Faculty Publications

Title

The alias advantage and perceptions of guilt

Document Type

Article

Keywords

Alias, Aliases, Criminal, Criminality

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of Psychology: Interdisciplinary and Applied

Volume

138

Issue

4

First Page

339

Last Page

350

Abstract

The present study is an examination of the perception of guilt based on the number of aliases used by a defendant. Participants in Experiment 1 (N = 275) reviewed materials summarizing an actual crime in which the defendant was identified with no alias information or with 1, 5, or 9 aliases. Participants were asked to decide if the suspect was guilty and if so, what his sentence should be. Results showed that the presence of alias information influenced perceptions of guilt. However, in conditions where the defendant had more aliases, the maximum sentence was imposed less often. Relationship information linking the suspect and the victim in the materials was removed for some of the participants in Experiment 2. Participants (N = 265) were provided with either no alias information or all 9 aliases. An interaction was found in Experiment 2 demonstrating the alias advantage only when the relationship information was present. However, the relationship information had minimal effect on the attributions made toward the victim. © 2004 Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.

Original Publication Date

1-1-2004

DOI of published version

10.3200/JRLP.138.4.339-350

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