Social Influences on Judgments of Rape Victims: The Role of the Negative and Positive Social Reactions of Others
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An experimental study examined whether judgments about a rape victim can be influenced by the social reactions of others, and whether this effect would be moderated by the type of rape (stranger or date rape) or by the gender of the participants. One hundred and ten U.S. college students (90% white; 59% female) responded to rape vignettes in which the type of rape and the social reactions received by the victim (negative, positive, or neutral) were manipulated. People exposed to negative social reactions made less positive judgments. Men and people who read about a date rape also made less positive judgments, but neither variable interacted with type of reactions to impact judgments.
KeywordsRape Social support Social influence Social perception Victimization
This research was conducted while Amy Brown was a graduate student at Miami University in Oxford, OH. This research was presented at the 8th annual conference of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology in Memphis, TN. We would like to thank Terri Messman-Moore and members of her research lab at Miami University for assistance conducting this research.
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