ERIC Number: ED235409
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1983-Mar-25
Reference Count: N/A
Causal Attributions and Person Perceptions of Repressors and Sensitizers.
Jacobsen, Rebecca H.; Calhoun, James F.
Previous 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. As part of a study examining observers' perceptions of a spouse abuse incident under varying conditions, 160 college students read a vignette about spouse abuse in which the abusers either made a sincere apology and sought help, or only left a brief note. In addition, the Repression-Sensitization Scale was used to study personality differences in subjects' responses. After reading the story, subjects completed a questionnaire about their causal attributions. Pairs of subjects then either role played the abuser and victim, or engaged in a group discussion of the incident, and completed the same questionnaire plus the Repression-Sensitization Scale. While sensitizers were expected to reject both the abuser and the victim, results showed they rejected the abuser less than did repressors, and tended to derogate him less as well. There was no difference between sensitizers and repressors in their attributions of psychological disturbance to the abuser, or in their derogation or rejection of the victim. The results suggest that differences between repressors' and sensitizers' views may disappear or even become reversed when evaluating a highly negative target. (JAC)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A