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Imprisoned Imperceptions: Inaccuracy in Incarceration Demographic Stereotypes

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Abstract:

This report explores the accuracy of peoples’ beliefs about the demographic characteristics of individuals incarcerated in the United States. Several different conceptualizations of accuracy (e.g., discrepancy from reality, correspondence with reality) were employed to assess the degree of (in)accuracy in peoples’ beliefs about the demographic characteristics of the incarcerated population. Results indicate that peoples’ beliefs are largely inaccurate, and are much less accurate than demographic beliefs about the U.S. population in general. Furthermore, students in criminal justice university classes are no more accurate than non-experts, and in some cases are less accurate than their non-expert counterparts. These results are discussed within the context of stereotype accuracy literature as well as various social psychological theories of stereotyping. The findings show that misperceptions may influence policy preferences regarding sentencing policy and punishment options, such as the introduction or expansion of alternatives to incarceration.

Most Common Document Word Stems:

incarcer (139), group (127), belief (109), social (101), estim (98), accuraci (96), popul (94), stereotyp (87), peopl (84), proport (73), prison (63), discrep (60), differ (57), accur (54), u.s (53), demograph (48), column (48), particip (46), present (46), actual (45), justic (44),
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Name: ASC Annual Meeting
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http://www.asc41.com


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URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p373329_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Ragusa, Laura. "Imprisoned Imperceptions: Inaccuracy in Incarceration Demographic Stereotypes" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the ASC Annual Meeting, Philadelphia Marriott Downtown, Philadelphia, PA, Nov 04, 2009 <Not Available>. 2014-11-28 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p373329_index.html>

APA Citation:

Ragusa, L. M. , 2009-11-04 "Imprisoned Imperceptions: Inaccuracy in Incarceration Demographic Stereotypes" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the ASC Annual Meeting, Philadelphia Marriott Downtown, Philadelphia, PA Online <PDF>. 2014-11-28 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p373329_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: This report explores the accuracy of peoples’ beliefs about the demographic characteristics of individuals incarcerated in the United States. Several different conceptualizations of accuracy (e.g., discrepancy from reality, correspondence with reality) were employed to assess the degree of (in)accuracy in peoples’ beliefs about the demographic characteristics of the incarcerated population. Results indicate that peoples’ beliefs are largely inaccurate, and are much less accurate than demographic beliefs about the U.S. population in general. Furthermore, students in criminal justice university classes are no more accurate than non-experts, and in some cases are less accurate than their non-expert counterparts. These results are discussed within the context of stereotype accuracy literature as well as various social psychological theories of stereotyping. The findings show that misperceptions may influence policy preferences regarding sentencing policy and punishment options, such as the introduction or expansion of alternatives to incarceration.


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