Threatened by Violence: Affective and Cognitive Reactions to Violent Victimization
Jackson, J. and Gouseti., I. (2015). ‘Threatened by Violence: Affective and Cognitive Reactions to Violent Victimization’, Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 1-30. DOI: 10.1177/0886260515584336
30 Pages Posted: 28 Mar 2014 Last revised: 14 May 2015
Date Written: February 20, 2015
Stranger violence can have a variety of different physical, psychological, social and economic effects on the victim. In this paper we address one possible impact: namely, a heightened sense of uncertainty, risk and fear of violent crime. Drawing on recent advances in the psychology of risk, we make three contributions. First, we differentiate in our analysis between primary experience of violence (where the individual in question has been attacked by a stranger in the local streets) and secondary experience of violence (where the individual knows somebody who has been attacked in the local streets by a stranger). Second, we assess whether risk perception (beliefs about the likelihood, impact and controllability of future victimization) mediates the empirical links between primary and secondary experience of violence and worry about violent crime. Finally, we examine whether victimization experience seems to have a greater impact on risk perception and worry among people with a high need for cognitive closure (who are averse to uncertainty and desire order and structure in their lives). Our findings indicate a number of potentially important mediating and moderating effects regarding the impact of stranger violence on fear of violent crime. We conclude with some implications for research and policy.
Keywords: violence, victimization, fear of crime, risk perception, need for cognitive closure, sensitivity to risk
JEL Classification: K40
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation