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Left-Right Ideological Differences in Blaming Victims

Sarah Williams
Political Psychology
Vol. 5, No. 4 (Dec., 1984), pp. 573-581
DOI: 10.2307/3791228
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3791228
Page Count: 9
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Left-Right Ideological Differences in Blaming Victims
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Abstract

In the first of two experiments conducted with liberal and conservative university students (so designated on the basis of their scores on Tomkins' Polarity Scale) men and women made attributions of responsibility to a welfare client. Overall, conservatives blamed the victim more than liberals. The second study extended this finding to the victim of a theft. Liberals were particularly lenient when the victim was described as emotionally upset, supporting Tomkins' ideas about left-right affective differences. In both studies, conservatives derogated the victim's character to a greater extent than liberals.

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