The victim role: an exploration into descriptions and evaluations of victims

dc.contributorHart, William P.
dc.contributorJarrett, Matthew A.
dc.contributorTullett, Alexa M.
dc.contributorWitte, Tricia H.
dc.contributor.advisorHamilton, James C.
dc.contributor.authorLewis, Jerome
dc.contributor.otherUniversity of Alabama Tuscaloosa
dc.date.accessioned2018-01-19T19:38:59Z
dc.date.available2018-01-19T19:38:59Z
dc.date.issued2017
dc.descriptionElectronic Thesis or Dissertationen_US
dc.description.abstractPeople agree that legitimate victims ought to be helped and illegitimate victims ought to be punished. Yet, people disagree about who is a legitimate victim. Victimologists theorize that legitimate occupants of the victim role possess characteristics which make them worthy of sympathy. However, this hypothesis is untested. Social contract theory posits that people are suspicious of social exchanges; claims to the victim role activate a social contract that requires others to engage in a social exchange. Thus, people may seek to disqualify victimization claims, but may acknowledge victims as legitimate when they fail to find delegitimizing evidence. Research indicates that individual differences in moral values, just world beliefs, and political values may influence reactions to victims. An individual’s moral values and political values may determine how they conceptualize the victim role. Individuals with strong just world beliefs are more likely to seek out ways to blame victims. This dissertation empirically examined how individuals describe victims and people’s tendency to be suspicious of claims to the victim role. Study 1 examined the language used to describe victims and how moral values, just world beliefs, and political values were related to these descriptions. Results indicated that the victim role comprises meaningful and intuitive concepts such as innocence, vulnerability, experiencing harm, and helplessness. Illegitimate victims were described as phony victims who were attention seekers. Legitimate victims were defined by their situation. Illegitimate victims were defined characteristically as frauds, fakers, and liars. Moral values related to harm, fairness, and purity were used to describe victims. Study 2 tested whether people seek to confirm or disconfirm claims to the victim role. Participants generally sought to confirm claims. However, Democrats preferred confirming evidence, whereas Republicans preferred disconfirming evidence. The evidence contradicted the hypotheses based on social contract theory and supported the idea that the victim role is central to thoughts about and evaluations of victims. These results provide insight into the victim role and how personal values related to morals, politics, and justice influence reactions to victims. Keywords: Victim, Social Role Theory, Social Contract Theory, Moral Values, Political Affiliation, Just World Beliefsen_US
dc.format.extent82 p.
dc.format.mediumelectronic
dc.format.mimetypeapplication/pdf
dc.identifier.otheru0015_0000001_0002807
dc.identifier.otherLewis_alatus_0004D_13145
dc.identifier.urihttp://ir.ua.edu/handle/123456789/3445
dc.languageEnglish
dc.language.isoen_US
dc.publisherUniversity of Alabama Libraries
dc.relation.haspartSupplementary materials include two word documents, including the survey and a document on survey interpretation, and the data collected from the survey in an Excel and SPSS files.
dc.relation.hasversionborn digital
dc.relation.ispartofThe University of Alabama Electronic Theses and Dissertations
dc.relation.ispartofThe University of Alabama Libraries Digital Collections
dc.rightsAll rights reserved by the author unless otherwise indicated.en_US
dc.subjectPsychology
dc.subjectSociology
dc.titleThe victim role: an exploration into descriptions and evaluations of victimsen_US
dc.typethesis
dc.typetext
etdms.degree.departmentUniversity of Alabama. Department of Psychology
etdms.degree.disciplinePsychology
etdms.degree.grantorThe University of Alabama
etdms.degree.leveldoctoral
etdms.degree.namePh.D.
Files
Original bundle
Now showing 1 - 5 of 5
Loading...
Thumbnail Image
Name:
file_1.pdf
Size:
1.29 MB
Format:
Adobe Portable Document Format
No Thumbnail Available
Name:
file_2.docx
Size:
18.96 KB
Format:
Microsoft Word XML
No Thumbnail Available
Name:
file_3.docx
Size:
17.11 KB
Format:
Microsoft Word XML
No Thumbnail Available
Name:
file_4.csv
Size:
1.05 MB
Format:
No Thumbnail Available
Name:
file_5.sav
Size:
1.54 MB
Format: