Derogation of the victim refers to the tendency of an observer to negatively evaluate someone hurt by the action of another. Victim derogation has been a core feature of social psychology for decades, but evidence suggests this phenomenon is weakening. It may even be reversing into a valorization of victims. Is this empirical pattern due to methodological changes and shifts in theoretical framing of victim studies, or have there been large-scale cultural changes in how we view victims? This review outlines the theoretical and methodological origins of the derogation effect. It then discusses contemporary research streams that show the malleability of victim perception in research that considers the entire harmful social interaction. These studies suggest that shifts in broader social, political, and cultural environments may have impacted the social psychological foundations of derogation.

Expected final online publication date for the , Volume 50 is July 2024. Please see http://www.annualreviews.org/page/journal/pubdates for revised estimates.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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