This survey focused on criminality and punitiveness. Respondents were adult residents of Indianapolis, selected through a probability sample with quotas. Graduate students interviewed 523 respondents in their homes, using a predetermined schedule of fixed-choice questions.
Researchers explored respondents’ reactions to “episodes” or vignettes describing hypothetical situations of criminal activity, in which the seriousness of the criminal offense as well as the social status of the offenders and victims varied. Respondents were asked to suggest appropriate punishment for the hypothetical offenders. The survey also contained items on the respondent’s self-concept and world view; social tolerance; attitudes toward police; victimization details, motives, and reporting of it to police; and background demographics.
This study was supported by funding from the Public Health Service (MH 21887) and the College of Arts and Sciences at Indiana University-Bloomington.