DSpace Repository

The Role of Dehumanisation on Attitudes Towards the Punishment and Rehabilitation of Offenders

Show simple item record

dc.contributor.advisor Durrant, Russil
dc.contributor.author Anderson, Merryck D.
dc.date.accessioned 2016-12-18T23:40:21Z
dc.date.accessioned 2022-11-03T20:14:44Z
dc.date.available 2016-12-18T23:40:21Z
dc.date.available 2022-11-03T20:14:44Z
dc.date.copyright 2016
dc.date.issued 2016
dc.identifier.uri https://ir.wgtn.ac.nz/handle/123456789/30038
dc.description.abstract Recidivist offenders are often regarded by the public as extremely dangerous and unrepentant, leading to the endorsement of policies that encourage their incapacitation and harsh punishment (e.g., “Three strikes and you are out”). Research has suggested that public attitudes towards offenders, punishment and rehabilitation not only influence sentencing policy, but also the legal outcomes of offenders. Therefore understanding the psychological mechanisms underpinning public attitudes towards repeat offenders is paramount. The current thesis explored one possible explanation, the dehumanisation of offenders. Dehumanisation describes the process where people perceive a person, or group of persons, as lacking the fundamental characteristics of humanness. Little research has investigated dehumanisation in a forensic context, however emerging research has found that dehumanisation predicts harsher punishments and reduced support for rehabilitation. The current thesis sought not only to build on this research, but also to provide a unique extension from decades of research pertaining to dehumanisation. It achieved this by investigating whether providing people with information about an offender’s criminal history influenced how they perceived that offender’s human-status. It also investigated the role of dehumanisation on attitudes towards the punishment and rehabilitation of offenders. Across two studies, 609 student and non-student participants voluntarily completed an online survey. Findings indicated: 1) People did not differentially dehumanise sexual and violent offenders, 2) Emerging evidence that people appeal to the criminal history of individuals when they make judgements about their human-status, 3) Dehumanisation was associated with the endorsement of harsher punishments, but was not related to rehabilitation, 4) Dehumanisation mediated the relationship between moral outrage and punishment and 5) Dehumanisation mediated the relationship between perceived crime seriousness and punishment. Limitations of the current thesis, practical implications and future research is discussed. en_NZ
dc.format pdf en_NZ
dc.language en_NZ
dc.language.iso en_NZ
dc.publisher Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington en_NZ
dc.rights Access is restricted to staff and students only. For information please contact the Library. en_NZ
dc.subject Psychology en_NZ
dc.subject Dehumanisation of offenders en_NZ
dc.subject Public attitudes towards offender punishment and rehabilitation en_NZ
dc.title The Role of Dehumanisation on Attitudes Towards the Punishment and Rehabilitation of Offenders en_NZ
dc.type Text en_NZ
vuwschema.contributor.unit School of Psychology en_NZ
vuwschema.subject.anzsrcfor 170104 Forensic Psychology en_NZ
vuwschema.subject.anzsrcseo 970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and the Cognitive sciences en_NZ
vuwschema.type.vuw Awarded Research Masters Thesis en_NZ
thesis.degree.discipline Forensic Psychology en_NZ
thesis.degree.grantor Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington en_NZ
thesis.degree.level Masters en_NZ
thesis.degree.name Master of Science en_NZ

Files in this item

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show simple item record

Search DSpace


My Account