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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 99734 Find in a Library
Title: Social Background, Emotionality, and Belief as Predictors of Punitiveness Toward Deviants
Journal: Sociological Spectrum  Volume:5  Issue:1-2  Dated:(1985)  Pages:119-138
Author(s): D R South; M Matre
Date Published: 1985
Page Count: 20
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The relationship between sociocultural background, emotionality, and beliefs about human nature and deviance and punitiveness was investigated in questionnaire data for 374 students at 3 Tennessee colleges.
Abstract: Specific variables examined in relation to punitiveness included sex; political and religious orientations; emotionality toward deviance; causal externality; functionalism; and beliefs about human trustworthiness, altruism, strength of will, independence, complexity, rationality, and variability. These variables were examined with respect to the offenses of child abuse, armed robbery, alcoholism, murder, embezzlement, and rape. While relationships varied among specific offenses, in general, lesser punitiveness was associated with female sex, liberal orientation, positive views of human nature, nonfundamentalist religious orientation, and lower emotionality. Overall, the results offer reasonably strong support for the supposition that differing experiential backgrounds are linked with differing views of human nature, and that these, in turn, are linked with punitiveness toward deviance. The best overall predictor of punitiveness was fundamentalist religious orientation, and emotionality tended to dominate belief in predicting behavior toward deviance. Included are tabular data and 12 references.
Index Term(s): Behavioral science research; Deviance; Public Opinion of Corrections; Public Opinion of Crime; Punishment; Tennessee
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