The Social Psychology of Punishment Reactions

  • Dale T. Miller
  • Neil Vidmar
Part of the Critical Issues in Social Justice book series (CISJ)

Abstract

Social psychologists have devoted considerable attention to exploring the role that considerations of justice play in social behavior. People’s concern with the issue of justice has been shown to affect strongly their interpersonal perceptions (Lerner & Miller, 1978; Walster, Walster, & Berschied, 1978) as well as many of their behavioral reactions (Lerner, 1977; Miller, 1977a,b). Despite general interest in reactions to injustice, social psychologists have devoted surprisingly little attention to punishment reactions, focusing instead primarily on reactions to victims of injustice.

Keywords

Death Penalty Behavior Control Experimental Social Psychology Rule Violation Responsibility Ascription 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Abel, R. L. A comparative theory of dispute institutions in society. Law & Society Review, 1973, 8, 217–347.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Adorno, T. W., Frenkel-Brunswick, E., Levinson, D. J., & Sanford, R. N. The authoritarian personality. New York: Harper, 1950.Google Scholar
  3. Alexander, F., & Staub, H. The criminal, the judge and the public. Glencoe, Ill.: Free Press, 1956.Google Scholar
  4. Andeneas J. Punishment and deterrence. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1974.Google Scholar
  5. Arendt, H. Eichmann in Jerusalem. New York: Penguin Books, 1976.Google Scholar
  6. Austin, W., Walster, E., & Utne, M. K. Equity and the law: The effect of a harmdoer’s “suffering in the act” on liking and assigned punishment. In L. Berkowitz & E. Walster (Eds.), Advances in experimental social psychology, Vol. 9. New York: Academic Press, 1976.Google Scholar
  7. Barry, H. H., Child, I., & Bacon, M. K. Relations of child training to subsistence economy. American Anthropolgist, 1959, 61, 51–63.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Berg, K., & Vidmar, N. Authoritarianism and recall of evidence about criminal behavior. journal of Research in Personality, 1975, 9, 145–157.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Boehm, V. Mr. prejudice, Miss sympathy, and the authoritarian personality: An application of psychological measuring techniques to the problem of jury bias. Wisconsin Law Review, 1968, 734-738.Google Scholar
  10. Brickman, P. Crime and punishment in sports and society, journal of Social Issues, 1977, 33, 140–164.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Brooks, W. N., Doob, A. N., & Kirshenbaum, H. M. Character of the victim in the trial of a case of rape. Unpublished manuscript, University of Toronto, 1975.Google Scholar
  12. Burgess, A. A clock-work orange. New York: Ballantine, 1962.Google Scholar
  13. Byrne, D. The attraction paradigm. New York: Academic Press, 1971.Google Scholar
  14. Carroll, J., & Payne, J. Crime seriousness, recidivism risk, and causal attributions in judgments of prison terms by students and experts. Journal of Applied Psychology, 1977, 62, 595–402.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Centers, R., Shomer, R., Rodrigues, & Rodrigues F. A field experiment in interpersonal persuasion using authoritative influence. Journal of Personality, 1970, 38, 392–403.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Cook, B. Sentencing behavior of federal judges: Draft cases, 1972. Cincinnati Law Review, 1973, 42, 597–633.Google Scholar
  17. Coser, L. The function of social conflict. New York: Free Press, 1956.Google Scholar
  18. Cunningham, J., & Kelley, H. H. Causal attributions for interpersonal events of varing magnitude. Journal of Personality, 1975, 43, 74–93.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Devos, G. A., & Hippler, A. E. Cultural psychology: Comparative studies of human behavior. In G. Lindzey & E. Aronson (Eds.), Handbook of social psychology, Vol. 4. Reading, Mass.: Addison-Wesley, 1969.Google Scholar
  20. Drabeck, T. E., & Quarantelli, E. L. Scapegoats, villains and disasters. Trans-Action, 1964, 12-17.Google Scholar
  21. Durkheim, E. The division of labor in society (G. Simpson, trans.) Toronto: Collier-Macmillan Candada, Ltd., 1964.Google Scholar
  22. Ebbessen, E. B., & Konecni, V. J. Decision making and information integration in the courts: The setting of bail. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1975, 32, 805–821.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Erikson, K. T. Wayward Puritans: A study in the sociology of deviance. New York: Wiley, 1966.Google Scholar
  24. Ezorsky, G. (Ed.). Philosophical perspectives on punishment. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1972.Google Scholar
  25. Foucalt, Michel. Discipline and punish. New York: Pantheon Books, 1977.Google Scholar
  26. Funstenberg, F. Public reaction to crime in the streets. The American Scholar, 1971, 40, 601–622.Google Scholar
  27. Garcia, L. T., & Griffith, W. Authoritarianism-situation interactions in the determination of punitiveness: Engaging authoritarian ideology. Journal of Research in Personality, 1978, 12, 469–478.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Gusfield, J. R. Symbolic crusade: Status politics and the American temperance movement. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1963.Google Scholar
  29. Hamilton, V. L. Individual differences in ascriptions of responsibility, guilt, and appropriate punishment. In G. Bermant, C. Nemeth, & N. Vidmar (Eds.), Psychology and the law. Lexington, Mass.: Lexington Books, 1976.Google Scholar
  30. Hamilton, V. L. Who is responsible? Toward a social psychology of responsibility attribution. Social Psychology, 1977, 41, 316–323.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Hamilton, V. L. Obedience and responsibility: A jury simulation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1978, 36, 126–146.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Harris, L. Changing public attitudes toward crime and corrections. Federal Probation, 1968, 32, 9–16.Google Scholar
  33. Hart, H. L. A. Punishment and responsibility. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1968.Google Scholar
  34. Hart, I. Maternal child-rearing practices and authoritarian ideology. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 1957, 55, 232–237.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Heider, F. The psychology of interpersonal relations. New York: Wiley, 1958.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Hogarth, J. Sentencing is a human process. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1971.Google Scholar
  37. Hollander, E. P. Conformity, status, and idiosyncrasy credit. Psychological Review, 1958, 65, 117–127.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Hovland, C. & Sears, R. Minor studies in agression: VI. Correlation of lynchings with economic indices. Journal of Psychology, 1940, 9, 301–310.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Inkeles, A., & Levinson, D. J. National character: The study of modal personality and sociocultural systems. In G. Lindzey & E. Arsonson (Eds.), Handbook of social psychology, Vol. 4. Reading, Mass.: Addison-Wesley, 1969.Google Scholar
  40. Jurow, G. L. New data on the effect of a “death-qualified” jury on the guilt determination process. Harvard LAW Review, 1971, 84, 567–611.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Kalven, H., & Zeisel, H. The American jury. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1966.Google Scholar
  42. Kelley, H. H. Attribution in social interaction. New York: General Learning Press, 1971.Google Scholar
  43. Kelman, H. C., & Lawrence, L. H. Assignment of responsibility in the case of Lt. Calley: Preliminary report on a national survey. Journal of Social Issues, 1972, 28(1), 177–212.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Kipnis, D., & Cosentino, J. Use of leadership powers in industry. Journal of Applied Psychology, 1969, 53, 460–466.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Lasswell, H., & Donnelly, R. The continuing debate over responsibility: An introduction to isolating the condemnation sanction. Yale Law Journal, 1959, 68, 869–899.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Lerner, M. J. The justice motive: Some hypotheses as to its origins and forms. Journal of Personality, 1977, 45, 1–52.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Lerner, M. J., & Miller, D. T. Just world research and the attribution process: Looking back and ahead. Psychological Bulletin, 1978, 85, 1030–1051.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Lerner, M. J., Miller, D. T., & Holmes, J. G. Deserving and the emergence of forms of justice. In Advances in experimental social psychology, Vol. 9. New York: Academic Press, 1976.Google Scholar
  49. Leventhal, G. S. The distribution of rewards and resources in groups and organizations. In L. Berkowitz & E. Walster (Eds.), Advances in experimental social psychology, Vol. 9. New York: Academic Press, 1976. (a)Google Scholar
  50. Leventhal, G. S. Fairness in social relationships. In J. Thibaut, J. T. Spence, & R. Carson (Eds.), Contemporary topics in social psychology. Morristown, N.J.: General Learning Press, 1976. (b)Google Scholar
  51. Levinson, D. J., & Hoffman, P. E. Traditional family ideology and its relation to personality. Journal of Personality, 1955, 23, 251–273.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Lindesmith, A. R. Punishment. In D. Sills (Ed.), International encyclopedia of the social sciences. New York: Macmillan & Free Press, 1968.Google Scholar
  53. Makela, K. Public sense of justice and judicial practice. Acta Sociologica, 1966, 10(1), 42–67.Google Scholar
  54. Mead, G. H. The psychology of punitive justice. American Journal of Sociology, 1918, 23, 577–602.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Menninger, K. The crime of punishment. New York: Viking, 1966.Google Scholar
  56. Merton, R. K. Social theory and social structure. Glencoe, Ill.: Free Press, 1957.Google Scholar
  57. Miller, D. T. Altruism and threat to a belief in a just world. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 1977, 13, 113–126. (a)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Miller, D. T. Personal deserving versus justice for others: An exploration of the justice motive. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 1977, 13, 1–13. (b).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Miller, D. T. The effects of perpetrator-relevant characteristics on reactions to victims of injustices. Presented at the Symposium on Equity, Retribution, and Other Factors in Legal Justice Reactions, Annual Meeting of the Eastern Psychological Association, Washington, 1978.Google Scholar
  60. Miller, D. T., & McCann, C. D. Children’s reactions to the perpetrators and victims of injustices. Child Development, 1979, 50, 861–868.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Miller, D. T., & Ross, M. Self-serving biases in the attribution of causality: Fact or fiction? Psychological Bulletin, 1975, 82, 213–225.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Mitchell, H. Authoritarian punitiveness in simulated juror decision-making: The good guys don’t always wear white hats. Presented at the Annual Meeting of the Midwestern Psychological Association, Chicago, 1973.Google Scholar
  63. Mitchell, H., & Byrne, D. The defendant’s dilemma: Effects of juror’s attitudes and authoritarianism on judicial decisions, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1973, 25, 123–129.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Nader, L. Forums for justice: A cross-cultural perspective. Journal of Social Issues, 1975, 31(3), 151–170.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Nisbett, R. E., & Wilson, T. Telling more than we know: Verbal reports on mental processes. Psychological Review, 1977, 84, 231–259.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Orland, L., & Tyler, H. R. Justice in sentencing. Mineola, N.Y.: Foundation Press, 1974.Google Scholar
  67. Pepitone, A. Social psychological perspectives on crime and punishment. Journal of Social Issues, 1975, 31, 197–216.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Piaget, J. The moral judgment of the child. New York: Macmillan, 1948.Google Scholar
  69. Ranulf, S. Moral indignation and middle class psychology. New York: Schocken Books, 1964s.Google Scholar
  70. Roberts, A. & Jessor, R. Authoritarianism, punitiveness and perceived social status. Journal of Social Psychology, 1958, 56, 311–316.Google Scholar
  71. Rossi, P., Waite, E., Bose, E., & Berk, R. The seriousness of crimes: Normative structure and individual differences. American Sociological Review, 1974, 39, 224–237.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Rothbart, M. Effects of motivation, equity, and compliance on the use of reward and punishment. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1968, 9, 353–362.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Rule, B. G., & Nesdale, A. R. Moral judgment of aggressive behavior. In R. Geen & E. O’Neal (Eds.), Perspectives on aggression. New York: Academic Press, 1976.Google Scholar
  74. Rusche, G., & Kircheimer, O. Punishment and social structure. New York: Columbia University Press, 1939.Google Scholar
  75. Sales, S. M. Economic threat as a determinant of conversion rates in authoritarian and nonauthoritarian churches. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1972, 23, 420–428.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Sales, S. M. Threat as a factor in authoritarianism: An analysis of archival data. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1973, 28, 44–57.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Sarat, A., & Vidmar, N. Public opinion, the death penalty, and the eighth amendment: Testing the Marshall hypothesis. Wisconsin Law Review, 1976, 1, 171–206.Google Scholar
  78. Savitsky, J., & Babel, J. Cheating, intention and punishment from an equity theory perspective. Journal of Research in Personality, 1976, 10, 128–136.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Scheler, M. Resentiment. New York: Free Press, 1961.Google Scholar
  80. Schneider, F., & Shaw, M. Sanctioning behavior in negro and in white populations. Journal of Social Psychology, 1970, 81, 63–72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. Schulhofer, S. J. Harm and punishment: A critique of emphasis on the results of conduct in the criminal law. University of Pennsylvania Law Review, 1974, 122, 1497–1607.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. Schwartz, R. Legal evolution and the Durkheim hypothesis: A reply to Professor Baxi. Law & Society Review, 1974, 8, 653–668.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  83. Schwartz, R., & Miller, J. Legal evolution and societal complexity. American Journal of Sociology, 1964, 70, 159–171.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  84. Segerstedt, T. Research into the general sense of justice. Theoria, 1949, 15, 323–338.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  85. Sharp, F., & Otto, M. Retribution and deterrence in the moral judgments of common sense. International Journal of Ethics, 1910, 20, 438–453.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  86. Sharp, F., & Otto, M. A study of the popular attitude toward retributive punishment. International Journal of Ethics, 1910, 20, 341–357.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  87. Shaver, K. G. Defensive attribution: Effects of severity and relevance on the responsibility assigned for an accident. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1970, 14, 101–113.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  88. Shaw, M. Some cultural differences in sanctioning behavior. Psychonomic Science, 1967, 8, 45–46.Google Scholar
  89. Shaw, M., & Reitan, S. Attribution of responsibility as a basis for sanctioning behavior. British Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 1969, 8, 217–226.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  90. Shaw, M. & Schneider, F. Intellectual competence as a variable in attribution of responsibility and assignment of sanctions. Journal of Social Psychology, 1969, 78, 31–36.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  91. Shaw, M., & Sulzer, J. An empirical test of Heider’s levels in attribution of responsibility. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 1964, 69, 39–46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  92. Sherwood, J. Authoritarianism, moral realism and President Kennedy’s death. British Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 1966, 5, 264–269.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  93. Spitzer, S. Punishment and social organization: A study of Durkhein’s theory of penal evolution. Law & Society Review, 1975, 9, 613–638.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  94. Suedfeld, P., & Epstein, Y. Attitudes, values and ascription of responsibility: The Calley case. Journal of Social Issues, 1973, 29, 63–71.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  95. Sykes, G., & Matza, D. Techniques of neutralization: A theory of delinquency. American Sociological Review, 1957, 22, 664–670.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  96. Thibaut, J. W., & Kelley, H. H. The social psychology of groups, New York: Wiley, 1958.Google Scholar
  97. Thomas, C. Perceptions of crime, punishment and legal sanctions. Paper presented at the American Society of Criminology, 1976.Google Scholar
  98. Thomas, C., & Cage, R. Correlates of public attitudes toward legal sanctions. Paper presented at the meeting of the Western Sociological and Anthropological Association, 1974, Banff, Canada.Google Scholar
  99. Thomas, C., Cage, R., & Foster, S. Public opinion on criminal law and legal sanctions: An examination of two conceptual models. Paper presented at the American Society of Criminology, Chicago, 1974.Google Scholar
  100. Veltfort, H. R., & Lee, G. E. The Coconut Grove fire: A study in scapegoating. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 1943, 138-154.Google Scholar
  101. Vidmar, N. Retributive and utilitarian motives and other correlates of Canadian attitudes toward the death penalty. Canadian Psychologist, 1974, 15, 337–356.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  102. Vidmar, N. Effects of degree of harm and retributive motives on punishment reactions. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Canadian Psychological Association, Vancouver, B.C., June 1977.Google Scholar
  103. Vidmar, N. Outcome, offense type, and retribution as factors in punishment reactions. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Eastern Psychological Association, Washington, D.C., April 1978.Google Scholar
  104. Vidmar, N., & Crinklaw, L. Attributing responsibility for an accident: A methodological and conceptual critique. Canadian Journal of Behavioral Science, 1974, 6, 112–130.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  105. Vidmar, N., & Dittenhoffer, A. Public opinion and the death penalty: The effects of knowledge on attitudes. Unpublished manuscript, 1979.Google Scholar
  106. Vidmar, N., & Ellsworth, P. Public opinion and the death penalty. Stanford law Review, 1974, 26, 1245–1270.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  107. Vidmar, N., & Miller, D. T. Social psychological processes underlying attitudes toward legal punishment. Law & Society Review, 1980, 14(3), 565–602.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  108. Walster, E. Assignment of responsibility for an accident. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1966, 3, 73–79.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  109. Walster, E., Walster, G. W., & Berscheid, E. Equity, theory and research. Boston: Allyn & Bacon, 1978.Google Scholar
  110. Weihofen, H. The urge to punish. London: Gollancz, 1957.Google Scholar
  111. Westermarck, E. A. Ethical relativity. New York: Harcourt Brace, 1932.Google Scholar
  112. Wheeler, S., Bonacich, E., Cramer, R., & Zola, I. Agents of delinquency control: A comparative analysis. In S. Wheeler (Ed.), Controlling delinquents. New York: Wiley, 1960.Google Scholar
  113. Whiting, J. W., & Child, I. Child training and personality. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1953.Google Scholar
  114. Wortman, C. B. Causal attributions and personal control. In J. H. Harvey, W. J. Ickes, & R. F. Kidd (Eds.), New directions in attribution research. Hillsdale, N.J.: Erlbaum, 1976.Google Scholar
  115. Zimring, F., & Hawkins, G. The legal threat as an instrument of social change. Journal of Social Issues, 1971, 27, 33–48.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dale T. Miller
    • 1
  • Neil Vidmar
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Western OntarioLondonCanada

Personalised recommendations