The Second Experiment

Observers’ Reactions to the ‘Innocent Victim’
  • Melvin J. Lerner
Part of the Perspectives in Social Psychology book series (CISJ)


There was no question of what the next study should be. We wanted to look at the plaguing tragedy of the derogation of innocent victims in our society. It so obviously happens, and the problem has so many facets, from learning to make fun of the “class jerk” in school, to stigmatizing the mentally and physically crippled, and perpetuating the vicious stereotypes applied to the victims of our social and economic system. Is it possible that the motivation to find justice in our world could lead to the perpetuation of the very social stereotypes which stand as a major impediment to the creation of actual social justice?


Human Learning Negative Reinforcement Innocent Victim Check Mark World Theory 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Melvin J. Lerner
    • 1
  1. 1.University of WaterlooWaterlooCanada

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