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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 ## methodological artifacts: clustering, order-of-administration effects, and selection on the dependent variable. Regarding clustering, the clusters in question were the classrooms in which the surveys were administered. Because groups of students took the survey simultaneously, it was appropriate to examine the data for the possibility that responses among students in the same class were more similar than would be expected by chance. A series of difference-of-means tests and ANOVA analyses not reported here revealed that no such differences existed. As a result, no attempt was made to control for clustering in the final regression analyses. Second, the data were examined for survey ordering effects. For some subjects, Dalbert’s measure of just world beliefs was administered first, while for others the victimization screener and perception variables were administered first. The reason for introducing this manipulation was to account for the possibility that the just world belief scale would in some way ‘prime’ individuals with justice concerns, influencing their later responses to items which asked about whether they believed what happened had been ‘just’. Generally, just world theory predicts that individuals will ‘rationalize’ unjust events as fair in order to protect the need to believe in justice. A specific prediction of the theory, examined with confirmatory results by Hafer (2000), is that priming individuals with concerns relevant to justice can influence subsequent responses. In situations where individuals are primed to think about justice concerns prior to being asked about an unjust event – as in this survey – one would expect individuals so primed to regard the victimization experience as less unjust. According to just world theory, this is because the prime heightens the individual’s concern for justice, and increases the need for them to rationalize, minimize or otherwise ignore the existence of that injustice. Page 16

Authors: Davies, Andrew.
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DRAFT – For permission to cite contact Andy Davies on ## email not listed ##
methodological artifacts: clustering, order-of-administration effects, and selection on the dependent 
variable.  Regarding clustering, the clusters in question were the classrooms in which the surveys were 
administered.  Because groups of students took the survey simultaneously, it was appropriate to 
examine the data for the possibility that responses among students in the same class were more similar 
than would be expected by chance.  A series of difference-of-means tests and ANOVA analyses not 
reported here revealed that no such differences existed.  As a result, no attempt was made to control for 
clustering in the final regression analyses.
Second, the data were examined for survey ordering effects.  For some subjects, Dalbert’s measure of 
just world beliefs was administered first, while for others the victimization screener and perception 
variables were administered first.  The reason for introducing this manipulation was to account for the 
possibility that the just world belief scale would in some way ‘prime’ individuals with justice concerns, 
influencing their later responses to items which asked about whether they believed what happened had 
been ‘just’.
Generally, just world theory predicts that individuals will ‘rationalize’ unjust events as fair in order to 
protect the need to believe in justice.  A specific prediction of the theory, examined with confirmatory 
results by Hafer (2000), is that priming individuals with concerns relevant to justice can influence 
subsequent responses.  In situations where individuals are primed to think about justice concerns prior 
to being asked about an unjust event – as in this survey – one would expect individuals so primed to 
regard the victimization experience as less unjust.  According to just world theory, this is because the 
prime heightens the individual’s concern for justice, and increases the need for them to rationalize, 
minimize or otherwise ignore the existence of that injustice.
Page 16


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