A construal-level approach to the fear of crime

Authored by: Ioanna Gouseti

The Routledge International Handbook on Fear of Crime

Print publication date:  December  2017
Online publication date:  December  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138120334
eBook ISBN: 9781315651781
Adobe ISBN:


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Most people do not experience crime directly as victims in their daily lives. Yet, people are capable of experiencing and expressing reactions to the distal risk of victimisation, such as fear of crime. How do people transcend their crime-free ‘here and now’ in order to experience and express fear of crime? Drawing on the construal-level theory of psychological distance (CLT), the current approach to the fear of crime explores the cognitive processes that render the transcending of the crime-free ‘here and now’ feasible, namely psychological distance from crime and mental representations of crime. It is suggested that experiencing crime as a psychologically distant (vs. psychologically proximal) event, and mentally representing crime abstractly (vs. concretely) are related to lower levels of fear of crime.

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