Observer reactions to victims :an equity theory approach
Bogle, Trina G.
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Among the many problems that victims may face in the aftermath of victimization, a commonly noted yet infrequently studied phenomenon is that of victim disregard. Victims are often ignored by the people they would normally look to for assistance. It was proposed that equity theory might provide a useful framework for understanding this phenomenon. Equity theory suggests victims are ignored because helping is sometimes equity based rather than victim-need based. According to equity theory, learning of victimization threatens an observer's sense of equity. Helping (in the present case, compensation) is only one way of reducing inequity; if other methods of inequity reduction are used (in this case, perpetrator punishment), equity may be restored without the victim being assisted. In five studies, victim compensation (the dependent variable) was hypothesized to vary as a function of perpetrator punishment.
- Masters Theses