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    Actors, Observers, and Attributions for Third World Poverty: Contrasting Perspectives from Malawi and Australia

    Carr, Stuart C. and MacLachlan, Malcolm (1998) Actors, Observers, and Attributions for Third World Poverty: Contrasting Perspectives from Malawi and Australia. The Journal of Social Psychology, 138 (2). pp. 189-202. ISSN 0022-4545

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    “Actors” and “observers” attributions for Third World poverty were assessed. Dispositional attributions were expected to be linked to the withholding of personal donations to overseas aid. A combined total of 582 undergraduates from the University of Malawi (n = 251) and the University of Newcastle in Australia (n = 331) completed the Causes of Third World Poverty Questionnaire, which measures one dispositional factor (Blame the Poor) and three situational factors (Nature, National Governments, and International Exploitation). Strong advocates of donation behavior made the least dispositional attributions, but Malawians blamed dispositions more than did Australians, who blamed situations more than did Malawians. This reversed observer-actor bias underscores the critical influence of community context over societal culture and indicates that social cognition may be relevant to international aid efforts.

    Item Type: Article
    Keywords: Actors; Observers; Attributions; Third World Poverty; Contrasting Perspectives; Malawi; Australia;
    Academic Unit: Assisting Living & Learning,ALL institute
    Faculty of Science and Engineering > Psychology
    Item ID: 16442
    Identification Number:
    Depositing User: Malcolm MacLachlan
    Date Deposited: 23 Aug 2022 15:48
    Journal or Publication Title: The Journal of Social Psychology
    Publisher: Taylor and Francis Group
    Refereed: Yes
    Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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