps to seek help. Both discussing the abuser's behavior in a group or role playing him led to more causal attributions, but that may have been more true for the role plays. (JAC)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A