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NCJ Number: 65872 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: ADDITIVITY AND INTERACTIONS IN OFFENSE SERIOUSNESS SCALES
Journal: JOURNAL OF RESEARCH IN CRIME AND DELINQUENCY  Volume:17  Issue:1  Dated:(JANUARY 1980)  Pages:26-41
Author(s): S D GOTTFREDSON; K L YOUNG; W S LAUFER
Corporate Author: National Council on Crime and Delinquency
United States of America
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 16
Sponsoring Agency: National Council on Crime and Delinquency
Newark, NJ 07102
US Dept of Justice
Washington, DC 20531
Grant Number: 78-NI-AX-0152
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THIS ARTICLE EXAMINES THE SELLIN AND WOLFGANG OFFENSE SERIOUSNESS INDEX AND THE ASSUMPTION THAT ELEMENTS OF THE INDEX ARE SIMPLY ADDITIVE.
Abstract: THIS ASSUMPTION IS AN ISSUE OF CONCERN IN THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION OF OFFENSE SERIOUSNESS SCALES. RECENT ATTEMPTS TO VERIFY THE ADDITIVITY ASSUMPTION IMPLICIT IN THE SCALE HAVE GIVEN MIXED BUT DAMAGING RESULTS. THIS REPORT DISCUSSES ADDITIVITY WITHIN THE CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK OF INTERACTION. TWO STUDIES WERE CONDUCTED TO INVESTIGATE THE ADDITIVE NATURE OF JUDGED SERIOUSNESS BY ASSESSING THE NATURE OF SUCH INTERACTION--IF ANY. THE FIRST STUDY REQUIRED SUBJECTS TO JUDGE THE RELATIVE SERIOUSNESS OF 5 OFFENSE DESCRIPTIONS ON A 1 TO 11 SCALE, WITH 1 BEING THE LEAST SERIOUS. SUBJECTS WERE 159 UNDERGRADUATE AND GRADUATE STUDENTS. FINDINGS INDICATED THAT PEOPLE CONSIDER NOT ONLY THE TYPE OF OFFENSE AND THE AMOUNT OF LOSS INCURRED WHEN JUDGING THE SERIOUSNESS OF CRIMINAL ACTS, BUT ALSO THE INTERACTION BETWEEN THE TWO. A SECOND STUDY USING, 158 UNDERGRADUATES EXTENDED THE FIRST INVESTIGATION BY THE INCLUSION OF TWO ADDITIONAL OFFENSE TYPES: A RAPE RESULTING IN MONETARY LOSS AND AN ARMED ROBBERY IN WHICH THE VICTIM WAS KILLED. THE STUDY METHOD REMAINED THE SAME. RESULTS OF THE PREVIOUS STUDY WERE REPLICATED: THE MAIN EFFECTS FOR CRIME TYPE AND FOR DOLLAR VALUE ARE STATISTICALLY SIGNIFICANT AS IN THE INTERACTION EFFECT OF CRIME TYPE AND DOLLAR VALUE. QUITE CLEARLY, ROBBERY AND RAPE CONTRIBUTE GREATLY TO THE INTERACTION EFFECT. THE STUDIES THUS SUGGEST THAT THE TYPE OF OFFENSE AND THE AMOUNT OF LOSS INCURRED AS WELL AS THE INTERACTION BETWEEN THE TWO SHOULD BE CONSIDERED WHEN JUDGING THE SERIOUSNESS OF CRIMINAL OR DELINQUENT ACTS. TABLES, NOTES, AND REFERENCES ARE PROVIDED. (MJM)
Index Term(s): Behavior typologies; Crime prediction; Crime seriousness measures; Offenses; Psychological research; Research; Research methods
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=65872

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