Date of Award

Fall 2006

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

de St. Aubin, Ed.

Second Advisor

Oswald, Debra L.

Third Advisor

Siderits, Mary Anne


This study grows out of a desire to learn more about the individual differences that are associated with a tendency to form causal attributions that hold victims of sexual violence responsible for their assaults. Current thinking with regard to attribution formation proposes a multi-step model that captures the overarching process by which causal attributions are formed, but this model does not account for the individual differences that may moderate those individual steps. The growing body of research that examines victim-blaming tendencies has identified several variables associated with increased victim-blame, highlighting the role of individual differences in the mechanisms by which causal attributions are formed. This dissertation seeks to further our understanding of the personality variables involved in victim-blaming by noting the steps in the model of causal attribution formation where personality variables may play a crucial role and by demonstrating the importance of personal ideological orientation as a personality variable that distinguishes between those who are likely to hold sexual assault victims responsible from those who are not.



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