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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 ## not on the basis of whether they had experienced an unpleasant event but instead on the basis of their perceived victimization itself. The result might be that the sample would be biased toward individuals who tend to perceive victimization more strongly. There are necessary limits on what one can tell about the population that does not report their victimization. Beyond wording the screener carefully to avoid obvious pitfalls such as pejorative terms there is little that can be done to eliminate completely the possibility of a biased sample. One strategy, however, is to look for differences between the group that reported a victimization and that which didn’t – particularly where those differences should be expected to be related to the likelihood of reporting. Dalbert’s personal belief in a just world measure affords us such an opportunity in this case. Individuals who believe strongly in a just world should be less likely to perceive their fates as victimizations. Are those individuals also less likely to report any victimization at all? In fact, just world beliefs were unrelated to the likelihood of reporting a victimization in this sample, r=-0.047, p=0.457. Controlling for the order of survey administration (and therefore for the ‘priming’ of justice concerns mentioned above) did not substantially change this finding. On this measure, at least, reporters of victimization and non-reporters did not differ. Despite the suggestion that individuals high in just world beliefs are more likely to rationalize their suffering, it does not appear that this rationalization went so far as to result in the denial or forgetting of the types of events listed in the screener. I therefore conclude that there is no evidence to suggest that the screener caused problems by biasing the sample selected in favor of individuals more likely to feel victimized. Regression analyses Page 18

Authors: Davies, Andrew.
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DRAFT – For permission to cite contact Andy Davies on ## email not listed ##
not on the basis of whether they had experienced an unpleasant event but instead on the basis of their 
perceived victimization itself.  The result might be that the sample would be biased toward individuals 
who tend to perceive victimization more strongly.
There are necessary limits on what one can tell about the population that does not report their 
victimization.  Beyond wording the screener carefully to avoid obvious pitfalls such as pejorative terms 
there is little that can be done to eliminate completely the possibility of a biased sample.  One strategy, 
however, is to look for differences between the group that reported a victimization and that which 
didn’t – particularly where those differences should be expected to be related to the likelihood of 
reporting.  Dalbert’s personal belief in a just world measure affords us such an opportunity in this case. 
Individuals who believe strongly in a just world should be less likely to perceive their fates as 
victimizations.  Are those individuals also less likely to report any victimization at all?
In fact, just world beliefs were unrelated to the likelihood of reporting a victimization in this sample, 
r=-0.047, p=0.457.  Controlling for the order of survey administration (and therefore for the ‘priming’ 
of justice concerns mentioned above) did not substantially change this finding.  On this measure, at 
least, reporters of victimization and non-reporters did not differ.  Despite the suggestion that individuals 
high in just world beliefs are more likely to rationalize their suffering, it does not appear that this 
rationalization went so far as to result in the denial or forgetting of the types of events listed in the 
screener.  I therefore conclude that there is no evidence to suggest that the screener caused problems by 
biasing the sample selected in favor of individuals more likely to feel victimized.
Regression analyses
Page 18


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