Who Gets Blamed after a Collective Tragedy? The Role of Distress, Identification with Victims, and Time
Journal of Loss and Trauma
Belief in a just world theory (BJWT) restoration strategies were longitudinally examined after the September 11 terrorist attacks. Analyses examined the influence of terrorism-related distress, identification with victims, and the passage of time on levels of group- and individual-level blame. Initial levels of distress were associated with less blaming of the U.S. (group-level blame) but positively related to derogating victim compensation 5 months later. Psychological distancing from the victims increased individual-level blame, while prolonged identification with victims appeared to dampen this response. These results extend our understanding of BJWT by showing the importance of temporal variation in justice-restoring strategies in a dramatic real-world loss.
Taylor and Francis
Wayment, Heidi A.; Barger, Steven D.; Tolle, Lauren Woodward; and O'Mara, Erin M., "Who Gets Blamed after a Collective Tragedy? The Role of Distress, Identification with Victims, and Time" (2010). Psychology Faculty Publications. 50.