View all articles in this issue
The Role of Driver's Race and Victim Status in Attributions Toward Drunk Drivers
Download this article for $1.00 (FREE for Members)
by Brandon A. Gaudiano and Mark A. Statler - Saint Vincent College
Categories: Gender | Social
The present study assessed the effects of varying driver's race and the presence or absence of a victim on attributions of responsibility, punishment, and trait ratings of a drunk driver. Ninety-one participants, college students and members of surrounding communities, read 1 of 6 drunk-driving scenarios differing by driver's race and victim status and then completed a memory recall test and an attitude survey. Participants gave Caucasian drivers higher penalties and found them to be more daring and to have less self-control than African American drivers. An interaction existed between driver's race and victim status for cautious/daring trait ratings. In general, participants viewed African American drivers more favorably than Caucasian drivers. Results are explained by possible participant bias and internal attributions of the Caucasian driver.