Assigning vicarious responsibility

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Abstract

An experiment tested three hypotheses about the conditions under which someone can be held vicariously responsible for the actions of another. Two of the hypotheses received empirical support: that the vicariously responsible person is in a superior relationship to the person who caused the damage and is able to control that person's causing of the damage. A third hypotheis, that a person is held vicariously responsible because of a relatively greater ability to pay compensation to the victim, was not supported.

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