I would like to thank the students in the Measurement of Attitudes seminar for their comments on an early version of the scale. Larry Wrightsman deserves special thanks for his advice throughout this project.
Throwing Away the Key: Measuring Prison Reform Attitudes1
Article first published online: 31 JUL 2006
Journal of Applied Social Psychology
Volume 33, Issue 12, pages 2553–2564, December 2003
How to Cite
Silvia, P. J. (2003), Throwing Away the Key: Measuring Prison Reform Attitudes. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 33: 2553–2564. doi: 10.1111/j.1559-1816.2003.tb02780.x
- Issue published online: 31 JUL 2006
- Article first published online: 31 JUL 2006
The American prison system is larger than ever and ranks among the largest in the world. Yet, prisons have received little research attention relative to other issues in forensic psychology. In an effort to study one facet of the prison system, a scale for measuring attitudes toward prison reform was developed. The 12-item scale has a single factor measuring whether people feel prisons should be tougher or softer on inmates. Several studies with diverse samples found that the scale has a consistent factor structure, good reliability, and a coherent pattern of relationships to other psychological variables. The scale appears to be a promising tool for studying how people want to treat those who have been officially rejected by society.