Betsy Paluck, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology and Woodrow Wilson School of Public Affairs, Princeton University
Ana Gantman, Postdoctoral Research Associate, Woodrow Wilson School of Public Affairs, Princeton University
Dr. Betsy Paluck and Dr. Ana Gantman present a behavioral perspective on campus sexual assault. Prominent models of sexual assault portray assault perpetrators as one of two extremes. In the clinical model, perpetrators are seen as unchangeable deviants. In the cultural model, perpetrators are a product of rape culture. The behavioral perspective analyzes how individual psychological phenomena and environmental configurations interact, and drive patterns of sexual assault. For example, the behavioral approach enables researchers to analyze how different contexts activate perceived norms, goals, and moral language, which shifts the likelihood of assault. Based on this theoretical framework, Dr. Paluck and Dr. Gantman field-tested an intervention in Princeton University eating club parties. A student-driven initiative requiring party-goers to read aloud a definition of consent at the door was tested by varying the framing of the consent language and the identity of the person presenting the consent language. In this seminar, Dr. Paluck and Dr. Gantman present results and discuss lessons for the design, implementation, and research on the effects of university policy on sexual assault.