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      Less thought, more punishment: need for cognition predicts support for punitive responses to crime.

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      Personality & social psychology bulletin
      SAGE Publications

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          Abstract

          Three studies examined the relationship between need for cognition and support for punitive responses to crime. The results of Study 1 (N = 110) indicated that individuals high in need for cognition were less supportive of punitive measures than their low need for cognition counterparts. This finding was replicated in Study 2 (N = 1,807), which employed a nationally representative probability sample and included a more extensive battery of control variables. The purpose of Study 3 (N = 255) was to identify a third variable that might explain this relationship. This final study's results suggest that attributional complexity mediates the relationship between need for cognition and punitiveness. High need for cognition individuals are less supportive of punitive measures because they endorse more complex attributions for human behavior than their low need for cognition peers.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          Pers Soc Psychol Bull
          Personality & social psychology bulletin
          SAGE Publications
          0146-1672
          0146-1672
          Nov 2004
          : 30
          : 11
          Affiliations
          [1 ] Department of Psychology, Bates College, Lewiston, ME 04240, USA. msargent@bates.edu
          Article
          30/11/1485
          10.1177/0146167204264481
          15448311
          3af27a37-fa81-4ae8-b610-851d11c84a79
          History

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