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NCJ Number: 51157 Find in a Library
Title: JUST WORLD IN THE 'REAL WORLD' - ATTRIBUTIONS ABOUT CRIME AS A FUNCTION OF GROUP MEMBERSHIP, VICTIM PRECIPITATION AND INJURY
Author(s): K W ELLISON
Date Published: 1976
Page Count: 122
Sponsoring Agency: UMI Dissertation Services
Ann Arbor, MI 48106-1346
Sale Source: UMI Dissertation Services
300 North Zeeb Road
P.O. Box 1346
Ann Arbor, MI 48106-1346
United States of America
Type: Thesis/Dissertation
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: HYPOTHESES CONCERNING ATTITUDES TOWARDS VICTIMS OF RAPE AND ROBBERY WERE TESTED, WITH ATTENTION TO RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN VICTIM PRECIPITATION AND VICTIM INJURY AND OFFENDER SENTENCING.
Abstract: ONE HUNDRED RESPONDENTS WERE CHOSEN AT RANDOM FROM EACH OF TWO GROUPS--POLICEMAN AND MEMBERS OF FEMINIST ORGANIZATIONS--WITHIN WHICH IT WAS FELT THERE MIGHT EXIST STRONG GROUP PRESSURE REGARDING THE ATTRIBUTION OF FAULT TO VICTIMS OF ROBBERY OR RAPE. A SECOND SAMPLE OF 200 RESPONDENTS, MATCHED FOR AGE, SEX, RACE, AND EDUCATIONAL LEVEL WITH THE RESPONDENTS OF THE SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS, WAS DRAWN FROM THE GENERAL, ENGLISH-SPEAKING ADULT POPULATION OF NEW JERSEY. THE 400 RESPONDENTS WERE THEN PRESENTED WITH 8 VIGNETTES COVERING RAPE AND ROBBERY, 2 PRECIPITATION CONDITIONS (PRECIPITATION AND NO APPARENT PRECIPITATION), AND 2 INJURY CONDITIONS (NO INJURY AND SERIOUS INJURY). TO DETERMINE THE PERVASIVENESS OF THE 'JUST WORLD' NOTION, THAT IS, THAT PEOPLE GET WHAT THEY DESERVE AND DESERVE WHATEVER FATE BEFALLS THEM, THE RESPONDENTS WERE ASKED WHAT SENTENCE THEY CONSIDERED APPROPRIATE FOR THE CRIMES, TO WHAT EXTENT THEY CONSIDERED THE VICTIM TO BE AT FAULT, WHY EACH CRIME HAPPENED TO A PARTICULAR VICTIM, AND TO WHAT EXTENT THE VICTIM DESERVED WHAT HAPPENED. FOR ALL THREE GROUPS, VICTIM PRECIPITATION DID NOT AFFECT SENTENCING, ALTHOUGH IT DID AFFECT THE ATTRIBUTION OF FAULT TO THE VICTIM; SIGNIFICANTLY MORE FAULT WAS LAID TO THE VICTIM WHEN PRECIPITATION WAS PRESENT. THE TENDENCY TO FEEL THAT THE VICTIM DESERVED WHAT HAPPENED CORRELATED SIGNIFICANTLY WITH THE ATTRIBUTION OF VICTIMIZATION TO ACTS OR FORCES UNDER THE VICTIM'S CONTROL. FEMINISTS, LIKE THE OTHER GROUPS, FOUND SIGNIFICANTLY MORE FAULT IN THE PRECIPITATION CONDITION FOR BOTH ROBBERY AND RAPE. THESE FINDINGS CONTRADICT CONTENTIONS, BOTH OF OTHER PSYCHOLOGISTS WHO HAVE STUDIED ATTRIBUTION AND OF FEMINISTS, CONCERNING PREVALENT ATTITUDES TOWARD VICTIMS, ESPECIALLY THOSE OF RAPE. A LITERATURE REVIEW IS INCLUDED, ALONG WITH A DISCUSSION OF IMPLICATIONS FOR ATTRIBUTION THEORY, FOR POPULAR FEMINIST MYTHOLOGY, AND FOR LAW AND PUBLIC POLICY. TABLES AND FIGURES ILLUSTRATE THE FINDINGS. APPENDED MATERIAL INCLUDE THE INTERVIEW SCHEDULE AND ADDITIONAL STATISTICAL TABLES. A BIBLIOGRAPY IS ALSO PROVIDED. (KJM)
Index Term(s): Attitudes; Females; New Jersey; Police attitudes; Public Attitudes/Opinion; Rape; Robbery; Sentencing/Sanctions; Victim crime precipitation; Victimology
Note: CITY UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK - DOCTORAL DISSERTATION
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=51157

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