A Study on Gravity Perception, Causal Attributions and Risk Perception in the Work Accidents Victims Colleagues

Cécile van de Leemput, Ophélie Amelin

Abstract


The influence of causal explanations on the attitudes and behaviours of victims of work accidents is frequently testified. Studies highlight the reality of self-defensive bias, preserving the individual from the feelings of uncertainty and control loss. Focused on the colleagues of accident victims, this research, based on semi-structured interviews with 38 manual technical workers, showed that causal explanations refer mainly to bad luck or to the victims’ errors, this result varying according to accident severity. Workers with the same occupation and the same status estimated the severity of their colleague’s accident to be lower than that of other workers. Comparative optimism bias was observed for those who declare not to have modified their behaviours in the aftermath of the accident.


Keywords


accident severity;causal attribution;risk perception;comparative optimism;bad luck;error

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