The Attraction-Leniency Effect: Ambiguity, Attractiveness Type, and a Reverse Attraction-Leniency Bias
Escott, Emily J.
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Previous research has shown that attractive people are treated more leniently in criminal trials than unattractive people. A study was conducted to examine this Attraction-Leniency E:tfect as it pertains to both social and physical attractiveness as well as the way the crime committed by a defendant influences the strength of the effect. Three hypotheses were tested. The first hypothesis was that as crime severity increased, a bias toward the attractive target would lessen. This hypothesis was confirmed by the study. The second hypothesis was that a swindle-type crime would create a reverse Attraction-Leniency Effect. This hypothesis was also confirmed. The third hypothesis was that there would be no differences between the effects of physical and social attractiveness in any condition. The only deviation from this pattern of connectedness between physical and social attractiveness occurred in the swindle condition.
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