ERIC Number: ED474648
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2003
Students' Misperceptions of Violence: Affirming the Need for Better Education.
Mersky, Rebecca A.; Chambliss, Catherine A.
Despite the fact that both national and regional statistics show that violent crimes (murder, non negligent manslaughter, aggravated assault, robbery, and forcible rape) in the U.S. have been declining in recent years, many believe that violent crime rates have been steadily escalating. Exaggerated media portrayals of violence, including both news and entertainment programming, tend to reinforce rather than to challenge myths about the prevalence of violent crime in our culture. The present investigation sought to replicate earlier research using the Perception and Experience of Violent Crime survey. This self-report measure was administered to 196 subjects who were enrolled in psychology classes during the spring and fall semesters of 2001. This research attempted to examine the extent to which perceptions of violent crime rates are exaggerated among young adults. It also assessed the relationship between actual personal experience with violent crime and general perceptions of threat, use of preventive strategies, and predicted responses to hypothetical scenarios involving crime. Changes attributable to the events of September 11, 2001, were also evaluated. (Contains 62 references.) (Author)
Publication Type: Historical Materials; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A