Research indicates that certain personality traits are prevalent within mass killers. Aggression, social rejection, narcissism, fame-seeking, low self-esteem, and depression are commonalities with mass killers, specifically mass shooters. Identification or idolizing antisocial fictional characters is also a common behavior within these types of offenders. These types of killers often draw inspiration for their own crimes from past criminals or from film and TV, thus committing what is known as a copycat crime. The purpose of the current study will be to examine the effects of social rejection and instigation on the likelihood of identifying with an antisocial character in young adults aged 18-25. I expect that participants in the social rejection with instigation group (Group 1) will identify with an antisocial character more than the other groups. This experiment is a 2-Factorial between-subjects design. The independent variables that will be manipulated are social rejection and instigation, and the dependent variable that will be measured is each participants’ likelihood to identify with antisocial characters. The Identification with Fictional Characters Scale will be administered to measure the likelihood of identifying with antisocial characters.
Mazzurco, Emily R.
"Copycat Mass Killings: How Personality Might Moderate Identification with Antisocial Characters,"
Kean Quest: Vol. 4
, Article 2.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.kean.edu/keanquest/vol4/iss1/2
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