No. #110

Defensive Attribution Hypothesis
- Rationalizing Harm to Feel Safe

The defensive attribution hypothesis suggests people tend to attribute causes of accidents or misfortunes to external factors or the actions of others, particularly when identifying with the victim, to feel safer themselves. This can influence how users perceive safety-related information or products, potentially skewing risk assessments.

Read more on Wikipedia

Product example

Users might underestimate the safety risks of an activity promoted by a product (like extreme sports equipment) because they believe responsible use will prevent accidents, despite inherent risks.

Empathy tips


Highlight Real Risks

Clearly communicate the real risks associated with product use, emphasizing the importance of safety measures.


User Education on Risk Perception

Educate users on how defensive attributions can skew their risk perception.


Safety Feature Promotion

Promote and highlight the safety features of products to reassure users.


Feedback on Safety Practices

Encourage user feedback on safety practices and perceptions to identify and address defensive attribution biases.

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