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NCJ Number: 67561 Find in a Library
Title: ATTRIBUTIONS IN THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE PROCESS - CONCEPTS AND EMPIRICAL ILLUSTRATIONS (FROM NEW DIRECTIONS IN PSYCHOLEGAL RESEARCH, 1980, BY PAUL D LIPSETT AND BRUCE DENNIS SALES - SEE NCJ-71016)
Author(s): D PERLMAN
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 17
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THIS ARTICLE DISCUSSES THE CONCEPTS AND PROVIDES EMPIRICAL ILLUSTRATIONS OF THE IMPORTANCE OF ATTRIBUTION THEORY FOR UNDERSTANDING CRIMINAL JUSTICE PROCESSES.
Abstract: ATTRIBUTION THEORY FOCUSES ON HOW PEOPLE EXPLAIN THE CAUSES OF BEHAVIOR. THE PROCESS OF MAKING CAUSAL ATTRIBUTIONS CAN BE DIVIDED INTO TWO STEPS--CAUSAL ASSIGNMENT WHERE THE OBSERVER MUST DECIDE WHETHER THE BEHAVIOR WAS CAUSED BY ENVIRONMENTAL OR DISPOSITIONAL FACTORS, AND DISPOSITIONAL INFERENCES WHERE THE OBSERVER CAN DECIDE WHICH SPECIFIC DISPOSITIONS WERE IMPORTANT. THESE TWO FOCI ARE CONSIDERED SEQUENTIALLY, DRAWING ON KELLEY'S INSIGHTS FOR CAUSAL ASSIGNMENT AND JONE AND DAVIS' THEORY OF CORRESPONDENT INFERENCES FOR THE DISPOSITIONAL FACTOR. THE SYNTHESIS OF THEORIZING ON THESE TWO COMPONENT STEPS IS ALSO DISCUSSED. THE ADVANTAGES OF AN ATTRIBUTION THEORY APPROACH TO LEGAL PHENOMENA ARE OUTLINED. THE CLASSIC CONCERNS OF ATTRIBUTION THEORIESTS ARE SEEN AS CLOSE IN NATURE TO THE CONCERNS OF LEGAL DECISIONMAKERS. GIVEN THE NOTION OF DISCRETION, LEGAL DECISIONMAKERS NATURALLY HAVE AN INTEREST IN THE CAUSES OF AN OFFENDERS ACTIONS AND ATTRIBUTION THEORY UNIQUELY PROVIDES AN UNDERSTANDING OF OF CAUSAL INFERENCES, AND THE CONSEQUENCES THAT SUCH INFERENCES MAY HAVE IN THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE PROCESS. ALTHOUGH NOT THE ONLY PSYCHOLOGICAL THEORY FOR GUIDING CRIMINAL JUSTICE RESEARCH AND PRACTICE, ATTRIBUTIONAL CONCEPTS ARE SALIENT FOR DECISIONMAKERS AND CAN BE USED IN CONJUNCTION WITH OTHER THEORETICAL MODELS EMPLOYED IN PSYCHOLOGY-LAW INTERFACE. ATTRIBUTION RESEARCH IS CURRENTLY BEING DONE ON SUCH TOPICS AS SENTENCING AND PAROLE, INTERACTION OF POLICE WITH CITIZENS, CREDIBILITY OF COURTROOM TESTIMONY, AND CRIME PREVENTION EFFORTS. REFERENCES ARE CITED. (MJW)
Index Term(s): Attribution theory; Criminality prediction; Legal research; Psychological research; Psychological theories; Studies
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=67561

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