Effects of Foreseeability and Severity of Injury on Attributions of Causality, Responsibility and Guilt.
PURDUE UNIV LAFAYETTE IND
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Divergent results in past attribution experiments may have derived from the experimenters differentially cueing their subjects to respond either to the target persons causing an accident or to his responsibility for it. It was hypothesized that subjects would make more extreme causal attributions and less extreme responsibility attributions as severity of consequences of an unhappy accident increased. 20 male and 20 female undergraduate volunteers participated in a 2 x 2 x 2 responsibility causality x severe mild consequences x hi lo foreseeability factoral experiment. The first 2 factors were varied within subjects. Manipulation checks indicated that subjects perceived the severity of foreseeability manipulations as intended. The results support the hypotheses causality attributions increased p .05 with severity. Further data indicate that guilt attributions typically fell between the means for responsibility and causality attributions. Also, subjects were willing to fine the target person more for his transgressions as foreseeability and severity of the accident increased.
- Safety Engineering