Some women like to think that being attractive can help them get out of a speeding ticket. Perhaps that’s true-after all, attractiveness has been shown to help defendants get away with much more serious offenses.
Decades of studies have shown that good-looking people fare better in court, whether they’ve been accused of a crime or they’re seeking damages as a plaintiff. Cornell University researchers wanted to examine this dilemma of jurors considering the extralegal factor of appearance.
The researchers identified that some people use experiential, or observational, reasoning over rational reasoning when making what should be a purely law-based decision. These people found unattractive defendants guilty 22% more often than attractive ones, and even gave them more than 20 months of additional jail time.
The study refers to this phenomenon as the “unattractive harshness effect.”
Do you think you get away with more because you’re attractive? Do you treat attractive people better than unattractive people? Let us know by leaving a comment below.
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