Video camcorders and civil inattention

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5 Scopus citations


Since the introduction of video camcorders in 1983, the news media have reported controversial cases in which the devices were used to violate the audiovisual privacy of others. To explain such counternormative videotaping behavior, two studies tested the prediction that camcorders themselves can facilitate viewing behavior when civil inattention should be exercised. When asked to imagine videotaping or watching a couple (Study 1), participants approved more of videotaping than watching, despite the couple's need for privacy. When asked to actually videotape or watch a couple (Study 2), participants were more comfortable videotaping than watching. These findings support the prediction and replicate previous research showing that some consumer technologies can facilitate behavior that violates interpersonal norms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)805-816
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Social Behavior and Personality
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 1996

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • General Psychology


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