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Abstract

This article explores differences in blame attributions between men and women in a consumer context. The first experiment finds that women blame a company more than men for a product harm crisis. A second experiment replicates these results in a different product harm crisis and suggests the process underlying these differences. The results of tests of mediation suggest that women blame a company more than men for a product harm crisis because they feel more personally vulnerable to a similar crisis occurring to them. The tests of mediation also show that empathic concern is not the reason driving the differences between men and women in consumer attributions of blame despite observed differences on this personality trait. The theoretical and practical implications of this research are discussed. © 2004 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.