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NCJ Number: 67171 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: THEFT VICTIMS' DECISION TO CALL THE POLICE - AN EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH (FROM THE ROLE OF THE FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGIST, 1980, BY GERALD COOKE - SEE NCJ-67157
Author(s): M S GREENBERG; R B RUBACK; E W WILSON; M K MILLS
Corporate Author: Charles C. Thomas
United States of America
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 12
Sponsoring Agency: Charles C. Thomas
Springfield, IL 62704
US Dept of Health, Education, and Welfare
Washington, DC 20203
Grant Number: MH 27526
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE RESEARCH DESCRIBED DEMONSTRATES THE UTILITY OF USING AN EXPERIMENTAL PARADIGM TO INVESTIGATE THEFT VICTIMS' DECISIONS TO CALL THE POLICE AND THE FACTORS WHICH INFLUENCE THE VICTIM'S DECISIONMAKING PROCESS.
Abstract: INSTEAD OF GATHERING DATA THROUGH THE INVESTIGATION OF ACTUAL CASES, IN WHICH NATURALISTIC OBSERVATION AND VICTIM SELF-REPORTS POSE FORMIDABLE PROBLEMS FOR SCIENTIFIC STUDY, RESEARCHERS CREATED THEIR OWN VICTIMS BY HIRING PARTICIPANTS WITH ALL POSSIBLE VARIETIES OF DEMOGRAPHIC CHARACTERISTICS. DESCRIPTIONS FOCUS ON THE SETTINGS FOR THE FICTITIOUS THEFTS AND THE WAYS IN WHICH THE PARTICIPANTS WERE LED TO BELIEVE THAT THEY HAD BEEN THE VICTIMS OF AN ACTUAL THEFT. FOUR EXPERIMENTS WERE CONDUCTED, AT THE CONCLUSION OF WHICH THE PARTICIPANTS WERE ASKED TO DESCRIBE THEIR PERCEPTIONS OF THE EVENTS IN THE EXPERIMENT. THEY WERE ALSO ASKED TO COMPLETE AN ANONYMOUS QUESTIONNAIRE ASSESSING THEIR REASONS FOR PARTICIPATING IN THE STUDIES. THIS CONTROLLED EXPERIMENT OFFERED A UNIQUE OPPORTUNITY FOR OBSERVING VICTIMS' DISCOVERY OF THEIR VICTIMIZATION AND THEIR SUBSEQUENT DECISIONMAKING. VARIABLES INFLUENCING THE DECISION TO REPORT THE CRIME WERE FOUND TO BE THE CHARACTERISTICS OF THE VICTIM, THE OFFENDER, AND THE BYSTANDER; VICTIMS' AGE, RACE, SEX, FAMILY EARNINGS, AND DEGREE OF ANGER ALSO INFLUENCED THE DECISION, AS DID BYSTANDERS' OFFERS OF SUPPORT IN THE VICTIM'S SUBSEQUENT DEALINGS WITH THE POLICE. FURTHER RESEARCH IS NEEDED TO EXPLORE THE BASES FOR VICTIMS' DECISIONS TO REPORT CRIMES OF THEFT. THE UNDERSTANDING DERIVED FROM SUCH RESEARCH CAN SERVE TO ENHANCE THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM, SINCE VICTIMS ARE THE PRINCIPAL GATEKEEPERS OF THE SYSTEM. A LIST OF 12 REFERENCES IS INCLUDED. (LGR)
Index Term(s): Citizen crime reporting; Decisionmaking; Research design models; Theft offenses; Unreported crimes; Victim reactions to crime; Victimology
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