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Defensive attribution has been widely researched by social psychologists since the 1960s. Defensive attribution is the bias, present in most people, that leads to blaming a victim of misfortune for his/her role in the misfortune. Among the first research studies on the topic of defensive attribution was a study that found accident victims were perceived as more responsible for the accident when their injuries were more serious than when they were minimal. Experimenters presented the facts of an accident to research participants, varying only whether the victim’s injuries were minor or serious. Although, at the time, the results were surprising to the researchers, the concept of defensive attribution is now a well known phenomenon in the field of social psychology. It is not well known, however, among members of the general public, including attorneys. When I am working with plaintiffs’ attorneys, particularly on personal injury cases, they are often stunned at what they believe is callousness and ill will on the part of the mock jurors and other research participants. The attorneys ask me why, given the serious and permanent nature of their client’s injuries, certain people are reluctant to compensate them by awarding substantial sums of money. I explain that, due to many people’s biased decision making, including their defensive attribution, they blame the victim of misfortune as a self protection device, fearing that the horrible accident might happen to them, then re-aligning their thoughts to conclude it could never happen to them because it was something about the plaintiff that caused the accident to happen. For most people, blaming the victim is a sure way to protect their image as a careful person who would never, ever, get hurt and further, the only reason the plaintiff got hurt was that he/she had bad luck, was doomed by fate, or otherwise partly “had it coming” when the defendant’s actions led to the accident and injuries. Taken to its logical conclusion, defensive attribution protects us from believing we will suffer the same fate as the injured person if we convince ourselves to believe accidents happen only to those who are negligent. Understanding the concept of defensive attribution is critical for anyone who interprets jury decisions as well as many other aspects of human decision making.