This study examined the effects of a missing person's race and framing of their personal characteristics on participants' attribution of victim blame. Participants were recruited through Amazon Mechanical Turk (N = 428) and completed a 2x3 between-subjects experimental study. The victim's race (Black vs. White) and news media framing of the victim's personal characteristics (positive vs. mixed vs. negative) were manipulated, and victim blame was assessed through reactions to a mock news article about the missing person's case. A two-way analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) was conducted (with the participants' race and Modern Racism Scale score as covariates), and results indicated that there was no significant main effect of either victim's race or media framing on attributions of victim blame. Their interaction was also not significant. The Modern Racism Scale was significantly positively correlated with attributions of victim blame. Because the primary analysis did not reveal significant results, it is important for future studies to further investigate and modify type of media framing techniques and assess their nuanced effects in relation to missing persons news stories.
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Master of Arts (M.A.)
College of Sciences
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Peebles, Ciara, "Victim Blame of Missing People Based on Race and Media Framing" (2021). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2020-. 742.