Date of Award


Publication Type

Doctoral Thesis

Degree Name




First Advisor

Page, Stewart,


Psychology, Social.




The present study tested the ability of Weiner's (1993a, 1995a, 1995b, 1996) social motivation model to explain Canadians' and Netherlanders' willingness to engage in prosocial behaviours toward people flying with FIN and lung cancer. Participants were 207 Canadian and 97 Netherlander undergraduate psychology students who responded to a scenario involving a boy or man flying with HIV or lung cancer. Overall, participants from both countries responded similarly and positively. Participants were relatively more positive toward those who acquired the illness through passive routes (i.e., blood transfusion, mother-to-infant-transmission, unknown cause) rather than active routes (i.e., smoking, sex, injection-drug use), but type of disease had little effect on responses. In other words, responses were based on the perceived morality of behaviour rather than on the type of illness. In support of Weiner's theory, participants who thought that the person in the scenario had control over the way in which his illness was acquired also judged him to be more responsible for his illness. Moreover, participants who judged the affected male to be more responsible tended to respond with less sympathy and more negative affect, which, in turn, predicted lower levels of prosocial behaviour. Weiner's model was improved, however, by the addition of blame as a distinct construct. Moreover, pre-existing social attitudes (e.g., attitudes toward gay men, belief in a just world, etc.) had a direct influence on emotions and behaviours. These findings indicate that AIDS education and prevention programs may be able to reduce attributions of culpability for HIV-infection by targeting personal prejudices and making it explicit that cultural, political, and social factors influence behaviour.Dept. of Psychology. Paper copy at Leddy Library: Theses & Major Papers - Basement, West Bldg. / Call Number: Thesis1999 .M351. Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 61-09, Section: B, page: 5057. Adviser: Stewart Page. Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 1999.