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NCJ Number: 50910 Find in a Library
Title: REACTIONS TO VICTIMS OF CRIME - SYMPATHY, DEFENSIVE ATTRIBUTION, AND THE JUST WORLD
Journal: SOCIAL BEHAVIOR AND PERSONALITY  Volume:5  Issue:2  Dated:(1977)  Pages:295-304
Author(s): A R GOLD; P G LANDERMAN; K W BULLOCK
Corporate Author: Soc for Personality Research Inc
New Zealand
Date Published: 1977
Page Count: 10
Sponsoring Agency: Soc for Personality Research Inc
Wellington, New Zealand
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: New Zealand
Annotation: TWO STUDIES DESIGNED TO EXPLORE OBSERVORS' PERCEPTIONS OF THE RESPONSIBILITY OF A VICTIM FOR HER INVOLVEMENT IN A PREMEDITATED CRIME ARE REPORTED.
Abstract: STUDY SUBJECTS (112 FEMALE AND 99 MALE UNDERGRADUATES) LISTENED TO TAPES OF A PURPORTED FEMALE VICTIM DESCRIBING A CRIME (EITHER A RAPE OR A MUGGING). SEVERITY OF CRIME WAS MANIPULATED BY THE VICTIM'S DESCRIBING SOME CRIMES AS MORE BRUTAL OR SUCCESSFUL THAN OTHERS. PRIOR TO LISTENING TO THE TAPES, SUBJECTS IN THE SECOND STUDY COMPLETED A QUESTIONNAIRE DESIGNED TO MEASURE THE EXTENT TO WHICH THEY PERCEIVED THEMSELVES AS POTENTIAL VICTIMS OF A MUGGING OR RAPE. ALL SUBJECTS, AFTER LISTENING TO THE TAPES, ANSWERED QUESTIONS CONCERNING THEIR FEELINGS ABOUT THE CRIME, THE VICTIM, AND THE ATTACKER. THERE WAS A GENERAL TENDENCY TOWARD A SYMPATHETIC REACTION PATTERN: THE MORE SEVERE THE CRIME, THE LESS RESPONSIBILITY ASSIGNED TO THE VICTIM. THIS EFFECT WAS STRONGEST AMONG SUBJECTS WHO BELIEVED THEY HAD LITTLE LIKELIHOOD OF ENCOUNTERING A FATE SIMILAR TO THE VICTIM'S. SUBJECTS WHO BELIEVED THEY WERE LIKELY TO ENCOUNTER A FATE SIMILAR TO THE VICTIM'S TENDED TO MAKE DEFENSIVE ATTRIBUTIONS; I.E., TO ATTRIBUTE CHARACTERISTICS TO THE VICTIM THAT WOULD PRECLUDE THEIR OWN VICTIMIZATION. THE DATA SUGGEST THAT, IN THE ABSENCE OF A NEED TO REACT DEFENSIVELY, PEOPLE REACT SYMPATHETICALLY TO VICTIMS OF CRIME. THE FINDINGS HAVE IMPLICATIONS FOR JUROR ATTRIBUTION OF RESPONSIBILITY FOR CRIMES. SUPPORTING DATA ARE PROVIDED. (AUTHOR ABSTRACT MODIFIED--LKM)
Index Term(s): Mugging; Perception; Rape; Studies; Victim crime precipitation
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=50910

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