Why People Justify Violence: The Role of Motivational Foundations in Rape Myths Acceptance

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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine the role of existential, epistemic, and relational motivational foundations in the enactment of rape myths. The online study empirically tested a model in which motivational foundations were included as predictors, rape myth acceptance as dependent variables, socio-demographic characteristics (gender, education, and income level) - control variables. A total of 739 Russian residents (381 men and 358 women) aged 18 to 79 years (M=36.8, SD=11.5) participated in the online study. Participants were asked to complete questionnaires to measure need for cognitive closure, belief in a dangerous and competitive world, fear of death, shared reality, and acceptance of rape myths. Structural equation modeling showed that the most significant contribution in the support of the rape myth is made by the need for order (epistemic motivational foundations) and belief in a competitive world (existential motivational foundations). The current research shed light on the main motivational foundations of the rape myth acceptance that might be used in the social programs to reduce tolerance towards violence.

General Information

Keywords: rape myths, belief in a competitive world, need for cognitive closure, belief in a dangerous world, fear of death, gender-based violence

Journal rubric: Methodological Problems of Legal Psychology

Article type: scientific article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.17759/psylaw.2024140101

Funding. The study was implemented in the framework of the Basic Research Program at the National Research University Higher School of Economics (HSE University) in 2024.

Received: 01.09.2023

Accepted:

For citation: Ananyeva O.A., Prusova I.S., Zakharova S.A. Why People Justify Violence: The Role of Motivational Foundations in Rape Myths Acceptance [Elektronnyi resurs]. Psikhologiya i pravo = Psychology and Law, 2024. Vol. 14, no. 1, pp. 1–17. DOI: 10.17759/psylaw.2024140101. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)

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Information About the Authors

Olga A. Ananyeva, Graduate Student, Research Intern, Laboratory for Psychology of Social Inequality, HSE University, Moscow, Russia, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8696-6935, e-mail: oananyeva@hse.ru

Irina S. Prusova, PhD in Psychology, Head of Laboratory for Psychology of Social Inequality, HSE University, Moscow, Russia, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9298-2408, e-mail: iprusova@hse.ru

Sofia A. Zakharova, Research Intern, Laboratory for Psychology of Social Inequality, HSE University, Moscow, Russia, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0009-0001-5439-5250, e-mail: s.zakharova9600@gmail.com

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