Psychological aspects of victimology
Victims of crime play a central role in the judicial system, typically providing information critical to criminal investigations. Crime victims are also often particularly vulnerable, and, if met inappropriately by legal actors and the public, may experience a secondary victimization. In addition, previous research has repeatedly shown that crime victims’ nonverbal emotional expression affects their chances of being believed. A victim who behaves in an emotionally agitated manner is more often believed and is more likely to be considered a real victim than one who behaves in a neutral manner. That is, credibility judgments tend to be based on other factors than what the crime victim said but rather how he or she said it. Thus, our research focuses on factors that may influence people’s perceptions of victims’ credibility and blameworthiness, as well as attitudes and norms towards victims.