Attributionally more complex people show less punitiveness and racism

Kim Pong Tam*, Al K C Au, Angela Ka Yee Leung

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


Based on past findings that attributionally more complex people make less fundamental attribution error, it was hypothesized that they would show less punitiveness and racism. In a study of 102 undergraduates, this hypothesis received robust support. The effect of attributional complexity was significant in two different punitiveness measures, a rehabilitation support measure, and two different racism measures. Also, this effect still held when demographic variables, crime victimization history, and need for cognition were statistically controlled. Moreover, attributional complexity mediated the effect of need for cognition and gender on punitiveness and racism. Theoretical implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1074-1081
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Research in Personality
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2008
Externally publishedYes


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