Development Social Psychology

Ep 201: Mother Nature and Blaming the Victim

We know that many people have a tendency to blame victims even when something tragic and unexplainable happens to them. But did you know how easily this blaming can be triggered? If I were to describe a natural disaster and tell you about “mother nature’s wrath” would you be more or less willing to help the victims? I’ll also talk about two common occurrences in adolescence: the imaginary audience and the personal fable. Find out more in this episode of The Psych Files.


  • Imaginary Audience: The feeling that adolescents have that they are being constantly being watched and judged by others
  • Personal Fable: adolescents often perceive themselves as special and unique, believing that no one can relate to their personal experiences. They also have “Exagerrated feelings of… invulnerability”.

Previous Episodes on Blaming the Victim



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    August 29, 2013

    I just came across an interesting article about a course being taught at the Air Force Academy, and it made me think about this podcast and some of the ideas discussed:

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    Paul Brodie

    August 29, 2013

    Interesting topic. If anthropomorphising reduces likelihood to help victims of a natural disaster, how does anthropomorphism affect a person's attitude towards taking care of the Earth?

    Earth Day fliers and the like will portray the Earth with arms and a face. Sometimes we hear of the Earth as being "sick" as a result of pollutants and so forth. Do the findings of the study mentioned in this episode generalize to people's attitudes towards the global warming debate and whether or not they will participate in recycling and conservation efforts?

    If a person anthropomorphises by saying Mother Earth caused the tsunami devestation in Japan so I don't need to help, what about if a person anthropomorphises the Earth as being sick, would they then blame the victim, meaning the Earth? They might say, if the Earth has arms and a face, why can't it take care of itself? The subtlety of influencers on human thought and behavior is amazing to me. Blaming the victim continues to be an interesting topic.

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