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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 114672 Find in a Library
Title: Mass Communications Experiment: Changing Attitudes Towards the Death Penalty
Author(s): G W Knox; L Campos; C Anaele
Date Published: 1988
Page Count: 20
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper reports on the test of a prototype model for inducing attitudinal change regarding the death penalty in the United States.
Abstract: Although enormous expenditures are common in the advertising industry and within government campaigns designed to change public opinion, such efforts have not been used to gain greater support for the abolition of capital punishment in the United States. The prototype model tested involved a baseline survey among students of a predominantly black midwestern university to identify those who favor the death penalty. Within this sample, random assignment was used to create control and experimental groups. The control group was given a 'placebo' criminal justice document, and the experimental group was given a document by the American Civil Liberties Union entitled, 'Case Against the Death Penalty.' Both groups were motivated to read the documents and answer questions based on the reading. Some evidence of attitudinal change was found in the testing. Implications for jurisprudence are discussed. 1 table, 2 figures, 5 references.
Main Term(s): Abolishment of capital punishment
Index Term(s): Capital punishment; Public Attitudes/Opinion; Public education
Note: A paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Criminology, November 10, 1988, Chicago, Ill.
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