This is especially pronounced if there is an extended period of time separating the crime and the testimony. This is what Angela S. Ahola, Department of Psychology, Stockholm University, shows in her dissertation.
In her study of simulated short criminal cases, Angela S. Ahola shows that gender and appearance affect our judgments of personality, occupation, morals, and reliability and create a frame of reference for our behavior. Among other things, it was shown that judges and lay assessors both assessed and judged accused individuals of the same gender as themselves more severely than the opposite gender.
On the other hand, prosecutors, lawyers, police officers, and law students, regardless of their own gender, evaluated male defendants more harshly than women defendants. What's more, among female members of this category, that is, those without a convicting role in the legal process, differences were seen in their evaluations depending on the looks of the accused.
"Most people have a need to get some conception of people they meet in everyday life. This is normal in everyday life. But if the same preconceptions, or so-called harmless everyday conceptions, play a role in the system of justice, this means that people are not equal before the law. In that case, we lose part of the fundamental security that a functioning rule-of-law society provides," says Angela S. Ahola.
Angela S. Ahola also demonstrates that it is not only people within the justice system that are affected. A study of eyewitnesses to a fictive crime shows that male perpetrators are judged more severely than equally violent female perpetrators. If two weeks goes by after the witnessing of the crime, gender plays an even greater role. A man will be judged even more sternly than a woman, which means that when our memory does not serve, we tend to remember more in accordance with the image, or stereotype, we have in our minds.
Photographic evidence also turned out to have a reinforcing effect in judgments. In the part of the study where psychology students were asked to play the role of lay assessors and judges, perpetrators accused of murder or arson were judged more harshly if the evidence was illustrated by crime scene photographs.
Angela S. Ahola maintains that these findings may be of importance regarding whether photographic evidence should be used in court, considering what an impact it can have.
"With these findings, the dissertation can be of practical use for our understanding of how the Swedish and perhaps other countries system of justice can be affected as regards witness testimony, assessment of evidence, and sentencing," says Angela S. Ahola.
Further information: Angela S. Ahola, Department of Psychology, Stockholm University, mobile: +46 (0)70-417 66 37, e-mail email@example.com.
Pressofficer Jonas Åblad, +46- 81 62 172; firstname.lastname@example.org
For image: email@example.com or +46-8 16 40 90
Jonas Åblad | idw
Multi-year study finds 'hotspots' of ammonia over world's major agricultural areas
17.03.2017 | University of Maryland
Diabetes Drug May Improve Bone Fat-induced Defects of Fracture Healing
17.03.2017 | Deutsches Institut für Ernährungsforschung Potsdam-Rehbrücke
The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.
To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
28.03.2017 | Life Sciences
28.03.2017 | Information Technology
28.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy