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In the eye of the (motivated) beholder: towards a motivated cognition perspective on disorder perceptions

Jackson, Jonathan and Bradford, Ben and Brunton-Smith, Ian and Gray, Emily (2017) In the eye of the (motivated) beholder: towards a motivated cognition perspective on disorder perceptions. In: Lee, Murray and Mythen, Gabe, (eds.) Routledge International Handbook on Fear of Crime. Routledge, Oxon, UK. ISBN 9781138120334 (In Press)

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Neighbourhood disorder refers to those cues in one’s social and physical environment that signal first the erosion of shared commitments to dominant norms and values, and second the failure of community members and authorities to regulate behaviour in public space. Disorder is dependent on an individual defining his or her surroundings and a number of US studies have examined factors related to disorder perceptions. Our goal in this chapter is to present the findings from two UK studies into the instrumental and relational nature of public judgements about what characterises disorder. We frame our discussion in the context of psychological work on motivated social cognition – i.e. the ways in which various psychological needs, goals, and desires (a) shape information processing and (b) lead to conclusions that individuals wish to reach rather than ones demanded by adherence to logic and/or evidence. We argue that disorder may not only be “in the eye of the beholder,” it may also be “in the eye of the motivated beholder.”

Item Type: Book Section
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2017 The Authors
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
Sets: Departments > Methodology
Date Deposited: 05 May 2017 13:14
Last Modified: 10 May 2017 10:05

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