Abstract

This research investigated how individual differences impact ratings of blame for sexual harassers and their victims and whether or not any relationships could be explained by defensive attribution theory. This theory claims that blame is a product of the relevance of the situation and the actors within that situation. Participants completed an online questionnaire in which they read hypothetical cases of sexual harassment. They rated the relevance of the situation and the individuals in the scenarios, attributed blame to hypothetical harassers and victims, as well as other information expected to predict ratings of blame. Results suggested that 1) defensive attribution theory explains the effects of sexual harassment proclivity and gender on blame for sexual harassers; 2) defensive attribution theory may require revision to include the impact of situational relevance on personal relevance, and 3) blame for harassers and victims is explained by two different processes. This research has legal and organizational implications.

Degree

PhD

College and Department

Family, Home, and Social Sciences; Psychology

Rights

http://lib.byu.edu/about/copyright/

Date Submitted

2008-04-15

Document Type

Dissertation

Handle

http://hdl.lib.byu.edu/1877/etd2365

Keywords

sexual harassment, proclivity, blame, defensive attribution theory, victims, gender

Included in

Psychology Commons

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