I blame therefore it was: Rape myth acceptance, victim blaming, and memory reconstruction

Rael J. Dawtry, Philip J. Cozzolino, Mitchell J. Callan

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14 Citations (SciVal)
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We examined the causal order of relationships between rape myth acceptance (RMA), victim blaming, and memory reconstruction. In Study 1, RMA-congruent memory (or alternatively, victim blaming) mediated the relationship between RMA and victim blaming (memory reconstruction). In Study 2, similar relationships emerged between RMA, victim blaming, and memory reconstruction. Although no mediation of RMA occurred in Study 2 independently, a mini meta-analysis of Studies 1 and 2 data replicated both patterns of mediation observed in Study 1. In Study 3, memory accuracy for neutral details of a rape scenario was unrelated to RMA. Manipulating memory to be more (vs. less) RMA congruent had no effect on victim blaming (Study 4), although manipulating perceived victim blameworthiness (Studies 5 and 6) produced RMA-congruent memory reconstruction when the victim was more (vs. less) blameworthy. The results suggest that, via victim blaming, RMA motivates a memory reconstruction process that explains and justifies victim blaming after the fact.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1269-1282
Number of pages14
JournalPersonality and Social Psychology Bulletin
Issue number8
Early online date11 Jan 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2019


  • memory reconstruction
  • rape myths
  • victim blaming

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology


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