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NCJ Number: 193008 Find in a Library
Title: In a Violent World a Just World Makes Sense: The Case of "Senseless Violence" in the Netherlands
Journal: Social Justice Research  Volume:14  Issue:1  Dated:March 2001  Pages:79-94
Author(s): Hein F. M. Lodewijkx; Tim Wildschut; Bernard A. Nijstad; Wim Savenije; Marieke Smit
Date Published: March 2001
Page Count: 16
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Netherlands
Annotation: This experimental study sought to determine the circumstances under which outside observers in the Netherlands would regard violence as senseless
Abstract: The study used Lerner’s Just World Theory and arose from violent incidents in the Netherlands and the subsequent nationwide debates about their apparent senselessness. The participants all lived in the Netherlands and included 35 students at Utrecht University, 49 residents of Utrecht and Ysselstein, and employees of 2 companies in Rotterdam. Participants rated scenarios of violent acts. The scenarios varied with respect to the victim’s blameworthiness and personal characteristics. Results revealed that the participants were more likely to regard an act of violence as senseless and to identify with the victim when no opportunity existed to blame the victim and when the victim had no involvement with the perpetrator. The analysis concluded that people regard acts of violence as senseless when their mechanisms for maintaining the belief in a just world fail to operate. Footnotes and 22 references
Main Term(s): Public Opinion of Crime
Index Term(s): Crime in foreign countries; Criminal methods; Netherlands; Victim crime precipitation; Victim-offender relationships; Violence causes; Violent crimes
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