Faculty Publications

Title

The effect of defendant facial expression on mock juror decision-making: The power of remorse

Document Type

Article

Journal/Book/Conference Title

North American Journal of Psychology

Volume

11

Issue

2

First Page

323

Last Page

332

Abstract

In the U.S. legal system, juries are charged with the responsibility to decide if a person is guilty and sometimes to determine a sentence or damage awards. This task involves complex cognitive skills to weigh evidence, deliberate, and come to a conclusion. However, jurors may be impacted by factors beyond the evidence. One factor that we are interested in is the facial expression of the defendant. We experimentally manipulated the display of remorse and anger in defendant photographs to assess the impact on decision-making by mock jurors. A significant difference was found such that a remorseful defendant resulted in more lenient verdicts compared to an angry defendant.

Original Publication Date

6-1-2009

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