Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

The Deterrent Effect of Perceived Severity of Punishment

Harold G. Grasmick and George J. Bryjak
Social Forces
Vol. 59, No. 2 (Dec., 1980), pp. 471-491
Published by: Oxford University Press
DOI: 10.2307/2578032
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2578032
Page Count: 21
  • Download ($42.00)
  • Subscribe ($19.50)
  • Cite this Item
The Deterrent Effect of Perceived Severity of Punishment
Preview not available

Abstract

Previous findings from perceptual studies of deterrence lead to the conclusion that perceived certainty of punishment (but not perceived severity of punishment) is inversely related to involvement in illegal behavior. The conclusion concerning severity is inconsistent with the rational image of man in utilitarian thought, the philosophical framework in which modern deterrence theory is grounded. We question the validity of previous measures of perceived severity and argue that the appropriate hypothesis never has been tested with a valid measure. In our own analysis we use a refined measure which we believe is more consistent with the utilitarian perspective. The results support the hypothesis that perceived severity, at relatively high levels of perceived certainty, has a significant deterrent effect.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
471
    471
  • Thumbnail: Page 
472
    472
  • Thumbnail: Page 
473
    473
  • Thumbnail: Page 
474
    474
  • Thumbnail: Page 
475
    475
  • Thumbnail: Page 
476
    476
  • Thumbnail: Page 
477
    477
  • Thumbnail: Page 
478
    478
  • Thumbnail: Page 
479
    479
  • Thumbnail: Page 
480
    480
  • Thumbnail: Page 
481
    481
  • Thumbnail: Page 
482
    482
  • Thumbnail: Page 
483
    483
  • Thumbnail: Page 
484
    484
  • Thumbnail: Page 
485
    485
  • Thumbnail: Page 
486
    486
  • Thumbnail: Page 
487
    487
  • Thumbnail: Page 
488
    488
  • Thumbnail: Page 
489
    489
  • Thumbnail: Page 
490
    490
  • Thumbnail: Page 
491
    491