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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 ## The measures of perceived victimization were entered into regression equations to predict, respectively, individual anger, self-ascriptions of secondary rights, and self-ascriptions of victim status. Victimization type was controlled using a series of fifteen dummy variables. In cases where more than one victimization type was indicated, the type was randomly assigned from among those indicated. Results for the dummy variables rarely proved significant in any model. Because they were not of direct interest in this study, and yet were voluminous, they are omitted from the results tables reported here. - Insert Table 5 here - The regression analyses show that perceptions of harm predicted all three outcomes, resulting in increased feelings of anger, increased self-ascription of secondary rights and increased willingness to use the term ‘victim’ to describe oneself. The importance of the perceived harm was not uniform, however. In the case of victim self-ascription, the introduction of the interaction terms caused statistical significance to drop below conventional levels. In the case of feelings of anger, by contrast, levels of perceived harm were by far the most important single predictor in the equation, the standardized coefficients being three times as large as those for perceived injustice. Contrary to expectations, the belief that causal responsibility for the event lay outside the victim was unrelated to any outcome in any model. This finding seems to contradict much existing work on responses to victimization which stresses the importance of attributional style as an important predictor of coping and other outcomes (e.g. Janoff-Bulman, 1979). Nevertheless, this finding is provocative, and will be discussed more in the conclusion of the paper. Page 19

Authors: Davies, Andrew.
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DRAFT – For permission to cite contact Andy Davies on ## email not listed ##
The measures of perceived victimization were entered into regression equations to predict, respectively, 
individual anger, self-ascriptions of secondary rights, and self-ascriptions of victim status. 
Victimization type was controlled using a series of fifteen dummy variables.  In cases where more than 
one victimization type was indicated, the type was randomly assigned from among those indicated. 
Results for the dummy variables rarely proved significant in any model.  Because they were not of 
direct interest in this study, and yet were voluminous, they are omitted from the results tables reported 
here.
- Insert Table 5 here -
 
The regression analyses show that perceptions of harm predicted all three outcomes, resulting in 
increased feelings of anger, increased self-ascription of secondary rights and increased willingness to 
use the term ‘victim’ to describe oneself.  The importance of the perceived harm was not uniform, 
however.  In the case of victim self-ascription, the introduction of the interaction terms caused 
statistical significance to drop below conventional levels.  In the case of feelings of anger, by contrast, 
levels of perceived harm were by far the most important single predictor in the equation, the 
standardized coefficients being three times as large as those for perceived injustice.
Contrary to expectations, the belief that causal responsibility for the event lay outside the victim was 
unrelated to any outcome in any model.  This finding seems to contradict much existing work on 
responses to victimization which stresses the importance of attributional style as an important predictor 
of coping and other outcomes (e.g. Janoff-Bulman, 1979).  Nevertheless, this finding is provocative, 
and will be discussed more in the conclusion of the paper.
Page 19


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