Distinguishing attributions of causality, moral responsibility, and blame: Perceivers' evaluations of the attributions

Brad E. Bell1
1Rockford College, United States
Cite this article:  Bell, B. E. (1989). Distinguishing attributions of causality, moral responsibility, and blame: Perceivers' evaluations of the attributions. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 17(2), 231-236.

Volume 17 Issue 2 | e588 | Published: August 1989 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.1989.17.2.231

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Perceivers’ evaluations of attributions of causality, moral responsibility, and blame were investigated in this study. Participants read 2 scenarios with either mild or severe consequences, and then rated the perpetrators on either causality, moral responsibility, or blame. Participants subsequently rated the attributions on several evaluative dimensions. Attributions of moral responsibility were generally judged by perceivers to be more complex than attributions of causality and blame, suggesting that the process of attributing of blame may not involve the subprocess of evaluating moral responsibility. Excuses were not consistently judged to be more important for any particular type of attribution.


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