Student and Voter Subjects: Differences in Attitudes Toward Battered Women

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A scenario describing an incident of wife abuse was presented to 106 volunteer undergraduate psychology students. Subjects indicated agreement or disagreement with eight statements regarding attitudes toward the battering of women. Results were compared with the results obtained when the same stimulus materials were presented to 206 registered voters who were paid for their participation. Differences in responses of the two groups of subjects suggest that students hold fewer stereotypes regarding battered women, and that the student sample was not as subject to gender influences as was the voter sample. The conclusion is that undergraduate subjects may hold different beliefs and attitudes from those of registered voters, and may therefore not be an appropriate analog for the study of juror attitudes.

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Journal of Interpersonal Violence

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