Date of Award

December 2018

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Psychology

Advisor(s)

Leonard S. Newman

Keywords

Attitudes, Bullying, Global Belief in a Just World, Personal Belief in a Just World

Subject Categories

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Abstract

Bullying has been recognized as a phenomenon that detrimentally affects the lives of many, and researchers continue to explore its various potential influences and correlates. Among such correlates that have been examined, are scales measuring the belief in a just world (BJW). While the BJW predicts victim blaming across a wide host of circumstances, both the personal BJW and the global BJW have been found to correlate positively with empathetic attitudes toward bullying. However, the global BJW’s relation to bullying has only been examined in one study that used an explicit five-item measure to capture attitudes toward bullying. The current two studies further examined the BJW’s relation to bullying, but instead of using an explicit attitude measure, exposed participants to vignettes that described scenarios of bullying, and measured participants’ reactions to these vignettes. The results of both studies indicated that the global BJW predicted harsh, rather than empathic, attitudes toward bullying. Implications of these results are discussed.

Access

Open Access

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