scispace - formally typeset

Journal ArticleDOI

Influence of environmental variables on fear of crime: Comparing self-report data with physiological measures in an experimental design

13 Jul 2017-Journal of Experimental Criminology (Springer Netherlands)-Vol. 13, Iss: 4, pp 537-545

AbstractSelf-reports and questionnaires have been the preferred research methods in the criminological field of “fear of crime” (FOC) since its rise in the 1960s. Our study had two main goals: (1) to measure the physiological indicators of fear in real time and (2) to compare these data with those obtained through self-reports, designed also to measure the emotion of fear. An experimental study was conducted over the course of a week during late February 2016 in Aarhus (Denmark), in which the focus was on traditional environmental variables in the field of FOC (i.e., poor lighting conditions). Our results support the ideas that: (1) the absence of good luminosity in an open public space in an urban setting elicits physiological reactions of arousal that can be taken as indicators of experiences of fear and (2) heart rate appears to capture aspects of the emotion of fear that are not reflected in data obtained through self-report questionnaires. This study, introducing a pioneering approach to the study of FOC, presents great potentials in complementing traditional methods in the crime sciences. The many challenges we faced are significant and reported with the hope that subsequent literature will build upon. We propose that traditional methods and new measurements could be combined to advance research in the field by allowing researchers to more unambiguously constrain the interpretation of their data. This becomes particularly relevant in a field like FOC, which has long suffered from irreconcilable results stemming from different investigations.

Topics: Fear of crime (64%), Public space (54%)

Summary (1 min read)

Introduction

  • The concept of “fear of crime” (FOC) has occupied much of the criminological literature since the 1960s (Farrall, Jackson & Gray, 2009).
  • Therefore, the concept of FOC is likely to bear different conclusions depending on whether the approach focuses on emotional or cognitive levels (Ferraro & Lagrange, 1987, Hale, 1996).
  • Building on these theories, their study secondarily considers the influence of endogenous or cognitive variables, by controlling for the prior perception that participants had of the area in which the task took place.
  • Participants would show greater physiological responses associated with fear when fulfilling the same task in conditions of poor luminosity than participants fulfilling the task in conditions of better luminosity.

Results

  • The authors compared the HR data (in beats per minute) across conditions to test their first hypothesis, that participants will show greater physiological responses associated with fear when fulfilling the same task in conditions of poor luminosity than participants in better conditions of luminosity.
  • Stretch A, before the independent variable (poor luminosity) was introduced, served as baseline for both conditions.
  • All the details pertaining to the task, setting, published online with this article.

Summary of participants' data

  • The columns "Start (B) Stretch" and "End point" are expressed in seconds and indicate the moment in which the participants reach those points of the stretch.
  • In contrast, the same test revealed highly significant differences between the first and the second stretch in the experimental condition (T = -5.033, p = 0.002).
  • Influence of Environmental Variables on Fear of Crime Tabla 3 Results from self-report measurements, also known as 7 Running Head.

Discussion and Conclusion

  • The authors investigation analyzed the influence of environmental variables in the FOC of participants in a stigmatized urban setting.
  • Results support the idea that the lack of luminosity in public spaces could trigger experiences of FOC.
  • Feinstein (2013) relies on HR, together with respiratory frequency and galvanic skin response, to study fear and panic in humans.
  • Especially now that inconsistencies between the divergent results stemming from different studies of FOC (see introduction) are being addressed (Collins, 2016), this would be a step back, rather than forward.

Did you find this useful? Give us your feedback

...read more

Content maybe subject to copyright    Report

General Rights
Copyright and moral rights for the publications made accessible in the public portal are retained by the authors and/or other copyright owners
and it is a condition of accessing publications that users recognize and abide by the legal requirements associated with these rights.
• Users may download and print one copy of any publication from the public portal for the purpose of private study or research.
• You may not further distribute the material or use it for any profit-making activity or commercial gain
• You may freely distribute the URL identifying the publication in the public portal
If you believe that this document breaches copyright please contact us providing details, and we will remove access to the work immediately and
investigate your claim.
This coversheet template is made available by AU Library
Version 1.0, October 2016
Coversheet
This is the accepted manuscript (post-print version) of the article.
Contentwise, the post-print version is identical to the final published version, but there may be
differences in typography and layout.
How to cite this publication
Please cite the final published version:
Castro-Toledo, F. J., Perea-García, J. O., Bautista-Ortuño, R., & Mitkidis, P. (2017). Influence of
environmental variables on fear of crime: Comparing self-report data with physiological measures in
an experimental design. Journal of Experimental Criminology, 13(4), 537-545. DOI: 10.1007/s11292-
017-9295-1
Publication metadata
Title:
Influence of environmental variables on fear of crime: Comparing self-
report data with physiological measures in an experimental design
Author(s):
Castro-Toledo, F. J., Perea-García, J. O., Bautista-Ortuño, R., & Mitkidis, P.
Journal:
Journal of Experimental Criminology
DOI/Link:
10.1007/s11292-017-9295-1
Document version:
Accepted manuscript (post-print)




1
1

Citations
More filters

Book
01 Jan 1995
TL;DR: The fear of crime interpreting victimization risk is universally compatible later any devices to read, allowing the most less latency epoch to download any of the authors' books subsequent to this one.
Abstract: Rather than enjoying a good PDF next a cup of coffee in the afternoon, otherwise they juggled past some harmful virus inside their computer. fear of crime interpreting victimization risk is comprehensible in our digital library an online right of entry to it is set as public appropriately you can download it instantly. Our digital library saves in multipart countries, allowing you to acquire the most less latency epoch to download any of our books subsequent to this one. Merely said, the fear of crime interpreting victimization risk is universally compatible later any devices to read.

775 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: In recent years, scientific research has neglected the importance of personality and trait emotions in explaining fear of crime. Through a survey administered to 205 individuals, this study explored the relationship between individual variables and abstract fear of crime, perception of victimization risk (cognitive dimension), and behavioral expressions. A positive correlation between neuroticism (a personality dimension) and the abstract fear of crime was observed but not with the cognitive and behavioral dimensions. It was also found that trait fear emotion correlated only with the abstract fear of crime. Contrary to what was hypothesized, social desirability was positively correlated with abstract fear of crime, cognitive dimensions and behavioral dimensions in both men and women. Lastly, regression models revealed that distinct variables explaining each of the fear of crime dimensions exist. The implications of the findings are discussed herein.

12 citations


Cites background from "Influence of environmental variable..."

  • ...In future studies it would be important to explore fear as a strictly emotional phenomenon not only through surveys but also with the use of psychophysiological measures in a laboratory context (see also Castro-Toledo et al., 2017; Warr, 2000)....

    [...]


Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: This research examines college students’ fear of crime and safety perceptions and its relationship to their perceptions of university safety efforts and personal preventative behavior. Quantitative...

10 citations


Cites background from "Influence of environmental variable..."

  • ...Fear of crime or safety perceptions may be related to poor lighting (Castro-Toledo et al., 2017; Day, 1999; Fisher & May, 2009; Stamps, 2005; Tseng et al., 2004)....

    [...]

  • ...Additional research supports that fear of crime may be related to poor lighting (Castro-Toledo et al., 2017; Fisher & May, 2009; Kirk, 1988; Stamps, 2005), and lighting reduces crime (Painter & Farrington, 1997, 2001; Robinson, 1999)....

    [...]


Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: Few researches have considered fear of crime as a context-specific experience. This article promotes a place-based theoretical framework for studying crime perceptions through presenting app-based ...

7 citations


Cites background from "Influence of environmental variable..."

  • ...Researchers working in controlled experimental settings have explored these avenues recently (e.g., Castro-Toledo et al., 2017; De Silva et al., 2016), and further work can see how to link these with app-based methodologies....

    [...]


Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: Worry about crime is known to be higher in some European regions than others. However, cross-national surveys, which are the main source of information to map worry about crime across Europe, are d...

6 citations


Cites background from "Influence of environmental variable..."

  • ...Conversely, the fear of crime is an emotional response that humans have in very specific threatening situations, and it is difficult to operationalize and measure (Castro-Toledo et al., 2017; Solymosi et al., 2015)....

    [...]

  • ...…micro-level approaches argue that fear of crime episodes are more frequent in certain situational and social organization circumstances (Castro-Toledo et al., 2017; Solymosi et al., 2015), thus pointing out the need to ‘consider fear of crime events at the smallest possible scale to be…...

    [...]

  • ...Fear is an emotional and physiological response that humans have in time- and context-dependent threatening situations (Castro-Toledo et al., 2017; Solymosi et al., 2015), and thus it is difficult to operationalize and measure....

    [...]

  • ...On the one hand, environmental micro-level approaches argue that fear of crime episodes are more frequent in certain situational and social organization circumstances (Castro-Toledo et al., 2017; Solymosi et al., 2015), thus pointing out the need to ‘consider fear of crime events at the smallest possible scale to be able to un-erroneously associate them spatially with elements of the environment’ (Solymosi et al....

    [...]


References
More filters

Book
01 Jan 1961
Abstract: 1 Introduction Part One: The Peculiar Nature of Cities 2 The uses of sidewalks: safety 3 The uses of sidewalks: contact 4 The uses of sidewalks: assimilating children 5 The uses of neighbourhood parks 6 The uses of city neighbourhoods. Part Two: The Conditions for City Diversity 7 The generators of diversity 8 The need for mixed primary uses 9 The need for small blocks 10 The need for aged buildings 11 The need for concentration 12 Some myths about diversity. Part Three: Forces of Decline and Regeneration 13 The self-destruction of diversity 14 The curse of border vacuums 15 Unslumming and slumming 16 Gradual money and cataclysmic money. Part Four: Different Tactics 17 Subsidizing dwellings 18 Erosion of cities or attrition of automobiles 19 Visual order: its limitations and possibilities 20 Salvaging projects 21 Governing and planning districts 22 The kind of problem a city is Index.

11,395 citations


Book
01 Jan 1994
Abstract: Descartes' Error offers the scientific basis for ending the division between mind and body. Antonio Damasio contends that rational decisions are not the product of logic alone - they require the support of emotion and feeling. Drawing on his experience with neurological patients affected with brain damage, Dr Damasio shows how absence of emotions and feelings can break down rationality. He also offers a new perspective on what emotions and feelings actually are: a direct view of our own body states; a link between the body and its survival-oriented regulation on the one hand, and consciousness on the other. Written as a conversation between the author and an imaginary listener, Descartes' Error leads us to conclude that human organisms are endowed from their very beginning with a spirited passion for making choices, which the social mind can then use to build rational behaviour.

9,636 citations


01 Jan 1996
TL;DR: In The Emotional Brain, Joseph LeDoux investigates the origins of human emotions and explains that many exist as part of complex neural systems that evolved to enable us to survive.
Abstract: Apa yang terjadi di otak kita untuk membuat kita merasa takut, benci, marah, dan sukacita? Apakah kita mengendalikan emosi kita, atau apakah emosi itu mengendalikan kita? Apakah hewan memiliki emosi? Bagaimana pengalaman traumatis pada masa anak-anak awal dalam mempengaruhi perilaku pada masa dewasa, walaupun kita tidak memiliki memori sadar terhadap pemngalaman itu? Dalam The Emotional Brain, Joseph LeDoux menyelidiki asal-usul emosi manusia dan menjelaskan kompleksitas evolusi sistem syaraf yang memungkinkan kita dapa bertahan hidup. Joseph LeDoux adalah salah satu profil peniliti utama dalam emotional Intelligence karya Danierl Goleman yang merupakan penulis terkemuka di bidang neurosains. Di dalam buku The Emotional Brain yan provokatif ini, ia mengeksplorasi mekanisme otak yang mendasari emosi kita mekanisme yang baru sekarang terungkap.

3,844 citations


Book
01 Jan 1921

1,969 citations


Book
01 Oct 1973

1,389 citations


Frequently Asked Questions (2)
Q1. What are the future works in this paper?

Feinstein ( 2013 ) relies on HR, together with respiratory frequency and galvanic skin response, to study fear and panic in humans. However, research on human emotions as bodily changes has often led to researchers focusing only on that dimension, partly because these responses accompany subjective experiences that are not easily described, but that are similar across cultures ( Plamper, 2015 ). A good example of such innovations can be found in the research conducted by Torrent-Rodas and colleagues ( 2012 ), who use reflexes and galvanic skin response as markers of affective processing in the learning of fear and anxiety. As the authors allocated their participants randomly, they can only attribute this difference in the baseline to random factors that could contribute to a different HR in a resting state across groups. 

Copyright and moral rights for the publications made accessible in the public portal are retained by the authors and/or other copyright owners and it is a condition of accessing publications that users recognize and abide by the legal requirements associated with these rights. If you believe that this document breaches copyright please contact us providing details, and the authors will remove access to the work immediately and investigate your claim. You may not further distribute the material or use it for any profit-making activity or commercial gain •