Attributions for "Third World" poverty: Contextual factors in Australia and Brazil

Stuart C. Carr, Hoda Taef, Rosaura M.S. De Ribeiro, Malcolm Maclachlan

    Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate


    Western (or "First World') societies continue to be confronted by the ever growing prob lem of "Third World" poverty. Financial donationsfrom "Western "publics are onepos sible contribution to seeking remedies, but these partly depend on donor experience and perceptions, which are likely to be indirect and subject to attributional biases. Exposing such biases may help to correct them. This paper compares attributions for Third World poverty between Brazilian "actors" living in a developing economy and Australian "ob servers" living in a more industrialised one. One hundred textile workers completed Harper et al.'s Causes of Third World Poverty Questionnaire and Lerner's Just World Scale, with both scales back-translated into Portuguese for the Brazilians. Australians were more likely to stress natural disasters, reflecting the focus of their own media, whereas Brazilians consistently emphasised national corruption. Thesefindings indi cate tbe influence of local perspective, thereby implying that there is scope for donor publics to be sensitised to alternative perceptions of poverty.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)103-114
    Number of pages12
    JournalPsychology and Developing Societies
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 1998


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