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NCJ Number: 50903 Find in a Library
Title: SHOPLIFTING, APPEARANCE, AND THE LABELING PROCESS - SOME EXPERIMENTAL FINDINGS
Author(s): F A DESERAN; C S CHUNG
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 20
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: AN EXPERIMENT, CONDUCTED TO TEST THE CORRELATION BETWEEN ACTOR APPEARANCE AND SHOPLIFTING BEHAVIOR, ON ONE HAND, AND OBSERVER PERCEPTION OF THAT BEHAVIOR, ON THE OTHER, IS REPORTED.
Abstract: A REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE ON LABELING AND SHOPLIFTING PRECEDES A DESCRIPTION OF THE STUDY. A RANDOM SAMPLE OF 77 STUDENTS WERE ASSIGNED TO FOUR TREATMENT GROUPS, SHOWN VIDEOTAPES OF SIMULATED SHOPLIFTING SITUATIONS, AND QUESTIONED ON THEIR PERCEPTION OF THE ACTOR'S BEHAVIOR. THE SAME SETTING AND ACTRESS WERE USED IN EACH SCENE BUT THE ACTRESS' APPEARANCE AND BEHAVIOR WERE MANIPULATED TO PRESENT A 'HIPPIE' AND A 'STRAIGHT' PERSON AND SHOPLIFTING AND NONSHOPLIFTING BEHAVIORS. DEPENDENT VARIABLES WERE DERIVED FROM RESPONSES TO A QUESTIONNAIRE COMPLETED IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE TAPES WERE SHOWN. STUDENTS WERE QUESTIONED ABOUT THEIR PERCEPTION OF THE INTENTIONS AND INTERNAL DISPOSITIONS OF THE ACTRESS, AND ABOUT THEIR EXPERIENCES AND REACTIONS TO SHOPLIFTING AND THEIR DISPOSITION TO REPORT THE INCIDENT. THE FINDINGS SHOW THAT REACTIONS TO DEVIANT ACTS ARE NOT NECESSARILY UNDIMENSIONAL ESTIMATIONS OF IDENTITY AND THAT THE ATTRIBUTION OF INTERNAL QUALITIES TO AN ACTOR MAY BE SEPARATE FROM IMPUTATIONS OF THE SOCIAL LOCATION. WHEN REACTING TO BEHAVIOR WHICH IS KNOWN TO BE ASSOCIATED WITH SERIOUS SANCTIONS, AN OBSERVER INEVITABLY CONSIDERS THE CONSEQUENCES WHICH HIS (THE OBSERVERS'S) REACTIONS MAY HAVE FOR AN ACTOR. ONLY BY OBTAINING SOME IDEAS OF THE ACTOR'S SOCIAL IDENTITY AND INTENTION CAN THE OBSERVER ASSESS THIS EFFECT. THE IMPLICATIONS OF THESE FINDINGS IN RESEARCHING JURY REACTIONS ARE DISCUSSED. TABLES, ANALYZING THE STUDY DATA, AND BIBLIOGRAPHICAL REFERENCES ARE PROVIDED. (DAG)
Index Term(s): Behavior; Labeling theory; Perception; Shoplifting; Studies
Note: PAPER TO BE PRESENTED AT THE ANNUAL MEETINGS OF THE SOUTHWESTERN SOCIOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION, MARCH 1978, HOUSTON, TEXAS
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=50903

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