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Perceptions of Stalking: The Impact of Threat Level and Victim Response

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Because of varying legal definitions across jurisdictions, factors that influence judgments of what constitutes stalking are important to identify. In this study, participants (N = 147) were randomly assigned to read 1 of 4 vignettes involving a hypothetical case of stalking, stemming from a 2 (threat level: explicit vs. implicit) × 2 (victim response: fear vs. anger) between-subjects factorial design. Overall, when the threat was implicit or the victim responded with anger, participants were less inclined to view the scenario as representative of stalking. An interaction further revealed that when the threat was explicit, participants were more likely to rate the perpetrator's behavior as severe when the victim responded with fear, as opposed to anger. Implications are discussed.
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Keywords: COLLEGE STUDENTS; COURTSHIP; EXPLICIT THREAT; FEAR STANDARD; IMPLICIT THREAT

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2017

This article was made available online on January 27, 2017 as a Fast Track article with title: "Perceptions of Stalking: The Impact of Threat Level and Victim Response".

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