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The effects of information processing and message quality on attitudes toward the AMBER Alert System

Description: Despite its popularity, the AMBER Alert system might be an ineffective means of addressing the problem of stranger-child abduction and have unintended negative consequences. To better understand the mechanisms underlying unquestioned public support for AMBER Alert, the current study examined the effects of processing modes specific to Cognitive-Experiential Self-Theory and message quality on attitudes toward the system. Contrary to expectations, processing manipulations had no effect on attitudes toward AMBER Alert. However, exposure to high-quality messages regarding the efficacy of AMBER Alert significantly reduced participants' support for the system. These results demonstrate the malleability of attitudes toward alerts and illuminate message components that may encourage more thoughtful contemplation of AMBER Alert and similar crime control policies.

Suggested Citation:
Sicafuse, L.L., & Miller, M.K. (2012). The effects of information processing and message quality on attitudes toward the AMBER Alert System [Electronic Version]. Applied Psychology in Criminal Justice, 8(2), 69-86.

Keywords: AMBER Alert, crime control theater, attitudes, information processing, message quality

Date: Dec 06, 2012 | File Size: 354.7 Kb | Downloads: 1960

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