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NCJ Number: 64064 Find in a Library
Title: IS JUSTICE BLIND? EXTRALEGAL VARIABLES IN JUDICIAL JUDGMENTS
Journal: CANADIAN CRIMINOLOGY FORUM  Volume:2  Issue:1  Dated:(FALL 1979)  Pages:1-6
Author(s): B MITCHELL; B MACKAY; R R ROSS
Corporate Author: University of Toronto
Centre of Criminology
Canada
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 6
Sponsoring Agency: University of Toronto
Toronto, Canada
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Canada
Annotation: THIS CANADIAN RESEARCH STUDY EXAMINES THE EFFECTS OF LABEL TYPES AND PHYSICAL ATTRACTIVENESS ON DISPOSITIONAL DECISION MAKING WITHIN A CORRECTIONAL CONTEXT.
Abstract: THE STUDY WAS DESIGNED TO EXTEND THE RESEARCH FINDINGS PERTAINING TO THE INFLUENCE OF LABELING AND PHYSICAL ATTRACTIVENESS ON SOCIAL BEHAVIORS. PARTICIPANTS IN THE STUDY READ A FICTIONAL CASE SUMMARY INVOLVING AN ADOLESCENT FEMALE, WHICH DESCRIBED HER PROBLEMATIC AND PREDELINQUENT HISTORY AND THEN EVALUATED THE DESCRIBED TARGET PERSON ON 3 DEPENDENT MEASURES. SUBJECTS WERE ALSO EXPOSED TO VARIOUS MANIPULATIONS THROUGH THE ATTACHMENT OF LABELS IN THE FORM OF BRIEF PARAGRAPHS OF CURRENT OBSERVATIONS. THIS YIELDED A FACTORIAL DESIGN WITH 3 TYPES OF LABELS (POSITIVE, NEGATIVE, AND CONTROL) AND 3 LEVELS OF PHYSICAL ATTRACTIVENESS (ATTRACTIVE, UNATTRACTIVE, AND CONTROL). SUBJECTS WERE 103 MALE UNIVERSITY UNDERGRADUATES. ANALYSIS OF THE FINDINGS FAILED TO PROVIDE ANY EVIDENCE FOR THE HYPOTHESES THAT TYPE OF LABEL OR LEVEL OF PHYSICAL ATTRACTIVENESS ARE INFLUENTIAL DETERMINANTS IN A SIMULATED CORRECTIONS DECISIONMAKING SITUATION. THE FINDING THAT LABELING WAS PERCEIVED TO BE A MORE IMPORTANT DETERMINANT THAN LEVEL OF PHYSICAL ATTRACTIVENESS SUGGESTS THAT LEVEL OF PHYSICAL ATTRACTIVENESS DOES NOT HOLD THE SAME POWER OF INFLUENCE FOR SUBJECTS AS HAS BEEN THE CASE IN PREVIOUS RESEARCH. HOWEVER, INTERVIEWS WITH SUBJECTS AFTER THE STUDY INDICATED THAT THEY TRIED TO BE PARTICULARLY SENSITIVE TO BIAS CAUSED BY IRRELEVANT INFLUENCES. THIS SUGGESTS THAT POTENTIAL BIASING INFLUENCES BECOME SALIENT FOR JUDGES AND EFFORTS TOWARD AMELIORATING THESE AS INPUT VARIABLES ARE ENACTED. FURTHER RESEARCH IS NEEDED ON THIS. REFERENCES ARE PROVIDED. (MJW)
Index Term(s): Canada; Decisionmaking; Judicial discretion; Jury decisionmaking; Labeling theory
Note: ARTICLE BASED ON THE THESIS SUBMITTED BY BRIAN MITCHELL TO THE UNIVERSITY OF OTTAWA, CANADA
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=64064

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