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.
College and Department
Family, Home, and Social Sciences; Psychology
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Key, Colin W., "Identifying Factors That Produce Blame for Sexually Harassing Behavior" (2008). Theses and Dissertations. 1695.
sexual harassment, proclivity, blame, defensive attribution theory, victims, gender