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Title:An investigation into the potential romantic appeal of convicted killers
Author(s):Vicary, Amanda
Director of Research:Fraley, R.C.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Fraley, R.C.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Roberts, Brent W.; Cohen, Dov
Department / Program:Psychology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
serial killers
Abstract:It is not uncommon for convicted killers to receive letters and visits from women hoping to win their affection. This behavior is puzzling, as evolutionary theory would posit that attraction to murderers runs counter to people's survival instincts. To date, however, no research has been conducted to investigate this phenomenon. The goals of the present studies were to determine whether characteristics of killers that women have evolved to find attractive (i.e., fame and dominance) make them appealing to women, and whether women with certain personality characteristics are more likely to find a killer attractive. Results showed that fame was a characteristic that appealed to women, but that dominance was not. Also, women higher in sensation seeking and attachment avoidance with their fathers were more likely to find the killer attractive. Women higher in attachment anxiety with their fathers were less likely to find the killer attractive. Self-esteem, attachment avoidance with romantic partner, and attachment anxiety with romantic partner were not related to attraction.
Issue Date:2011-08-25
Rights Information:2011 © Amanda Vicary
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-08-25
Date Deposited:2011-08

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