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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 62627 Find in a Library
Title: BYSTANDER REPORTING OF A CRIME-THE IMPACT OF INCENTIVES
Journal: CRIMINOLOGY  Volume:17  Issue:3  Dated:(NOVEMBER 1979)  Pages:283-300
Author(s): L BICKMAN; H HELWIG
Corporate Author: Sage Publications, Inc
United States of America
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 18
Sponsoring Agency: National Science Foundation
Arlington, VA 22230
Sage Publications, Inc
Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
Grant Number: GS-35280
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THIS REPORT DESCRIBES A FIELD EXPERIMENT THAT STUDIED BYSTANDER REPORTING OF A CRIME AND THE IMPACT OF MONETARY REWARDS AND ANONYMITY ON SUCH REPORTING.
Abstract: HUNDREDS OF INNOVATIVE COMMUNITY-ACTION PROGRAMS HAVE BEEN DESIGNED TO ENCOURAGE CITIZEN INVOLVEMENT BY OFFERING A MONETARY REWARD AND ANONYMITY TO ENCOURAGE CITIZENS TO REPORT A CRIME. IN THE EXPERIMENT, CONDITIONS OF ANONYMITY AND REWARD WERE UNOBTRUSIVELY VARIED DURING A SIMULATED INTERVIEW CONDUCTED WITH 120 SHOPPERS BEFORE THEY ENTERED A LARGE SUPERMARKET. RESULTS REVEALED A SIGNIFICANT RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE SUBJECTS' BEHAVIORAL INTENTIONS AND REPORTING BEHAVIORS, AND INDICATED THAT REWARD AND ANONYMITY DO NOT AFFECT THE REPORTING OF A CRIME. NO SIGNIFICANT INCREASE IN REPORTING BEHAVIOR WAS FOUND WHEN A REWARD WAS OFFERED. THIS LENDS TENTATIVE SUPPORT TO THE POSITION THAT REPORTING BEHAVIOR IS INTRINSICALLY MOTIVATED AT A HIGH LEVEL AND IS THEREFORE NOT INITIALLY AFFECTED BY THE PRESENCE OF AN EXTERNAL REWARD. ONE EXPLANATION FOR THE NONSIGNIFICANT RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ANONYMITY AND REPORTING BEHAVIOR MAY HAVE BEEN DUE TO AN INCOMPLETE PERCEPTION OF ANONYMITY ON THE PART OF SOME OF THE SUBJECTS. RESULTS THUS INDICATE THAT REWARD AND ANONYMITY MAY NOT BE AS EFFECTIVE AS THE PUBLIC WAS LED TO BELIEVE BY COMMUNITY ACTION PROGRAMS. NOTES AND REFERENCES ARE GIVEN. (MJW)
Index Term(s): Citizen crime reporting; Community action programs; Crime detection; Psychological research; Social psychology
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=62627

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