Psychology Dictionary of Arguments

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Social Psychology on Attractiveness - Dictionary of Arguments

Parisi I 139
Attractiveness/Social Psychology/Nadler/Mueller: In experiments on the influence of physical attractiveness in the context of criminal trials, defendant physical attractiveness exerts a small effect on both judgments of guilt and punishment (Mazzella and Feingold, 1994)(1). These effects are inconsistent, however, and can vary with other factors such as strength of the evidence (Beckham, Spray, and Pietz, 2007(2); Erian et al., 1998(3)). Outside of the trial context, there is some evidence that physically attractive defendants receive lower bail than less attractive ones (Downs and Lyons, 1991(4)).
Victims: Victim attractiveness can influence judgments as well; observers consider the death of a physically attractive woman to be more unjust and deserving of more punishment than the death of a less attractive woman (Callan, Powell, and Ellard, 2007(5)). >Punishment/Social Psychology.
Parisi I 140
Perception: When perceiving persons, we immediately decide whether their intentions toward us are good, and how competent they are to carry out their intentions (Fiske, Cuddy, and Glick, 2007)(6). >Punishment/Social Psychology.


1. Mazzella, R. and A. Feingold (1994). " The Effects of Physical Attractiveness, Race, Socioeconomic Status, and Gender of Defendants and Victims on Judgments of Mock Jurors: A Meta-Analysis 1." Journal of Applied Social Psychology 24(15): 1315-1338.
2. Beckham, C. M., B. J. Spray, and C. A. Pietz (2007). "Jurors' Locus of Control and Defendants'
Attractiveness in Death Penalty Sentencing." Journal of social Psychology 147(3): 285-298. doi:10.3200/SOCP.147.3.285-298.
3. Erian, M., C. Lin, N. Patel, A. Neal, and R. E. Geiselman (1998). "Juror Verdicts As a Function
of Victim and Defendant Attractiveness in Sexual Assault Cases." American Journal of Forensic Psychology 16(3):25-40.
4. Downs, A. C. and P. M. Lyons (1991). "Natural Observations ofthe Links between Attractiveness and Initial Legal Judgments." Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 17(5): 541-547. doi:10.1177/0146167291175009.
5. Callan, M. J., N. G. Powell, and J. H. Ellard (2007). "The Consequences of Victim Physical Attractiveness on Reactions to Injustice: The Role of Observers' Belief in a Just World."
Social Justice Research doi:10.1007/s11211-007-0053-9.
6. Fiske, S. T., A. J. C. Cuddy, and P. Glick (2007). "Universal Dimensions of Social Cognition: Warmth and Competence." Trends in Cognitive Sciences 1 1 (2):77—83. doi:16/
j.tics.2006.11.005.


Nadler, Janice and Pam A. Mueller. „Social Psychology and the Law“. In: Parisi, Francesco (ed) (2017). The Oxford Handbook of Law and Economics. Vol 1: Methodology and Concepts. NY: Oxford University Press


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
Social Psychology
Parisi I
Francesco Parisi (Ed)
The Oxford Handbook of Law and Economics: Volume 1: Methodology and Concepts New York 2017


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