Explanations of poverty in Australian and American samples: The person, society, or fate?

N. T. Feather

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    121 Citations (Scopus)


    A sample of Australian respondents from metropolitan Adelaide rated the degree of importance of 11 reasons for poverty previously used with adult Americans by Feagin (1972). Results indicated that the Australians were less likely to blame poverty on the poor themselves than the Americans. In both Australian and American samples reasons attributing poverty to personal responsibility were judged more important by older age groups and by Protestants compared with Catholics. Responses were also related to differences in sex, occupational status, educational attainment, and income. Factor analysis yielded three factors indicating that the 11 explanations of poverty could be clasified as reasons concerned with socio‐economic influences, with personal responsibility, and with personal misfortune. Results were discussed in terms of the psychology of causal attribution and their implications for social change were noted. 1974 Australian Psychological Society

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)199-216
    Number of pages18
    JournalAustralian Journal of Psychology
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 1974


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