Anger and blame in three technological disasters

Authors

  • Michael J. Solomon,

    1. Department of Psychiatry, University College London Medical School, London, UK
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  • James Thompson

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Psychiatry, University College London Medical School, London, UK
    • Department of Psychiatry, University College London Medical School, Mortimer Street, London WIN 8AA, UK. Tel: 0171 380 9470. Fax: 0171 323 1459
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Abstract

This article describes an investigation into the long-term reactions of disaster survivors, including the extent of their psychological distress and the ways in which they apportion blame for what happened to them. Three technological disasters were chosen to cover a range of traumatic experiences and degrees of possible blame. The main results were the identification of continuing high levels of distreess, intermingled with high levels of specifically targeted anger, and blame which was relatively sharply focused on those named publicly as having caused the accidents. There were also strong fears of other disasters happening again and a widespread perception that justice was not done.

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