Olav Gjelsvik
University of Oslo
Edmund Henden
Oslo Metropolitan University
ABSTRACT This article reports the result of a survey about causal beliefs, normative conceptions and moral evaluations of addicts and addiction in the general population. Specifically, we focused on four issues: To what extent are the normative conceptions of addiction current in the philosophical and scientific literature reflected in laypersons' conception of addiction? How do laypersons rate addicts on perceived responsibility? Which factors influence laypersons' responsibility attributions in the context of addiction? What feelings and attitudes (anger/sympathy/help-giving intentions) do laypersons have toward addicts? We found that, although laypersons seem to assume a weakness view of addiction, their patterns of responsibility attributions vary depending on type of drugs combined with perceived severity of outcome, where the latter even overrides the attributional effects of the actor's perceived control over events. Some explanations of the data are suggested, and various consequences with respect to help-giving behavior, are discussed
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DOI 10.1080/0020174X.2013.806143
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