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NCJ Number: NCJ 095778     Find in a Library
Title: Copycat Crime Phenomenon (From Justice and the Media, P 199-211, 1984, Ray Surette, ed. - See NCJ-95768)
Author(s): S E Pease ; C T Love
Date Published: 1984
Page Count: 13
Sale Source: Charles C. Thomas
2600 South First Street
Springfield, IL 62704
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: 'Copycat' crime, in which a crime is copied from a television program or media portrayal of an actual criminal event, is a phenomenon which requires further systematic and complete research.
Abstract: Currently, no empirical or theoretical discussions deal exclusively with this phenomenon. However, considerable anecdotal evidence has appeared, particularly in publications dealing with mass media and its effects on behavior. The present review of a sample of incidents considered to be 'copycat' crimes revealed identifiable similarities among incidents. The 'copycat' criminals seemed to fall into at least four groupings with some overlap. 'Mode' copiers were those who already intended to commit a crime and who received a method from the media event. 'Group' copiers were those who copied acts in groups. The other two categories were mentally ill or mentally deficient copiers, terrorists, and threateners. The theoretical framework for future research should include this grouping or modifications as more systematic data clarify the appropriate dimensions of study. The case study is currently the most valuable approach to researching 'copycat' crimes. Later, laboratory studies will be useful. Fifteen references are listed.
Index Term(s): Media coverage ; Violence on television ; Television programming ; Nonbehavioral correlates of crime ; Media-crime relationships
   
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