Date of Award

5-2017

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Cheryl A. Terrance

Abstract

Emotional expression is often used as a way to determine a person’s intent for social situations. In a courtroom, when a perpetrator expresses (or fails to express) remorse, not only the perception of the perpetrator may be altered, but also the perception of the victim. This difference may especially be the case in a situation where the victim is viewed as having a high level of culpability for the crime, such as if the victim took the picture and sent it. Furthermore, the gender of the victim of the crime may influence how the victim is perceived, such that women may be viewed as more culpable for their victimization than men. In recent years, an increase in technology use has led to an increase in cyber-crimes. Although some states have passed laws in an attempt to police these crimes, many states have been unable to keep up with the occurrence of these new crimes. One of these cyber-crimes is when a nude photograph of an individual is shared on the Internet without the pictured person’s consent, which is also known as nonconsensual pornography. Victims of nonconsensual pornography may face problems such as stalking, harassment, job loss, and depression. When perpetrators are assigned a punishment for this crime, perceptions of the situation may impact the outcome of the trial. The current study examined the impact of remorse, victim gender, and victim culpability on both victim and perpetrator blame in a case of nonconsensual pornography. Results indicated victims are blamed less and the perpetrators are blamed more in the remorse condition when compared to the control condition. Additionally, the victim was attributed more blame when he or she took the photograph than when the perpetrator took the photo. Lastly, Men were more likely than women to blame the victim. Implications and future directions are discussed.

Included in

Psychology Commons

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