The Credibility of Newspapers and Fear of Crime

Authors

  • Willem Koomen,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of social Psychology University of Amsterdam Amsterdam. The Netherlands
      Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Willem Koomen, Department of Social Psychology, University of Amsterdam, Roetersstraat 15, 1018 WB Amsterdam, The Netherlands. e-mail: sp-koomen@macmail.psy.uva.nl.
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Maaike Visser,

    1. Department of social Psychology University of Amsterdam Amsterdam. The Netherlands
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Diederik A. Stapel

    1. Department of social Psychology University of Amsterdam Amsterdam. The Netherlands
    Search for more papers by this author

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Willem Koomen, Department of Social Psychology, University of Amsterdam, Roetersstraat 15, 1018 WB Amsterdam, The Netherlands. e-mail: sp-koomen@macmail.psy.uva.nl.

Abstract

It was hypothesized that the effect of a fear-arousing newspaper article about crime on fear of crime and concern about crime as a societal problem is dependent on source (newspaper) credibility. In an experimental study, participants were presented with an article on street robberies, ostensibly published in a more credible newspaper or in a less credible newspaper, whereas a control group did not read any article. As predicted, it was found that the article's effect on fear of robbery, fear of crime in general, and concern about robbery as a societal problem was fully dependent on source credibility. Further, women reported more fear of robbery and fear of crime in general than did men.

Ancillary