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Measuring Victimhood: Developing a Victim Self-Ascription Scale
Unformatted Document Text:  DRAFT – For permission to cite contact Andy Davies on ## email not listed ## types of accidents were combined into a single item on 'accidents'.) Where respondents indicated they had experienced one of the events on the screener, they were instructed to proceed to the section of the survey where they were asked to rate the experience on the measures of perceived victimization and the measures of anger, self-ascribed rights and victim self-ascription. Where respondents indicated they had experienced more than one of the category of events on the screener, they were instructed to think of the most recent event. Items measuring the perception of a victimizing event were developed using the transcripts of the focus group sessions from the first phase of the study. A 37-item instrument assessing perceptions of harm, external attribution and injustice in relation to the event was developed. Perceived harm was measured using eleven items (six positive, e.g. 'I suffered a lot when this happened' and five negative, e.g. 'It was not really a big deal). Perceived external attribution was measured using fourteen items (seven positive, e.g. 'I did nothing to cause what happened' and seven negative, e.g. 'I can see how people might think I was responsible). Perceived injustice was measured using twelve items (seven positive, e.g. 'What happened was wrong' and five negative, e.g. 'On balance, what happened wasn't that unfair'). In addition, a nine-item measure of situationally-specific anger (six positive, e.g. 'I feel outraged about the situation' and three negative, e.g. 'It doesn't really bother me') and a five item measure of secondary rights (e.g. 'In a fair world, I would be compensated somehow for this') were developed. Responses were scored on six-point Likert-type scales ranging from ‘Strongly disagree’ to ‘Strongly agree’. A deliberate decision was made to avoid the term 'victimization survey' during administration. The unpopularity of the word 'victim' in certain advocate communities made it seem wise to avoid the implication that the survey might in some way assess whether the subject fit such a description. Page 12

Authors: Davies, Andrew.
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DRAFT – For permission to cite contact Andy Davies on ## email not listed ##
types of accidents were combined into a single item on 'accidents'.)  Where respondents indicated they 
had experienced one of the events on the screener, they were instructed to proceed to the section of the 
survey where they were asked to rate the experience on the measures of perceived victimization and the 
measures of anger, self-ascribed rights and victim self-ascription.  Where respondents indicated they 
had experienced more than one of the category of events on the screener, they were instructed to think 
of the most recent event.
Items measuring the perception of a victimizing event were developed using the transcripts of the focus 
group sessions from the first phase of the study.  A 37-item instrument assessing perceptions of harm, 
external attribution and injustice in relation to the event was developed.  Perceived harm was measured 
using eleven items (six positive, e.g. 'I suffered a lot when this happened' and five negative, e.g. 'It was 
not really a big deal).  Perceived external attribution was measured using fourteen items (seven 
positive, e.g. 'I did nothing to cause what happened' and seven negative, e.g. 'I can see how people 
might think I was responsible).  Perceived injustice was measured using twelve items (seven positive, 
e.g. 'What happened was wrong' and five negative, e.g. 'On balance, what happened wasn't that unfair'). 
In addition, a nine-item measure of situationally-specific anger (six positive, e.g. 'I feel outraged about 
the situation' and three negative, e.g. 'It doesn't really bother me') and a five item measure of secondary 
rights (e.g. 'In a fair world, I would be compensated somehow for this') were developed.  Responses 
were scored on six-point Likert-type scales ranging from ‘Strongly disagree’ to ‘Strongly agree’.
A deliberate decision was made to avoid the term 'victimization survey' during administration.  The 
unpopularity of the word 'victim' in certain advocate communities made it seem wise to avoid the 
implication that the survey might in some way assess whether the subject fit such a description. 
Page 12


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