The Effects Of Social Status On Blame Judgments

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Charles Tanner Carroll (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site:
Andrew Monroe

Abstract: Blame judgments are social acts that people use to regulate the behavior of others. Blame judgments are unique in that they are almost always directed at an agent. Because of this social aspect, blame judgments may be subject to certain social constraints such as hierarchy and status. The current study suggests that social status will affect judgments of blame. Additionally, the current study suggests that mental state inferences of intentionality, knowledge, and preventability may explain social statuses affect on judgments of blame. Data show that individuals high in social status (e.g. CEO) receive the highest amounts of blame for bringing about a negative event compared to individuals low in social status (e.g. Staff Member). Data also show that individuals high in social status were viewed as acting more intentionally, having more knowledge, and having a greater ability to prevent harm compared to individuals with low social status. The current study suggests that, going forward, moral psychological research ought to broaden its view of the path to blame to include not only factors originating from the event (e.g., amount of harm caused), or from the perceiver (e.g., attitudes and prejudices), but also the social situation in which blame judgments are rendered.

Additional Information

Honors Project
Carroll, C. (2018). "The Effects Of Social Status On Blame Judgments." Unpublished Honors Thesis. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.
Language: English
Date: 2018
Social Status, Blame Judgements, Mental State Inferences

Email this document to