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Guilty or not guilty? The perception guilt of suspect of sexual assault cases

Braun, J. (2020) Guilty or not guilty? The perception guilt of suspect of sexual assault cases.

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Abstract:This study aimed at investigating the perception of guilt among female and male suspects in sexual assault cases at University. In addition, it was explored how the strategies supplication and denial of the victim affect guilt, sympathy and empathy ratings compared to giving no comment. A between-participants 3x2-design was used and, in total, 49 people participated. The Methods used and the Gender of the suspect serve as independent variables and Perceived guilt as well as Perceived sympathy and empathy as dependent variables. The online study consisted of six case scenarios randomly assigned to the participant as well as a questionnaire and a debrief. For data analysis, a two-way ANOVA was conducted as well as Tukey post-hoc tests. The results show non-significant effects for supplication and denial of the victim on guilt ratings. Moreover, there is a non-significant difference between male and female suspects using either supplication and denial of the victim in guilt ratings. A significant effect for gender on sympathy has been found and it can be stated that male suspects evoke less sympathy and empathy in participants. This study revealed that especially gender is highly influential in the perception of suspects, particularly for sympathy rather than making use of the techniques. Moreover, it stresses that more research should focus on what affects guilt, sympathy and empathy ratings in investigative interviews in order to gain more insight into what makes us perceive someone as guilty or innocent.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/82299
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