Media Representations of Intimate Partner Violence and Punishment Preferences: Exploring the Role of Attributions and Emotions
This study examines Weiner's attribution-emotion-action model using news stories derived from existent media messages about intimate partner violence containing information designed to increase or decrease attributions of responsibility both toward the perpetrator and toward the victim. Participants (N=251) were randomly assigned to one of four conditions, exposed to a stimulus message, then completed a survey. The attribution-emotion-action model was largely supported. Although multiple emotions were experienced, only certain emotions were significant in determining punishment preference, and these emotions varied by target (i.e., perpetrator or victim). How news stories may be influencing public opinion and support for public health and criminal justice policies is discussed.