Antecedents of Blame: Causal Attributions and Appraisals
There are studies (Smith, Haynes, Lazarus, & Pope, 1993) suggesting that appraisals of blame mediate between causal attributions and anger. Thus, causal attributions appear to be systematic antecedents to appraisals of blame. The purpose of this study was to develop and test a model of attributions and blame that depicts the specific ways that particular attributions contribute to the definition of anger-inducing blame. A survey was administered using the online survey manager REDCap consisting of two vignette scenarios with four conditions each. These conditions manipulated attributions of causal locus, controllability, foreseeability, and intentionality. These attributions as well as appraisals of other blame and the emotion of anger, were assessed. The resulting data were analyzed through a series of ANOVAs and regression analyses designed to map out how, given other locus, various combinations of the other attributions determined blame and thus emotion. Thus, this study demonstrates the specific ways that key attributions contribute to appraisals of blame, and hence how those attributions contribute to the experience of anger.
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