School of Criminal Justice
Department: Criminal Justice
Public opinion on crime and criminal justice; social threat and social control; juvenile justice and delinquency; community influences on attitudes and behavior; sociology of punishment
Campus phone: (518) 442-5210
Campus email: [email protected]
Pickett's research interests center broadly on public opinion about criminal justice, including a particular focus on two separate lines of inquiry.
The first concerns the development of strategies to improve the measurement and analysis of public attitudes. Toward this end, Pickett has begun to investigate alternative methods for assessing ambiguity in subjective probabilities.
His second emphasis is on the roles of interracial contact, minority threat, and racial stereotypes as determinants of popular views about crime and justice issues. On this front, his past work has explored the extent to which the association between black proximity and whites’ perceptions of victimization risk is contingent upon the latter’s endorsement of the stereotype of blacks as criminals.
Pickett has also participated in projects examining racism and racial threat as potential motivators of Tea Party membership, the effects of interracial contact on whites’ assessments of black criminality and perceptions of victimization risk, and the relationships between aggregate and perceptual indicators of ethnic threat and public support for judicial use of ethnicity in sentencing.
His most recent research projects explore the effectiveness of different techniques for increasing response rates and response quality in criminal justice surveys and examine the ways in which context moderates the influence of racial beliefs on public support for juvenile treatment programs.