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Perceiving racial hate crimes: a power-relation perspective

NCJ Number
Journal of Experimental Criminology Dated: March 2022
Date Published
March 2022

Bridging the power-relation framework with prejudice and bias studies, this study examines how individuals perceive and construct racial hate crimes.



This study employs a factorial survey experiment with randomized vignette assignments to obtain insights into respondents’ judgment principles. Participants (N = 2635) were recruited through Mechanical Turk and were asked to read a fictional scenario that could be considered a racial hate crime. Logistic regression models are estimated, followed by moderation analyses and margins tests. The results support an integrated model that both the power dynamics between the victims and the offenders and the prejudice and beliefs of the respondents play significant roles in perceiving a racial hate crime. This study finds empirical evidence to establish a link between the status of incidents, respondents’ prejudice, and the perception of racial hate crimes. Future research will benefit from expanding the examination to other minority groups as well as to other bias motives. (Publisher Abstract)

Date Published: March 1, 2022