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Effects of attractiveness on a jury verdict
Dion et el found that attractive appearance gives the Halo effect ­ this is
were an attractive person is presumed to have attractive properties in their
Efran (1974) found attractive criminals received lesser sentences or
penalties, unless their looks were involved in the crime, for example toy
boys conning old women. This is why defendants are advised to arrive at
court smartly dressed, clean and tidy.
In October 2003 singer Cheryl Cole was convicted of assault
after punching a nightclub attendant. She was cleared of
racially aggravated assault and only received 120 hours
community service…read more

Slide 2

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Is an attractive person less likely to be seen as guilty?
When the victim is attractive is the defendant morel likely to be found guilty?
Are there any gender differences in jury verdicts depending on attractiveness?
71 male and 74 female students Lab experiment
From East Carolina University Independent measures
Joshua Jackson
He was arrested in 2002 for assaulting a security guard at a
hockey game, but he was released after paying $1.000 bail…read more

Slide 3

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Participants were asked to read a sexual harassment case, attached were
pictures of the defendant and the victim ­ either attractive or unattractive.
The dependent variable was their answer to the question "Do you think Mr
Radford is guilty of sexual harassment?"
Also asked to rate both the defendant and the victim on 11 bipolar
personality scales, such as dull-exciting
In 2006 Nicole Richie was released from
jail after serving 82 minutes of a four-day
sentence for driving under the influence
of drugs.
Attractive defendants were found guilty 56% of the time
Unattractive defendants 76% of the time
When victim was attractive the guilty verdict was 77%
When victim unattractive guilty verdict 55%
Attractive defendants and victims also rated positively on personality variables
No significant difference in gender…read more

Slide 4

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It appears that appearances do count. Although findings came from a
mock trial, when applied in the courtroom it seems that appearance
can have a powerful effect.
A defendant would be best advised to make the most of their
appearance before turning up in court.…read more

Slide 5

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Generalisability ­ only students from one university used, age could effect the
Ecological Validity ­ used mock trials and there was no interaction which is not
true to being a juror in the courtroom
Usefulness ­ shows the effect of attractiveness for victims and defendants.
Must look good in court in order to improve chances of winning
Hugh Grant. In 1995 he was arrested for buying oral sex
from a prostitute. He had to pay a $1,180 fine and he was
also sentenced two years probation.…read more


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