How does the source of rejection perceive innocent victims?

Kai Tak POON, Zhansheng CHEN

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Prior studies have consistently revealed a strong positive association between general just-world beliefs and victim blaming. The present research aims to extend the literature by testing whether an act of social rejection overrides the influence of general just-world beliefs on victim blaming. Building upon the theory of moral compensation that people are more prosocial after behaving undesirably, we predicted that people should be less likely to blame an innocent victim after rejecting another person and that general just-world beliefs were not associated with victim blaming among the sources of rejection. To test these predictions, participants first completed a measure of general just-world beliefs and then recalled a past incident in which they rejected or accepted another person. They then read a scenario about school bullying and made attributions for the victim’s suffering. The results supported our predictions and the implications of the study are discussed. Copyright © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)515-526
JournalThe Journal of Social Psychology
Issue number5
Early online dateAug 2015
Publication statusPublished - 2015


Poon, K.-T., & Chen, Z. (2015). How does the source of rejection perceive innocent victims?. The Journal of Social Psychology, 155(5), 515-526.


  • Just-world beliefs
  • Rejection
  • Social exclusion
  • Sources of rejection
  • Victim blaming


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