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Attracting Assault: Victims’Nonverbal Cues

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... Under this theory, offenders use cues to identify suitable victims, including identifying vulnerability through gait. Grayson and Stein (1981) identified elements of walking body language that suggest vulnerability by having inmates evaluate candid video clips of subjects walking. For example, subjects evaluated as vulnerable shifted their weight laterally or diagonally, while subjects evaluated as nonvulnerable shifted their weight in a fluid, three-dimensional pattern. ...
... All subjects then wore a full body spandex suit (a suit made of tight fitting nylon fabric) to obscure face and physical appearance and were filmed walking in a standardized path against a neutral white background without wearing shoes. The videos were coded for vulnerable behavior as identified in Grayson and Stein (1981) and Sakaguchi and Hasegawa (2006) to select the best examples of gait for each category. The videos were coded by graduate students trained by one of the experimenters using a document that contained explanations of different gait movements. ...
... The nonverbal body language decoding deficits of individuals high in psychopathy may explain why these participants tended to identify self-defense victims and nonvictims as victims. For the current study, a coding scheme for selecting the video clips determined that victims who practiced Krav Maga demonstrated body movements associated with nonvictims (Grayson & Stein, 1981). For participants high in Factor 2 traits to identify victims who practiced Krav Maga and nonvictims as nonvictims, they would have to disregard the body movements identified by Grayson and Stein (1981) that past samples have associated with nonvictims. ...
Article
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This research examined the role of psychopathic traits in perceptions of victimization and vulnerability. Community-member participants viewed video clips of victims, nonvictims, and victims who studied self-defense, then rated them on vulnerability and perceived history of victimization. Participants were most proficient at identifying nonvictims as nonvictims. Victims who studied self-defense were harder to correctly identify than both victims and nonvictims and were rated by participants as less vulnerable and less likely to be victims than other victims and nonvictims. Moreover, individuals high in psychopathic traits, specifically Factor 2, were more likely than individuals low in psychopathic traits to correctly identify victims who practiced self-defense as victims, as well as nonvictims as victims. Unexpectedly, there was an observed negative relationship between facial affect decoding and identifying self-defense victims. The ability to correctly interpret facial expressions was found to partially mediate the relationship between psychopathy scores and the identification of self-defense victims. The results of this study provide insight into the ability of individuals with psychopathic traits to identify nonverbal cues associated with vulnerability. The results provide evidence that taking self-defense classes may be a meaningful intervention for victims, particularly.
... Past victimization may predict future risk because: (1) being victimized alters the individual in some way (e.g., individuals who are victimized may experience anxiety, and research suggests that highly anxious individuals are at an increased risk for experiencing victimization; Lauritsen and Quinet 1995), or (2) because there is an unmeasured aspect of the victim that fosters their repeated selection by offenders (e.g., they exhibit risk-taking tendencies and/or work in a dangerous profession; Lauritsen and Quinet 1995;Sparks 1981). It has been argued that the delineation of gait behavior in particular, is a key component in nonverbal communication between individuals (Thoresen et al. 2012) and could act as an important cue for offenders (e.g., Grayson and Stein 1981). ...
... Interestingly, research has demonstrated that certain gait patterns may indicate significantly more vulnerability relative to others (Book et al. 2013;Grayson and Stein 1981;Wheeler et al. 2009). A keystone study by Grayson and Stein (1981) examined differences in movement by video-taping individuals walking down the street and then asking offenders to rate their likelihood of assault. ...
... Interestingly, research has demonstrated that certain gait patterns may indicate significantly more vulnerability relative to others (Book et al. 2013;Grayson and Stein 1981;Wheeler et al. 2009). A keystone study by Grayson and Stein (1981) examined differences in movement by video-taping individuals walking down the street and then asking offenders to rate their likelihood of assault. The findings revealed that five gait movement categories differentiated victims from non-victims. ...
Article
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Research suggests that certain individuals exhibit vulnerability through their gait, and that observers select such individuals as those most likely to experience victimization. It is currently assumed that the vulnerable gait pattern is an expression of one’s submissiveness. To isolate gait movement, Study 1 utilized kinematic point-light display to record 28 individuals walking. The findings suggested that victimization history was related to gait vulnerability. The results also indicated that, contrary to expectation, individuals with more vulnerable features in their gait were more likely to self-report dominant personality characteristics, rather than submissive characteristics. In Study 2, a sample of 129 observers watched the point-light recordings and rated the walkers on their vulnerability to victimization. The results suggested that observers agreed on which walkers were easy targets; they were also accurate in that the walkers they rated as most likely to experience victimization tended to exhibit vulnerable gait cues. The current research is one of the few to explore the relationship between internal dispositions and non-verbal behavior in a sample of self-reported victims. The findings provide exciting insights related to the communicative function of gait, and the characteristics that may put some individuals at a greater risk to be criminally targeted.
... Previous research has shown that victims display characteristic body language, specifically in their walking style (Grayson & Stein, 1981). Individuals scoring higher on the interpersonal/affective aspects of psychopathy (Factor 1) are more accurate at judging victim vulnerability simply from viewing targets walking (Wheeler, Book, & Costello, 2009). ...
... One specific type of body language that reliably distinguishes victims from nonvictims is gait. In an early study by Grayson and Stein (1981), inmates who had been convicted of sexual assault identified individuals as vulnerable when they displayed certain motions within their walk. These motion cues to vulnerability included long or short strides, nonlateral weight shifts, gestured versus postural movements, and feet lifting. ...
... These motion cues to vulnerability included long or short strides, nonlateral weight shifts, gestured versus postural movements, and feet lifting. Overall, targets who were judged to be vulnerable to victimization (mugging/assault) exhibited less synchronous movement in their walk (Grayson & Stein, 1981). The relation between perceived vulnerability and gait was further corroborated by findings that targets with less fluid gaits were perceived to be more weak/vulnerable regardless of their sex or age (Montepare & Zebrowitz-McArthur, 1998). ...
Article
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Previous research has shown that victims display characteristic body language, specifically in their walking style (Grayson & Stein, 1981). Individuals scoring higher on the interpersonal/affective aspects of psychopathy (Factor 1) are more accurate at judging victim vulnerability simply from viewing targets walking (Wheeler, Book, & Costello, 2009). The present study examines the relation between psychopathy and accuracy in assessing victim vulnerability in a sample of inmates from a maximum security penitentiary in Ontario, Canada. Forty-seven inmates viewed short video clips of targets walking and judged how vulnerable each target was to victimization. Higher Factor 1 psychopathy scores (as measured by the PCL-R; Hare 2003) were positively related to accuracy in judging victim vulnerability. Contrary to research with noninstitutional participants (Wheeler et al., 2009), inmates higher on Factor 1 of psychopathy were more likely to rationalize their vulnerability judgments by mentioning the victim's gait. Implications of these findings are discussed.
... In order to determine if vulnerable body movement cues were perceived by victimizers, Grayson and Stein (1981) investigated the physical attributes that differentiate victims from nonvictims. Using inmates convicted of assault to identify vulnerable individuals, the researchers found that those judged as most vulnerable-looking were distinguishable by five distinct motion cues. ...
... Women selected from a range of perceived vulnerability levels were selected for inclusion in the study. Later, male and female raters assessed how easy it would be to rape or mug each 'target', and these ratings were correlated with each target's score on the Grayson and Stein (1981) movement cues. Results showed that researchers' body cue scores accounted for 76.5% ofthe variance in vulnerability assessments. ...
... Johnston, Hudson, Richardson, Gunns, and Gamer (2004) indicates that external vulnerability cues differ depending upon targets' judgement of the safety of the external environment. The authors trained a group of women to appear more invulnerable by utilizing the Grayson and Stein (1981) movement cues, and then recorded this group and an untrained group of women as they walked, asking both groups to imagine being in a safe or unsafe environment. They showed videos of these two groups to viewing participants and asked them to rate the targets on ease of attack. ...
... Research has consistently demonstrated that an individual's vulnerability to victimization can be reliably detected based on non-verbal cues such as gait (i.e., the way a person walks; Book, Costello, & Camilleri, 2013;Grayson & Stein, 1981;Gunns, Johnston, & Hudson, 2002;Wheeler, Book, & Costello, 2009). More specifically, a history of victimization has been associated with a distinct walking style that is perceived as more vulnerable by independent observers (Book et al., 2013;Wheeler et al., 2009). ...
... Previous research has demonstrated that gait cues can be used as an indication of an individual's vulnerability to victimization (e.g., Grayson & Stein, 1981;Murzynski & Degelman, 1996). For example, after instructing offenders to watch a series of videos depicting women walking down a sidewalk alone and rate each woman's vulnerability to victimization, Grayson and Stein (1981) reported agreement among the offenders in identifying the women who were more vulnerable to victimization. ...
... Previous research has demonstrated that gait cues can be used as an indication of an individual's vulnerability to victimization (e.g., Grayson & Stein, 1981;Murzynski & Degelman, 1996). For example, after instructing offenders to watch a series of videos depicting women walking down a sidewalk alone and rate each woman's vulnerability to victimization, Grayson and Stein (1981) reported agreement among the offenders in identifying the women who were more vulnerable to victimization. In addition, Grayson and Stein (1981) identified similar HYPERVIGILANCE AND WALKING CUES 4 movement cues among the vulnerable walkers, such as long or short strides (as opposed to normal strides), fast or slow speeds, nonlateral weight shifts, and lifting feet higher. ...
Article
Two studies investigated the relationship between hypervigilance, vulnerable gait cues, and a history of sexual victimization. In Study 1, (N = 130), gait was coded for traits relating to vulnerability where half of the sample was unaware of being videotaped (Unaware condition) and the other half was aware (Aware condition) to induce hypervigilance (between-subjects design). Gait was associated with a history of victimization, but only in the Unaware condition. A mediation analysis found that perceived impact of victimization mediated the association between victimization and vulnerable gait. In Study 2, female university students (N = 62) were measured on their victimization history and hypervigilance. Walking styles of participants were coded for the presence of vulnerability cues in both an Unaware and Aware condition (within-subjects design). A regression analysis revealed an association between hypervigilance and a reduced change in walking style between the two conditions. More notably, hypervigilance was found to moderate the relationship between sexual victimization and vulnerable gait but not violent victimization and vulnerable gait. These results suggest that hypervigilance may be an adaptive response that reduces perceived vulnerability in sexually victimized women.
... gait) as indicators of vulnerability (e.g. Grayson and Stein, 1981;Murzynski and Degelman, 1996). Recently, individual differences have been identified in the ability to accurately perceive others' vulnerability based on these nonverbal cues (Book et al., 2013;Wheeler et al., 2009). ...
... clothing, attractiveness; Montepare and Zebrowitz-McArthur, 1988). With consistent evidence supporting nonverbal cues as predictors of perceived dominance and assertiveness, it is not surprising that gait has also been identified as a cue for vulnerability (Corbin et al., 2001;Grayson and Stein, 1981;Johnston et al., 2004;Murzynski and Degelman, 1996). ...
... A study conducted by Grayson and Stein (1981) established that specific components of gait (i.e. walking movement) were associated with vulnerability, where individuals perceived by male offenders as potential victims significantly differed from those not perceived as potential victims across five movement categories: stride length (i.e. ...
... Studies have established that nonverbal cues such as gait (i.e., the way in which people walk) can be accurate indicators of vulnerability to victimization (Grayson & Stein, 1981;Gunns, Johnston, & Hudson, 2002;Murzynski & Degelman, 1996). Using these nonverbal cues, individuals higher in psychopathic traits appear to be more accurate in identifying victim vulnerability in both student (Ritchie, Blais, Forth, & Book, 2018;Wheeler, Book, & Costello, 2009) and offender samples (Book, Costello, & Camilleri, 2013) than individuals with fewer psychopathic traits. ...
... In assessing specific nonverbal cues, movement or gait has been identified as an important indicator of vulnerability to victimization (Grayson & Stein, 1981;Gunns et al., 2002;Murzynski & Degelman, 1996). Grayson and Stein (1981) asked offenders imprisoned for assaults perpetrated against strangers to view a series of video clips of people walking and to determine the degree of vulnerability to an assault. ...
... In assessing specific nonverbal cues, movement or gait has been identified as an important indicator of vulnerability to victimization (Grayson & Stein, 1981;Gunns et al., 2002;Murzynski & Degelman, 1996). Grayson and Stein (1981) asked offenders imprisoned for assaults perpetrated against strangers to view a series of video clips of people walking and to determine the degree of vulnerability to an assault. Offenders were consistent in identifying those they perceived as easy targets, and those that they would avoid assaulting. ...
... gait) as indicators of vulnerability (e.g. Grayson and Stein, 1981;Murzynski and Degelman, 1996). Recently, individual differences have been identified in the ability to accurately perceive others' vulnerability based on these nonverbal cues (Book et al., 2013;Wheeler et al., 2009). ...
... clothing, attractiveness; Montepare and Zebrowitz-McArthur, 1988). With consistent evidence supporting nonverbal cues as predictors of perceived dominance and assertiveness, it is not surprising that gait has also been identified as a cue for vulnerability (Corbin et al., 2001;Grayson and Stein, 1981;Johnston et al., 2004;Murzynski and Degelman, 1996). ...
... A study conducted by Grayson and Stein (1981) established that specific components of gait (i.e. walking movement) were associated with vulnerability, where individuals perceived by male offenders as potential victims significantly differed from those not perceived as potential victims across five movement categories: stride length (i.e. ...
Article
Purpose Recent research has suggested that a heightened sensitivity to nonverbal cues may give individuals with psychopathic traits an advantage when selecting potential victims. The purpose of this paper is to examine the effect of gender on the association between psychopathy and perceptions of vulnerability to violent victimization. Design/methodology/approach A sample of 291 undergraduate students viewed a series of eight videos depicting individual female targets walking down a hallway from behind. Participants rated each target’s vulnerability to violent victimization and provided a justification for each rating. In addition to these ratings, participants completed the Self-Report Psychopathy Scale. Findings A series of hierarchical linear regressions revealed gender differences in the association between psychopathy and accuracy. Among male observers, total psychopathy scores, Factor 2 psychopathy scores, and scores on the antisocial behavior facet were positively associated with accuracy in perceiving vulnerability to violent victimization. Conversely, no associations were identified between psychopathy (total, Factors, and facets) and accuracy among female observers. This suggests that the adept ability to accurately perceive nonverbal cues signalling vulnerability is specific to males exhibiting psychopathic traits. Originality/value The results of the current study highlight the importance of distinguishing male and female psychopathy in research and practice. Moreover, with an understanding of individual differences in the ability to accurately perceive nonverbal cues associated with vulnerability, we may begin to develop intervention strategies aimed at reducing future incidences of victimization.
... Studies have established that nonverbal cues such as gait (i.e., the way in which people walk) can be accurate indicators of vulnerability to victimization (Grayson & Stein, 1981;Gunns, Johnston, & Hudson, 2002;Murzynski & Degelman, 1996). Using these nonverbal cues, individuals higher in psychopathic traits appear to be more accurate in identifying victim vulnerability in both student (Ritchie, Blais, Forth, & Book, 2018;Wheeler, Book, & Costello, 2009) and offender samples (Book, Costello, & Camilleri, 2013) than individuals with fewer psychopathic traits. ...
... In assessing specific nonverbal cues, movement or gait has been identified as an important indicator of vulnerability to victimization (Grayson & Stein, 1981;Gunns et al., 2002;Murzynski & Degelman, 1996). Grayson and Stein (1981) asked offenders imprisoned for assaults perpetrated against strangers to view a series of video clips of people walking and to determine the degree of vulnerability to an assault. ...
... In assessing specific nonverbal cues, movement or gait has been identified as an important indicator of vulnerability to victimization (Grayson & Stein, 1981;Gunns et al., 2002;Murzynski & Degelman, 1996). Grayson and Stein (1981) asked offenders imprisoned for assaults perpetrated against strangers to view a series of video clips of people walking and to determine the degree of vulnerability to an assault. Offenders were consistent in identifying those they perceived as easy targets, and those that they would avoid assaulting. ...
Article
The current study sought to examine the association between the Dark Tetrad traits and accuracy in assessing a target's vulnerability using nonverbal gait cues. In a sample of 126 undergraduates, accuracy was positively associated with psychopathy, Machiavellianism, and everyday sadism, while narcissism was unrelated to accuracy. A hierarchical linear regression analysis also suggested that there is considerable overlap between these constructs, as Machiavellianism and everyday sadism did not add incrementally to the prediction of accuracy over and above psychopathy. Overall, this study provides support for previous research associating psychopathy with accuracy in perceiving other's vulnerability based on gait cues and raises questions about the construct validity of the Dark Tetrad. While the fault of victimization lies solely on the perpetrator, it is important to explore whether vulnerability cues can be modified to reduce predatory behavior.
... Previous research has identified a prototypical low-vulnerability walking style (Grayson & Stein, 1981;Gunns et al., 2001). In Experiment 3, we investigate whether training that focused specifically on this walking style resulted in convincing movement changes and reduced vulnerability. ...
... Specific features of walking style were related to ease-of-attack ratings. The pattern of relationships between walking-style features and ease-of-attack ratings was similar to that reported in previous research (Grayson & Stein, 1981;Gums et al., 2002). ...
Article
Three experiments investigated whether women can change their walking style and hence reduce their vulnerability to physical attack. In Experiment 1, women were videotaped walking normally and when imagining themselves in a situation of low personal safety. Women were rated as harder to attack in the low safety condition. Differences in walking style accounted for differences in ease-of-attack ratings. Experiment 2 compared walking styles and vulnerability of women before and after completing a self-defense course. No differences were seen across sessions. Experiment 3 investigated walking styles and vulnerability of women before and after completing individualized walking training programs. Differences in vulnerability between sessions were revealed and could be accounted for by changes in walking-style features.
... Conversely, other research suggests that some criminal offenders (not necessarily dark personalities) may be attracted to a number of visible victim-centric traits that identify someone as vulnerable to victimization (e.g., Stoody, 2000), in particular physical features or ''demeanour''. For example, Grayson and Stein (1981) presented offenders convicted of assault with thin slice videos of women walking on a sidewalk. There was strong agreement between the violent offenders about who would be the most vulnerable to being mugged. ...
... They reported relying most heavily on what the targets were saying and on their ''intuition''. Given their lack of emotion, low emotional intelligence (e.g., Wai & Tiliopoulos, 2012), and facial expression recognition deficit, they may be more attuned to body language or obvious signs of physical weakness (such as gait; Grayson & Stein, 1981), which they reported as ''intuition''. ...
Article
Although it is recognized that “dark personalities” engage in a high level of interpersonal manipulation and exploitation, little is known about whether or how they assess a target’s potential vulnerability prior to such behavior. This study examined the relation between the Dark Triad (psychopathy, Machiavellianism, and narcissism) and strategies used in the assessment of personality and emotional states related to vulnerability in others. Participants (N = 101) were asked to form impressions of stranger “targets” (with either high or low known vulnerability features) describing themselves across thin slice video, audio, or transcript modalities. Results indicated that dark personalities engaged in a relatively superficial interpersonal analysis and exhibited a “negative other” heuristic by which they generally perceived all targets as being weak and vulnerable to victimization. This negative other heuristic led to impairments in their ability to accurately assess certain features of others. We propose that instead of being keen “readers” of others, dark personalities may rely on their own personality and physical features (e.g., charm, good looks) to draw in vulnerable victims or adopt a “quantity over quality” strategy to find victims and then use active manipulation tactics to exploit them.
... The compliant tendencies and the openness to exploitation of people with low self-esteem, however, may not be the only reason why those with low self-esteem may fall victim to the selfserving tendencies of leaders with psychopathy traits. In addition, subtle behavioral patterns and gestures of the low self-esteem followers might indicate that they offer little resistance in case of abuse (i.e., gestural hinting, see Grayson and Stein, 1981). It has been suggested that those with psychopathic traits are particularly capable of recognizing others' vulnerability and have a willingness to exploit that. ...
... " (as cited in Holmes and Holmes, 2009, p. 221). Several scholars indeed confirm that victims share certain characteristics that seem to predispose them for abuse and exploitation (Grayson and Stein, 1981;Richards et al., 1991;Gunns et al., 2002;Sakaguchi and Hasegawa, 2007). Other studies indicate that those with psychopathic traits are particularly likely to pick up on those characteristics (Book et al., 2013). ...
Article
Full-text available
Recent instances of corporate misconduct and examples of blatant leader self-serving behavior have rekindled interest in leader personality traits as antecedents of negative leader behavior. The current research builds upon that work, and examines the relationship between leader psychopathy and leader self-serving behavior. Moreover, we investigate whether follower self-esteem affects the occurrence of self-serving behavior in leaders with psychopathic tendencies. We predict that self-serving behaviors by psychopathic leaders are more likely to occur in the interaction with followers low in self-esteem. We first conducted an experimental study (N = 156), in which we manipulated follower self-esteem, measured leader psychopathy, and assessed their combined effect on leader self-serving behavior using an ultimatum game. We then conducted a multi-source field study (N = 124 leader–follower dyads) using questionnaires to assess leader psychopathy, follower self-esteem, and perceived leader self-serving behavior. Across both studies, we found that leader psychopathy was positively related to their self-serving behavior, but only when followers had low rather than high self-esteem. As expected, our studies showed that the degree to which (perceived) psychopathic traits of leaders are reflected in their behavior depends on the characteristics of their followers. Apparently, the behavioral expression of negative leader traits is not only a matter of the trait strength, but instead is the result of the interplay between leader and follower in a certain context.
... As a consequence of the physical and psychological hardships inherent in homelessness, age-related health problems are exacerbated; in comparison to housed populations of the same chronological age, those who endure long-term exposure to homelessness physiologically age more rapidly (Brown et al., 2017). 2 From a criminological perspective, an increased prevalence of age-related illnesses-comorbidities which diminish safekeeping capabilities-may be subjectively interpreted by others as evidence of physical vulnerability (cf. Hindelang et al., 1978;Grayson & Stein, 1981). ...
... which affect vulnerability-walking alone into a darkened alley, for example (Katz, 1988; see also Grayson & Stein, 1981). ...
... There is evidence to support Buss and Duntley's hypothesized cues. One well-established exploitability cue is a slow, awkward gait, which indicates vulnerability to physical attack (Grayson & Stein, 1981;Gunns et al., 2002). In fact, among both the general public and imprisoned criminals, people with psychopathic personality traits can accurately identify people with a history of victimization by watching a video of them walking (Book et al., 2013;Wheeler et al., 2009). ...
... Another limitation of the current research was the artificiality of asking participants about exploitative acts they were unlikely to have committed. Although this research is about perceptions of exploitation, not exploitative behavior, participants in the general population may have less insight into victim selection than criminals or people with psychopathic personality traits (Book et al., 2013;Grayson & Stein, 1981). Ultimately, there is no way to know if the ratings of exploitability from the current research predict actual selection of victims with mental illness. ...
... There is evidence to support Buss and Duntley's hypothesized cues. One well-established exploitability cue is a slow, awkward gait, which indicates vulnerability to physical attack (Grayson & Stein, 1981;Gunns et al., 2002). In fact, among both the general public and imprisoned criminals, people with psychopathic personality traits can accurately identify people with a history of victimization by watching a video of them walking (Book et al., 2013;Wheeler et al., 2009). ...
... Another limitation of the current research was the artificiality of asking participants about exploitative acts they were unlikely to have committed. Although this research is about perceptions of exploitation, not exploitative behavior, participants in the general population may have less insight into victim selection than criminals or people with psychopathic personality traits (Book et al., 2013;Grayson & Stein, 1981). Ultimately, there is no way to know if the ratings of exploitability from the current research predict actual selection of victims with mental illness. ...
Article
Exploitation of others is one method that humans use to acquire resources. People use cues to identify targets for exploitation, and evolutionary psychology predicts that the cues correspond to specific domains of exploitability. Previous research suggests that people perceive mental illness as a cue indicating sexual exploitability, but it is not clear if perceptions of exploitability are specific to sex or if they generalize to other domains. The current research examined generalized associations between exploitability and mental illness. Study 1 (N = 165) showed that participants rated cues of exploitability as more typical of people with mental illness than people without mental illness. In Study 2 (N = 236) participants rated people with mental illness as having increased vulnerability to exploitation across domains including abuse, cheating, cuckolding, sexual coercion, and killing. In Study 3 (N = 384) and Study 4 (N = 331), participants evaluated exploitability in real-world scenarios. In both studies, participants perceived a person with mental illness as significantly more exploitable for sex and money than a person with physical illness. Overall, the results of this research suggest that people perceive mental illness as a generalized cue of exploitability.
... Research suggests that a potential victims vulnerability may be detected through their body language (Grayson & Stein, 1981) as well as using postural non-verbal cues (Richards et al., 1991). Targets with less fluid walking styles have been found to be perceived to be more vulnerable regardless of sex or age (Montepare & Zebrowitz-McArthur, 1988). ...
... This analysis also resulted in a victim group by clip type interaction where victims were found to be rated as more vulnerable than non-victims in clip formats that included video, but not in audio-only clips. These results support our hypothesis and align well with previous studies in this area that have consistently shown results emphasizing the relative importance of body language cues in the identification of victimization (for example Grayson & Stein, 1981;Ritchie, Blais, Forth, & Book, 2018;Wheeler et al., 2009). ...
Thesis
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This thesis is a broad investigation of the affective features of psychopathy with the view of assessing whether these deficits and differences in affect may result in adaptive features that improve the fitness of those with the psychopathy phenotype as nefarious but individually advantageous social predators. We aim to assess whether aspects of the affective profile of this phenotype; increase success victimising others through increased accuracy in the perception of vulnerable traits, increase willingness to act in ways that harm others through reduced affect-based inhibition, or increase the ability to mask deviance and ‘fake good’. The first study of this thesis is a methodological development and validation of a new procedure for collecting self-reported emotional experience and physiological response simultaneously. This methodology involves the use of eye-tracking technology to allow participants to make ratings using gaze to fixate on a response graph presented between stimulus presentations. Results suggest that this method of collecting self-reported affective response is comparable to more traditional methods of data collection, validating it’s use in future studies. The second study of this thesis utilises this methodology in combination with measures of physiological response, cognitive empathy, intelligence, and psychopathy to assess the possibility that intelligence and/or cognitive empathy have a moderating effect on the relationship between psychopathy and physiological response to affective stimuli. Although we were expecting to find the physiological affective response deficits in relation to psychopathic traits no such deficits were found. We further expected that IQ and cognitive empathy may moderate the relationship between psychopathy and affective response, but found little evidence to support this. One interesting finding was that self-reported affective response showed a negative association with psychopathic traits across multiple stimulus types. This may indicate a further usefulness for the fixation triggered rating methodology. The third study is an investigation of the relationship between psychopathy and memory for the emotional state of others. This study used a recognition memory test to assess whether people can recall the prior emotional expression of an individual when prompted with recognition of that individual’s identity while displaying a neutral expression. Results suggest some evidence of a negative association between psychopathy and expression memory. The fourth and final study is an investigation of whether psychopathy relates to increased accuracy assessing the vulnerability of others. This study utilised a stress induction to produce videos of self-reported victims and non-victims under stress. These videos were rated for a variety of traits associated with vulnerability and the accuracy of these ratings was assessed for associations with the psychopathy levels of the people making the rating. Data showed little evidence of increased accuracy, but consistent evidence of psychopathy being associated with an increased perception of others as vulnerable. Overall, evidence from this thesis suggests that psychopathy may facilitate the use of a nefarious social strategy through reduced affect-based inhibition and increased perception of others as vulnerable to victimisation.
... That is, employees with certain traits are more likely to label the same behavior as mistreatment or more likely to "invite" mistreatment behaviors (Aquino & Thau, 2009). The question of who is to blame for mistreatment has long occupied social psychology and criminology fields (e.g., Cialdini et al., 1976;Grayson & Stein, 1981). Those fields have moved away from putting responsibility for mistreatment on targets (i.e., victim precipitation perspective) to recognizing that perpetrators bear full responsibility for mistreating targets and some may even prey on certain targets (i.e., perpetrator predation framework). ...
... Testing a perpetrator predation framework provides certain methodological challenges as, unlike in the criminology field (Grayson & Stein, 1981), perpetrators of workplace mistreatment are rarely confined in one place. Further, some could argue that a perpetrator predation framework applies only to extreme cases of physical assault, and given the ambiguous nature of some mistreatment types positioning mistreatment as "subjective victim experience" would be more accurate. ...
Article
Full-text available
Workplace mistreatment researchers study negative interpersonal behaviors under a plethora of different labels, including incivility, bullying, harassment, aggression, and violence. While negative interpersonal behaviors differ in their intensity, intent, and frequency, a common denominator of these behaviors is their adverse impact on employees and organizations. Research has identified the nomological network of workplace mistreatment, which illustrates individual and contextual factors associated with mistreatment behaviors. Authors have also highlighted outcomes of mistreatment, showing that mistreatment results in reduced psychological and physical health, worsened job attitudes, and diminished performance for both targets and bystanders. Further, enacted mistreatment is not without consequences for the perpetrators, and these consequences can be both negative and positive. While workplace mistreatment research has been steadily growing, many questions remain unanswered. There are unexplored topics, approaches, and methodologies. First, there is a need to understand the uniqueness and similarities of different mistreatment constructs to provide a more comprehensive approach for studying workplace mistreatment and highlight alternative ways of measuring mistreatment constructs. Novel methodological approaches, such as HotMap and artificial intelligence, could shed light on the dynamics between targets and perpetrators of mistreatment, allowing researchers to capture the dynamic nature of mistreatment behaviors. Second, the interactions among societal, cultural, and interpersonal factors are likely to shape enacted mistreatment. For instance, social networks within organizations and the interrelations between employees are likely to influence not only the individual who becomes targeted, but also the way in which bystanders are to take action against such mistreatment. Third, while the role of bystanders in the dynamics of workplace mistreatment is undoubtedly important, there is a need to critically investigate the role bystanders may play in curtailing or encouraging mistreatment. More specifically, bystander interventions can take both constructive and destructive forms. Finally, targets’ responses to experienced mistreatment are likely to be relevant to the understanding of the dyadic nature of workplace mistreatment, such that an aggressive target response is likely to cause a mistreatment spiraling. However, it remains unclear what type of target response, if any, would be beneficial in helping de-escalate destructive behavior from the perpetrator. Thus, more research is needed to help address the important question of the best ways to deal with experienced mistreatment.
... Since these events occur as interactions between an organism and its environment, both occurrences (the indicators of dispositions) and dispositions (set of occurrences) should be studied as natural phenomena. Kantor (1971) pointed out that psychology can only be a (Alley, cited in Baron & Misovich, 1993), as well as gait information for vulnerability (Grayson & Stein, 1981) or "effortfulness" (Runeson & Frykholm, 1983). Some of these studies use pertinent stimuli to function as an event-acti vi ty test providing discriminative information at a perceptual level (Baron & Misovich, 1993bproducing effective results" (Corral, 1994), in this case, a proenvironmental result, using pertinent stimuli to function as an event-activity test, as Baron and Misovich (1993b) suggest. ...
... N. Gold et al., 1999)-and development of traits that enable potential perpetrators to more easily identify susceptible populations. In an early study, for instance, Grayson and Stein (1981) found that ''potential victims''had different, identifiable gaits. More recent findings from a nationally representative U.S. study suggest that both women and men with childhood contact may develop more sexualized personality structures, may consciously or unconsciously send out cues that are interpreted as receptivity to sexual attention, and hence have a higher risk of sexual harassment in adulthood (Das, 2009). ...
Article
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Using data from the 2010 to 2011 wave of the National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project-a nationally representative probability sample of older U.S. adults-this study queried distinctive linkages of mild and of severe childhood sexual contact with lifetime sexual and psychological outcomes among women and men aged 60-99 years (N = 3283). In addition, we examined stratification of these associations by sexual revictimization (forced sex and/or harassment). Among women, sequelae of childhood contact seemed consistently negative for the mild rather than severe variant-but only in the co-presence of revictimization-a pattern that may have remained obscured in previous analysis of event effects. Men's results suggested lifelong eroticizing but not psychological effects of this early experience-with the co-presence of revictimization potentially enhancing rather than lowering their mental health. Overall, findings appeared to reflect gendered patterns of risk-with mild childhood contact potentially channeling women but not men into revictimization and finally to elevated sexuality and poor mental health in late life. Early sexual experiences should thus be conceptualized not as singular events, but as part of a lifelong career with regularities and rhythms that may influence their pathogenic potential.
... Professional stage actors can surely talk about this problem. However, as a few mainly experimental studies from nonmental health care have shown, body language may be one factor in preventing assaults, for it does affect perceptions of vulnerability or nonvulnerability and of submissiveness (Grayson & Stein, 1981;Murzinsky & Degelman, 1996). More successful than just manipulating one's expression is to change the thinking about conflicts and their solutions. ...
... Unter Vulnerabilität im soziologischen Sinn (Albernhe 1997, S. 509) versteht man die Disposition einer Person, die sie leichter zum Opfer werden lässt als andere Menschen (im Englischen "proneness to victimization").Wie man aus der Praxis weiß, wählen sich Kriminelle ihre Opfer primär unter dem Aspekt ihrer Verletzlichkeit aus und nur sekundär nach dem durch die Straftat zu erwartenden materiellen oder emotionalen Gewinn. Diese Beobachtung wurde durch eine Befragung von inhaftierten Kriminellen erhärtet (Grayson & Stein 1981). PolitikerInnen sind auf gewisse Art und Weise sehr verletzliche Opfer, weil sie ständig in den Medien präsent sein müssen. ...
Chapter
Anonyme Schreiben sind zunächst ungefragte, spontane Kommunikationen. In der forensischen Psychologie behandeln wir sie als Sprech-Handlungen (Austin 1962/1980, S. 40ff). Die Bedeutung solcher Texte erschließt sich somit nur aus dem Wortlaut und ihrer speziellen Inszenierung zusammen. Was den Wortlaut anbetrifft, so bildet er im Sinne der Relevanz- Theorie (Sperber & Wilson 2008) die von der Autorenschaft gewählte Form, um ihre Botschaft so gut wie möglich zu vermitteln; genauer gesagt: so gut sie es mit den ihr zur Verfügung stehen kognitiven, technischen und sozialen Mitteln überhaupt kann. Wir gehen davon aus, dass jedes Detail frei gewählt wurde und seine psychologische Bedeutung hat. In anderen Worten: „auch was überflüssig scheint, ist es in Wirklichkeit nicht“ (übersetzt aus Sapir 1999). Vorsicht ist allerdings geboten, weil wir a priori nicht wissen, ob ein Text aus der Feder einer einzigen Person stammt, oder ob mehrere Personen mitgewirkt haben.
... A source of unease with some theories implicating risky behavior in revictimization is that they might be misinterpreted as victim-blaming. A marked alternative, again in the context of the link between revictimization and risky sexual behavior, is suggested by studies showing that perpetrators are adept at identifying previously assaulted individuals on the basis of their body language alone (Grayson & Stein, 1981) and that this skill is enhanced in those with psychopathic traits (Wheeler, Book, & Costello, 2009). Psychopathic traits, which include callousness toward others' distress as well as manipulative skill and charm, also may aid perpetrators in inducing victims to engage in risky behaviors and overcoming their resistance. ...
Preprint
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A substantial body of research confirms that trauma exposure predicts adolescent involvement in the justice system, although the mechanisms accounting for this association are not well understood. The most recent revision of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM‐5; American Psychiatric Association, 2013, Washington, DC) diagnosis of posttraumatic stress disorder introduced a new symptom, that of “self‐destructive or risky behavior,” which may have particular relevance to understanding posttraumatic reactions in the adolescent period and the processes by which trauma becomes associated with offending. The present article reviews evidence supporting the link between trauma exposure and self‐harming or recklessness and outlines theories that propose biological and psychological functions of these behaviors, which can be understood as representing the proposed construct of posttraumatic risk‐seeking. Implications for future research and interventions with traumatized youth are discussed.
... Research on perceptions of vulnerability as manifested by body language conducted by Grayson and Stein (1981) is especially relevant here. Individuals who were targeted as vulnerable tend to emit nonverbal cues that suggest ease of victimization, cues that have been confirmed by additional studies (Gunns, Johnston, and Hudson, 2002;Sakuguchi and Hasegawa, 2006). ...
Conference Paper
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https://ojp.gov/reviewpanel/pdfs/WrittenTestimonyofRobertDumond.pdf Protecting Inmates with Mental Health Conditions The US Attorney General's Review Panel on Prison Rape invited Mr. Robert W. Dumond, senior program director for Just Detention International (JDI), to testify about the heightened vulnerability of inmates with mental health needs to sexual victimization and effective ways to protect them from harm. JDI is a health and human rights organization that seeks to end sexual abuse in all forms of detention.301 In his testimony, Mr. Dumond highlighted four interrelated issues: (1) the epidemiology of mental illness in detention settings; (2) the challenges of inmates with developmental disabilities; (3) the specific problem of suicide; and (4) the elevated risks faced by inmates, particularly female inmates, with histories of sexual abuse.3
... Some point-light research examined powerlessness prompts in the strides of target decisions for attack [37,38]. ...
... The models who were instructed to use body language associated with vulnerability were, in fact, judged to be less confident and more vulnerable to sexual assault by a stranger. This mirrors the findings of Grayson and Stein (1981), who suggested that "potential victims may actually be signaling their vulnerability to would-be assailants through gestures, posture, and exaggerated movements" (p. 68). ...
Article
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The relationship between psychopathic traits and the perception of nonverbal communication, including facial expressions and body language, is investigated. Participants include 59 prison inmates and 60 community members. Psychopathic traits among inmates are measured using the Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R) and Levenson's Self Report Psychopathy Scale. Participants categorize the emotion of posed facial photographs and rate intensity of emotion. They view videotaped interactions of a confederate and a target individual and rate assertive- ness using the Rathus Assertiveness Scale. There is a trend for the PCL-R to be positively cor- related with the inmates' accuracy of emotional intensity ratings. Psychopathic traits are also positively associated with the accuracy of assertiveness ratings.
... Rather, understanding the consequences of victimization should be used to aid victims in coping with their experiences. Limited research has shown that those who are victimized exhibit automatic responses and/or behavior related to victimization and vulnerability to assault, for example, startle response (Herman, 1992), chronic hyperarousal (Burgess & Holmstrom, 1974;van der Kolk, 1986;van der Kolk & Saporta, 1991), and walking gait (Book et al., 2010;Grayson & Stein, 1981;Gunns et al., 2002;Sakaguchi & Hasegawa, 2006;Wheeler et al., 2009). To some degree, measures of implicit social cognition have been predictive of automatic actions-those that are impulsive, uncontrollable, or unintentional (Deutsch & Strack, 2010). ...
Article
Contextually salient social identities are those that individuals may not think of often but that may be temporarily activated by relevant situational cues. We hypothesized that victim, one of many identities people may possess, is a contextually salient identity that operates both implicitly and explicitly. To test this hypothesis, the present research tests the effect of a situational victimization cue on implicit and explicit self-victim associations. We utilized an experiment with a 2 (Victimization salience: yes vs. no) × 2 (Past victimization experience: yes vs. no) between-participants design. One hundred eighty-one undergraduate student participants were recruited and randomized into one of two conditions: (a) an experimental condition reminding them of a previous victimization experience or (b) a control condition whereby they did not receive a reminder. All participants then completed one Single-Category Implicit Association Test, and self-report measures of explicit self-victim associations and victimization experience. Between-participants analyses of variance were used to analyze data. Results indicated that individuals who were reminded of a previous victimization exhibited stronger explicit and implicit self-victim associations compared to those who were not reminded. This research provides initial evidence that victim is a contextually salient identity, which has implications for the factors and processes underlying identity formation, revictimization, and the prevention of repeat victimization.
... Unter Vulnerabilität im soziologischen Sinn (Albernhe 1997, S. 509) versteht man die Disposition einer Person, die sie leichter zum Opfer werden lässt als andere Menschen (im Englischen "proneness to victimization").Wie man aus der Praxis weiß, wählen sich Kriminelle ihre Opfer primär unter dem Aspekt ihrer Verletzlichkeit aus und nur sekundär nach dem durch die Straftat zu erwartenden materiellen oder emotionalen Gewinn. Diese Beobachtung wurde durch eine Befragung von inhaftierten Kriminellen erhärtet (Grayson & Stein 1981). PolitikerInnen sind auf gewisse Art und Weise sehr verletzliche Opfer, weil sie ständig in den Medien präsent sein müssen. ...
Chapter
Full-text available
Anonyme Schreiben sind zunächst ungefragte, spontane Kommunikationen. In der forensi-schen Psychologie behandeln wir sie als Sprech-Handlungen (Austin 1962/1980, S. 40ff). Die Bedeutung solcher Texte erschließt sich somit nur aus der Kombination ihres Wortlauts und ihrer speziellen Inszenierung zusammen. Was den Wortlaut anbetrifft, so bildet er im Sinne der Relevanz-Theorie (Sperber & Wilson 2008) die von der Autorenschaft gewählte Form, um ihre Botschaft so gut wie möglich zu vermitteln; genauer gesagt: so gut sie es mit den ihr zur Verfügung stehenden kognitiven, technischen und sozialen Mitteln überhaupt kann. Wir gehen davon aus, dass jedes Detail frei gewählt wurde und seine psychologische Bedeutung hat. In anderen Worten: „auch was überflüssig scheint, ist es in Wirklichkeit nicht“ (übersetzt aus Sapir 1999). Vorsicht ist allerdings geboten, weil wir a priori nicht wissen, ob ein Text aus der Feder einer einzigen Person stammt, oder ob mehrere Personen daran mitgewirkt haben. Für die kriminalistische Auswertung von inkriminierten Schreiben stellt die Analyse des Materials im Hinblick auf gender-relevante Aspekte ein Gesichtspunkt unter mehreren dar. In einem Gutachten wird nach vielen anderen möglichen Merkmalen der Urheberschaft eines anonymen Textes ebenfalls gesucht, etwa besonderen Fähigkeiten, (Aus-)Bildung und Intelli-genz, Muttersprache (Nationalität), Alter, Wohnort, Mobilität, delinquente Vergangenheit und Vorstrafen, psychische Störungen und medizinische Probleme, Verfügbarkeit von Waffen, technische Kenntnisse, Zugehörigkeit zu bestimmten Gruppen, politische Gesinnung, Weltan-schauung und Religion, Motive, Gefährlichkeit, etc. Die Kategorie „Gender“ spielt aber in politischen und arbeitsrechtlichen Zusammenhängen, sowie bei häuslicher Gewalt eine be-sonders wichtige Rolle.
... With respect to the relationship between nonverbal behaviors and victimization, extant literature has largely considered the role of gait in vulnerability. Researchers have identified that those who have experienced some form of victimization or appear vulnerable to future exploitation show distinct and observable gait cues, including long or short strides, straight knees, bent-over posture or a downward gaze (Blaskovits and Bennell, 2019;Grayson and Stein, 1981;Gunns et al., 2002;Johnston et al., 2004) [1]. Beyond gait, a few studies have noted relationships between key personality traits (e.g. ...
Article
Purpose – In women, having a history of sexual victimization has been linked to certain personality traits (e.g. low levels of assertiveness) and nonverbal behaviors (e.g. fewer head movements). The majority of research in this area, however, has considered how self-reported personality traits and gait relate to victimization. As such, the present study aims to examine how observers’ perceptions of personality impact judgments of targets’ vulnerability to sexual and violent victimization, and how the nonverbal behaviors used when making these judgments may vary depending on perceived personality traits. Design/methodology/approach – A total of 309 participants watched eight audio-less videos of a woman speaking. Following each video, participants rated each woman on varying personality and emotionality traits, as well as their perception of how vulnerable the woman was to future victimization, and how they came to their decision according to a number of predetermined nonverbal cues. Findings – Consistent with previous research, observers’ perceptions of sexual vulnerability were negatively related to perceptions of targets’ self-esteem and confidence, and positively related to anxiety. While violent vulnerability displayed a similar pattern of results, the nonverbal behaviors cited during the vulnerability appraisal process varied between personality traits. Though few results emerged within the latter query, anxiety exhibited the majority of all significant relationships, including being positively associated with facial expressions and upper and lower body movements. Originality/value – Results suggest that different behavioral and personality interventions (e.g. increasing self-esteem) may serve to increase self-efficacy, autonomy and confidence, as well as help women feel more in control of their destiny and interpersonal communications.
... Two shortcuts that seem especially relevant are the availability heuristic-where the fluency of bringing an idea to mind, either by recalling or imagining it, determines its salience and impact on judgments (Tversky and Kahneman, 1973)-and the representativeness heuristic-in which judgments are based on how well something resembles a relevant mental stereotype (Tversky and Kahneman, 1974). If the prototypical victim in an offender's mind has a certain gait (Book, Costello, and Camilleri, 2013;Grayson and Stein, 1981), the representativeness heuristic might lead the offender to perceive someone as an easy target simply because of the way he or she is walking. Similarly, among thieves, the availability heuristic should lead to lower perceived criminal risk whenever the visible features of a target (e.g., small size) make it easier to imagine taking, carrying and/or concealing it. ...
Article
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Recent experiments show that offender decision-making is characterized by the use of cognitive heuristics. Questions remain about what this means for deterrence research and policy. I argue that the primary task is to identify ways to leverage decision-making biases to reduce crime. I outline three avenues for future research on deterrence, and discuss their relevance for crime policy. To illustrate these lines of inquiry and stimulate additional studies, I provide initial experimental results for each topic. I report evidence that: 1) pseudocertainty publicity can increase perceived arrest risk and fear; 2) the availability heuristic can help to explain how target characteristics affect situational perceptions of crime benefits and costs, and 3) individuals experience declining sensitivity to increases in sanction severity.
... For example, based on observations of walking gait, Montepare, Goldstein, and Clausen (1987) found that subjects were able to identify emotional states of walkers, while another study found that sexologists could determine history of vaginal orgasm based on observing females walking gait (Nicholas, Brody, de Sutter, & de Carufel, 2008). In an early study on walking gait conducted by Grayson and Stein (1981), the authors found that physical attributes could differentiate victims from non-victims. Most notably, those more vulnerable to victimisation were prone to have less synchronous movements in comparison with those less vulnerable to victimisation. ...
Chapter
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This chapter will explore the tendency of psychopathic individuals to deceive others, exploit vulnerability and target victims in pursuit of self-gain, examining the implications of this behaviour in the workplace. The evidence relating to the varied mechanisms that provide psychopaths with the ammunition to coerce, abuse and deceive is presented, based on both empirical studies and case reports.
... Predators are known to use the movement speed of other animals as a basis for prey selection during chases, preferring slower targets [1][2][3] . Vulnerability to attack in humans is also related to locomotion kinematics 4,5 . Human walking speed varies with the walker's mood, temperament and intent, and thus provides important social information about the walker's physical and mental state 6,7 . ...
Article
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Locomotion speed provides important social information about an individual's fitness, mood and intent. Visual estimation of locomotion speed is a complex task for the visual system because viewing distance must be taken into account, and the estimate has to be calibrated by recent experience of typical speeds. Little is known about how locomotion speed judgements are made. Previous research indicates that the human visual system possesses neurons that respond specifically to moving human forms. This research used point-light walker (PLW) displays that are known to activate these cells, in order to investigate the process mediating locomotion speed judgements. The results of three adaptation experiments show that these judgements involve both a low-level sensory component and a high-level decision component. A simple theoretical scheme is proposed, in which neurons sensitive to image flicker rate (temporal frequency) provide a sensory speed code, and a benchmark 'norm' value of the speed code, based on prevailing locomotion speeds, is used to make decisions about objective speed. The output of a simple computational model of the scheme successfully captured variations in locomotion speed in the stimuli used in the experiments. The theory offers a biologically-motivated account of how locomotion speed can be visually estimated.
... Such opportunistic modes of predation require offenders to hastily determine a target's capacity to resist an attack while simultaneously appraising the likelihood that a prospective victim is in possession of desired property (Cook, 1986;Lejeune, 1977). An offender's assessment of a prospective victim's capacity to defend him-or herself is therefore among the most important of many situational factors that either attract or deter unwanted predatory attention (Grayson & Stein, 1981). Certain identifiable and subjectively perceptible characteristics may confer an increased risk of exposure to crime and violence by indicating to offenders that a prospective victim is less physically capable of repelling an attack, what Hindelang et al. (1978) referred to as vincibility. ...
Article
This article reports the current state of scientific knowledge concerning specific forms of street crime victimization affecting homeless adults, ages 18 or over. This interdisciplinary systematic review examines 33 studies that provide some degree of insight into the nature of victimization occurring within the homeless milieu. Findings indicate that the homeless are subject to disproportionate rates of distinct categories of common crime, including assault, robbery, and theft. When viewed through the theoretical lens of lifestyle–exposure theory, the present study’s data demonstrates that certain homeless subpopulations endure increased risk of predatory crime. Implications for future research and public policy are discussed.
... Humans and other species that hunt prey likely possess adaptations to detect the exploitability of their targets (Buss & Duntley, 2008) and use deception and force to take advantage of their targets (Buss & Duntley, 2008;Goetz et al., 2012). Research has shown consensus among men and women as to which women are deemed easily victimized and sexually exploitable (Goetz, Easton, & Buss, 2014;Goetz et al., 2012;Grayson & Stein, 1981;Gunns, Johnston, & Hudson, 2002), and some men are particularly attracted to exploitable women (Goetz et al., 2012). This seems to be part of the modus operandus of the typical MSK (Miller, 2014). ...
Article
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Research directly comparing empirical data of the behaviors and crimes of male serial killers (MSKs) versus female serial killers (FSKs) within one study is nonexistent. This study sought to make such a direct comparison. We examined sex differences in serial murder that may be byproducts of ancestral tendencies. Specifically, we proposed and tested a "hunter-gatherer" model of serial murder. Using the mass media method to collect archival data, we obtained information about 55 MSKs and 55 FSKs (matched for age of first murder) who committed their crimes in the United States from 1856 to 2009. We found that MSKs more frequently act as "hunters," stalking and killing targeted strangers in dispersed areas, while FSKs more frequently are "gatherers," killing those who are around them and familiar to them and gaining profit from their crimes. We also documented other sex differences between serial murderers. We discuss these findings from an evolutionary psychological perspective.
... A source of unease with some theories implicating risky behavior in revictimization is that they might be misinterpreted as victim-blaming. A marked alternative, again in the context of the link between revictimization and risky sexual behavior, is suggested by studies showing that perpetrators are adept at identifying previously assaulted individuals on the basis of their body language alone (Grayson & Stein, 1981) and that this skill is enhanced in those with psychopathic traits (Wheeler, Book, & Costello, 2009). Psychopathic traits, which include callousness toward others' distress as well as manipulative skill and charm, also may aid perpetrators in inducing victims to engage in risky behaviors and overcoming their resistance. ...
Article
A substantial body of research confirms that trauma exposure predicts adolescent involvement in the justice system, although the mechanisms accounting for this association are not well-understood. The most recent revision of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-5; American Psychiatric Association, 2013) diagnosis of posttraumatic stress disorder introduced a new symptom, that of “self-destructive or risky behavior,” which may have particular relevance to understanding posttraumatic reactions in the adolescent period and the processes by which trauma becomes associated with offending. The present paper reviews evidence supporting the link between trauma exposure and self-harming or recklessness and outlines theories that propose biological and psychological functions of these behaviors, which can be understood as representing the proposed construct of posttraumatic risk-seeking. Implications for future research and interventions with traumatized youth are discussed.
... There are also reports that some movement characteristics that are revealed through the natural gait give the impression that an individual would be easy to victimize. Awkwardness, less coordination, and a slow gait make a target person appear less confident and easier to attack (Grayson & Stein, 1981;Gunns, Johnston, & Hudson, 2002;Murzynski & Degelman, 1996). ...
Article
Female Japanese students answered questionnaires about personality (Sociosexual Orientation Inventory and the Big Five) and the frequency of having been targeted for unexpected advances by strangers. Women who reported having been frequently targeted for being “picked up” with sexual intentions had unrestricted sociosexuality (r = .38, p < .0001; n = 145) and had personalities that suggested unrestricted sociosexuality (extraversion and openness). The frequency of being targeted for inappropriate touching was not associated consistently with personality traits. Women who reported having been frequently targeted for nonsexual advances were likely to rate themselves high in agreeableness. The ecological significance of the ability to choose a stranger with whom to interact, based on person perceptions through brief observation, is discussed.
Article
We tried to understand individual differences in two super-categories of cues to vulnerability. In a qualitative, act-nomination study (N = 79), we found several underpowered patterns in that more physical cues of vulnerability were listed than psychological ones, no sex difference were observed for number of psychological vulnerabilities, but men listed more physical vulnerabilities than women, however; these effects are descriptive only. We then surveyed participants (N = 262) on how much a curated list of cues from Study 1 made men and women vulnerable. A composite of the Dark Tetrad traits (i.e., narcissism, psychopathy, sadism, and Machiavellianism) that we called “antagonism” was associated with seeing targets as more vulnerable whereas those who were empathetic perceived targets as less vulnerable. Physical vulnerability was associated with higher ratings of male targets' vulnerability. For psychological vulnerability, antagonism was associated with lowered perceptions of vulnerability of female targets. Women rated others—regardless of their sex—as more vulnerable than men did, but this effect was strongest for physical cues. And last, women rated other women as more vulnerable—regardless of cue type—than other men, but men rated both sexes as equally vulnerable. Our results are discussed within an evolutionary framework.
Article
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Human groups contain reproductively relevant resources that differ greatly in their ease of accessibility. The authors advance a conceptual framework for the study of 2 classes of adaptations that have been virtually unexplored: (a) adaptations for exploitation designed to expropriate the resources of others through deception, manipulation, coercion, intimidation, terrorization, and force and (b) antiexploitation adaptations that evolved to prevent one from becoming a victim of exploitation. As soon as adaptations for exploitation evolved, they would immediately select for coevolved antiexploitation defenses--adaptations in target individuals, their kin, and their social allies designed to prevent their becoming a victim of exploitation. Antiexploitation defenses, in turn, created satellite adaptive problems for those pursuing a strategy of exploitation. Selection would favor the evolution of anticipatory and in situ solutions designed to circumvent the victim's defenses and minimize the costs of pursuing an exploitative strategy. Adaptations for exploitation have design features sensitive to the group dynamics in which they are deployed, including status hierarchies, social reputation, and the preferential selection of out-group victims. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
This study examines whether psychopathic traits in a nonreferred (and presumably nonpsychopathic) sample could enhance the accuracy of perceptions of victim vulnerability. In a previous study, the interpersonal and affective component of psychopathy was associated with increased accuracy in assessing vulnerability in dyadic conversations, and Grayson and Stein (1981) established that vulnerability could be assessed by observing targets walking. The purpose of this study was to determine whether individuals scoring higher on psychopathic traits would be better able to judge vulnerability to victimization after viewing short clips of targets walking. Participants provided a vulnerability estimate for each target and completed the Self-Report Psychopathy Scale: Version III (SRP-III). Higher SRP-III scores were associated with greater accuracy in assessing targets' vulnerability to victimization. Implications for the prevention of victimization are discussed.
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The body of research that examines the perception of biological motion is extensive and explores the factors that are perceived from biological motion and how this information is processed. This research demonstrates that individuals are able to use relative (temporal and spatial) information from a person's movement to recognize factors, including gender, age, deception, emotion, intention, and action. The research also demonstrates that movement presents idiosyncratic properties that allow individual discrimination, thus providing the basis for significant exploration in the domain of biometrics and social signal processing. Medical forensics, safety garments, and victim selection domains also have provided a history of research on the perception of biological motion applications; however, a number of additional domains present opportunities for application that have not been explored in depth. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to present an overview of the current applications of biological motion-based research and to propose a number of areas where biological motion research, specific to recognition, could be applied in the future.
Chapter
Once motivated to commit a criminal act, the aggressor will look for favorable individual and situational factors in which to carry out the attack. The selection procedure is highly predictable and purposeful involving the right person who happens to be in the right place at the right time. Even when the criminal’s motivation appears to be highly illogical, their planning and execution may be highly rational. Once understood, potential targets can choose to take steps to protect themselves and avoid certain situations. Potential targets need to recognize that criminals prefer those who offer maximum gain, control, and access. They favor locations that minimize the risk of detection and situations that reduce contact with possible guardians.
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The article tells about phenomenon of victim’s behavior in commission of crimes, found its genesis and describes basic models of such behavior. Victim behavior is the person acts or omissions that led to her selection as offering and were the reason for commit the crime in a specific situation. The gist of victim’s behavior is dangerous for person behavior in situations of interaction with the criminal. Dangerous of such behavior is allowing for the location, time and scenarios before committing a crime, or at the time a criminal assault. Victim’s behavior attracts attention of the criminal, causes the choice of victim, become a pretext for committing a crime against the person who was raised in a vulnerable situation. The shape of this behavior is mainly careless. Much less people are deliberately exposed to unlawful acts. For the moment the emergence of victim behavior prior commission the offense or appears at the moment of interaction between the offender and the victim. Similarly victim behavior can deployment and change in the process of committing a crime. Display of victim’s behavior are relatively few; mostly of them are typical.
Article
PurposeThe process model presented here was developed as part of safety seminars to help participants recognize criminal preferences and tactics. Method The assessing phase of the model identifies circumstances and target characteristics that thieves find favourable. The approaching phase identifies manipulative and deceptive tactics that thieves use to bait, distract, and control their targets. ResultTheft is often the end result of a dynamic set of highly visible, purposeful, and progressively aggressive interactions between criminals and their targets. Conclusion While many thieves are highly skilled, individuals can reduce their risk of selection by limiting criminal opportunity and accessibility. Those targets that identify and respond promptly and effectively to criminal approaches may cause the thieves to withdraw.
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The purpose of this article is to present a model of criminal victimization as the final stage in a process of events that can be anticipated, recognized, and managed. Criminal victimization is viewed as the last link in a chain of progressively dangerous, purposeful, and highly visible interactions between the target and the aggressor. The process starts with the criminals selecting attractive, accessible, and vulnerable targets. These targets are enticed to cooperate with criminal foreplay that helps to fabricate trust and build rapport. Once their targets are drawn close, criminals attempt to distract them from recognizing their increasingly aggressive behaviors. As the attacks become more imminent, criminals employ tactics to establish control over their targets. Individuals can influence the flow of events by limiting criminal opportunity and reducing vulnerability. Those that recognize criminal foreplay and take proactive self-defense measures early in the process, may cause the criminals to withdraw before they are committed to and confident of their ability to be successful.
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The purpose of this article is to present a model that discusses how coworkers can safely intervene to support survivors of violence and reduce their risk of further victimization. There are many employees who are traumatized by the devastating physical, emotional, psychological, financial, and quality of life consequences of violent crime victimization, yet remain vulnerable for future attacks. They may be unwilling to contact criminal justice and corporate officials but may feel more comfortable discussing these matters with friends at work. These coworkers may be more willing to help if they know what they can and should do. The H-E-L-P -A- C-O-W-O-R-K-E-R model provides specific suggestions on how to listen, express concern, and connect survivors to caregivers. It proposes ways they can help survivors minimize the risk of repeat victimization by encouraging and assisting them in developing safety plans, contacting security professionals, reducing vulnerabilities, and identifying dangerous warning signs.
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The accurate perception of human crowds is integral to social understanding and interaction. Previous studies have shown that observers are sensitive to several crowd characteristics such as average facial expression, gender, identity, joint attention, and heading direction. In two experiments, we examined ensemble perception of crowd speed using standard point-light walkers (PLW). Participants were asked to estimate the average speed of a crowd consisting of 12 figures moving at different speeds. In Experiment 1, trials of intact PLWs alternated with trials of scrambled PLWs with a viewing duration of 3 seconds. We found that ensemble processing of crowd speed could rely on local motion alone, although a globally intact configuration enhanced performance. In Experiment 2, observers estimated the average speed of intact-PLW crowds that were displayed at reduced viewing durations across five blocks of trials (between 2500 ms and 500 ms). Estimation of fast crowds was precise and accurate regardless of viewing duration, and we estimated that three to four walkers could still be integrated at 500 ms. For slow crowds, we found a systematic deterioration in performance as viewing time reduced, and performance at 500 ms could not be distinguished from a single-walker response strategy. Overall, our results suggest that rapid and accurate ensemble perception of crowd speed is possible, although sensitive to the precise speed range examined.
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In our article (Lilienfeld et al., 2019), we hypothesized that psychopathy and some other personality disorders are emergent interpersonal syndromes (EISs): interpersonally malignant configurations of distinct personality subdimensions. We respond to three commentaries by distinguished scholars who raise provocative challenges to our arguments and intriguing suggestions for future research. We clarify the role of folk concepts in our understanding of psychopathy, offer further suggestions for testing our interactional hypotheses, consider the role of boldness in motivational accounts of psychopathy, and discuss future directions for incorporating developmental considerations and the role of victims in our EIS account. We are optimistic that this account will prove to be of heuristic value, and should encourage researchers and theoreticians to explore alternative models of psychopathy and other personality disorders.
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The purpose of this study was to determine the situational and individual factors that influence vulnerability to public stranger violence (PSV) from the perspective of young adults and industry professionals. In total, 25 young adults aged between 18 and 29 years formed one sample and participated in one of four focus groups. The second sample consisted of 10 industry professionals with backgrounds in policing, corrections, and forensic psychology. Each professional participated in an individual semistructured interview. Both samples were asked questions regarding vulnerability and safety in public, where responses were analyzed using a thematic analysis. Multiple themes were identified and categorized into situational and individual factors associated with victimization. Situational factors referred to aspects of the environment that may influence vulnerability to PSV and included visibility, location, and level of support for potential victims. Individual factors referred to aspects about the person that may influence vulnerability to PSV and included unpredictability, ease of target, stereotypes, in-groups versus out-groups, distractions, and personality traits. Although both samples identified similar situational factors, young adults were found to be either unaware of individual factors identified by industry professionals as influencing vulnerability or at least misunderstood some of these factors. This is problematic as young adults may be basing their public behaviors on misinformation that may in fact increase, rather than decrease, vulnerability to PSV. The findings from this study have implications for the design of personal safety programs as well as community-based interventions to reduce vulnerability, the prevalence of PSV, and the negative outcomes associated with PSV, including anxiety and fear of crime.
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This study replicates and extends prior research indicating that individuals with elevated psychopathic traits are better able to identify vulnerability to criminal victimization. Specifically, the current study aims to further assess this finding, examine if criminal experience aids in the assessment in vulnerability to criminal victimization, and determine if the finding generalizes to females and non-Caucasians. Through an online survey, participants (undergraduate students; n = 247) viewed several videos of people walking alone down a hallway and subsequently rated the vulnerability to criminal victimization of the depicted person. Higher levels of psychopathic traits (measured by the Elemental Psychopathy Assessment) correlated with more accurate assessments of vulnerability when males were assessing videos of males of their same race. Prior criminal behavior, however, did not relate to better accuracy, despite its relation to psychopathic traits. Results for females were not consistent with findings for males, indicating the finding may not generalize across gender. The current findings suggest one mechanism that might explain why those with elevated psychopathic traits are more likely to offend is that they are adept at identifying vulnerability. However, this was only true for males of the same race as the "victim."
Chapter
Criminal victimization has been widely described by the actions and motivations of the offender in committing the crime. This limited understanding can lead to many viewing criminal victimization as random, senseless, and unmanageable events where targets have very little input and control. While the criminal is a key player in the criminal event, the targets, third parties, the situation, and the physical setting play significant roles in influencing the criminal’s decision to proceed with the attack. Criminals have many advantages including the use of deception, but they are far from invincible. Many targets possess considerable abilities and resources to manage or prevent criminal victimization. In addition, many individuals and professional guardians are willing to help them and are capable of doing so (Fig. 1.1).
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The present study experimentally examined the effects of body language on judgments of vulnerability to sexual assault by strangers. Four features of body language (stride length, weight shift, body-limb movement, and foot movement) were manipulated to create 2 typical victim profiles and 1 typical nonvictim profile. Short videotapes of 3 adult female models walking alone in each of the 3 body language profiles were filmed. Forty-one college students and 33 police officers individually viewed 3 videotapes (each showing a different model and a different body language profile) and made judgments for each about the woman's confidence level and vulnerability to sexual assault. As predicted, women in the 2 victim profiles were judged to be significantly more vulnerable to sexual assault and significantly less confident than women in the nonvictim profile. Implications and suggestions for future research are discussed.
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