University of Twente Student Theses

Login

The Effectiveness of Denial of the Victim and Denial of Responsibility on Influencing Perceptions of Guilt and Empathy in the Context of Sexual Assault

Kommander, S. (2021) The Effectiveness of Denial of the Victim and Denial of Responsibility on Influencing Perceptions of Guilt and Empathy in the Context of Sexual Assault.

[img] PDF
266kB
Abstract:Sexual assault has the lowest rates of conviction compared to other crimes; therefore, well-conducted investigative police interviews are important for the criminal justice outcome. However, suspects can mislead the interviewer by using specific behaviours. Thus, this study explored the two suspect behaviours: denial of the victim and denial of responsibility and their effectiveness in altering perceptions of empathy and guilt. Both behaviours justify the suspect’s actions by either implying that the victim deserved it or by blaming external factors, such as alcohol intoxication. Since rape myth beliefs are similar to the suspect’s justification techniques, as they try to justify the suspect’s actions in an alike way, it was also investigated if rape myth acceptance can interact with the behaviours to make them more powerful. Ninety-seven participants were recruited via convenience sampling. They first had to read a case scenario, before they were randomly allocated to read one of three police interview transcripts: denial of the victim, denial of responsibility or no comment, as a control condition. For data analysis, a one-way ANOVA and simple planned contrasts were conducted as well as a general linear model to examine any interaction effect of rape myth acceptance. The results suggest that there is a potential effect of denial of responsibility in increasing individuals’ empathy for the suspect and decreasing their perceptions of guilt. No significant effect was found for denial of the victim on the perceptions of empathy or guilt. It was also found that empathy and guilt are associated. No relationship was found between rape myth acceptance and the suspect behaviours, but rape myth acceptance had a direct influence on both empathy and guilt.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/86591
Export this item as:BibTeX
EndNote
HTML Citation
Reference Manager

 

Repository Staff Only: item control page