Attributing "Third World Poverty" in Australia and Malawi: A case of donor bias?

Danielle Campbell, Stuart C. Carr, Malcolm MacLachlan

    Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate


    Causal attributions for poverty in the developing world were examined from the perspectives of actors living in a developing country (Malawi) and observers living in a developed country (Australia). Ninety-eight Malawian and 100 Australian weekend shoppers responded to the Causes of Third World Poverty Questionnaire (CTWPQ) and the Just World Scale (JWS), with Australian participants also providing information about their frequency of donating to foreign-aid charities. Consistent with the actor-observer bias, Australians were more Likely than were Malawians to attribute poverty to dispositional characteristics of the poor, rather than to situational factors. Among the Australians, situational attributions were in turn associated with frequency of donation behavior. The finding of a donor bias in this sample has important implications for the social marketing of foreign aid to Western donor publics.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)409-430
    Number of pages22
    JournalJournal of Applied Social Psychology
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2001


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