Attributions for Death: Healthy Behavior or Heavenly Intervention?

Attributions, Death, Health, Prevention, Religion

This study aimed to understand how people attribute the death of a target person and how preventative behaviors (health-oriented, religious-oriented behaviors, or no behaviors) as well as mortality outcomes (life and death) affect these explanations. The current study evaluated this phenomenon by utilizing an experimental factorial 3 (Health behaviors, religious behaviors, no behaviors) x 2 (Survival, Death) design by manipulating six case vignettes. Two hundred and fourty seven participants responded to these vignettes by revealing their perceptions of the causes of the presented outcome, the target person's survival or death. Results indicated a significant effect for both independent variables; types of preventative behaviors and health outcomes affected how individuals explained the death of a target person (ps <.001).

Thesis (M.A.) California State University, Los Angeles, 2011

Committee members: Heidi Riggio, Joel Ellwanger, Douglas Stenstrom, Senqi Hu