Does offenders’ facial attractiveness affect police officers’ judgment?

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15 Scopus citations


The purpose of the present study was to examine the effect of women offenders’ attractiveness on Israeli police officers’ judgment. A research population consisting of 198 police officers and 186 undergraduate students were asked to read a description of a swindle, where the offender was either physically attractive or unattractive, and to assign a punishment to the offender and judge the blame of both the offender and the victim. A facial photograph and a short physical description of the offender were attached. Results indicated that, unlike students, and contrary to what is known about other types of bias among legal practitioners (e.g., racial and gender bias), police officers were not affected by looks in their judgment of the offender’s or victim’s accountability for the crime. Police officers also differed from students in their choice of punishment and feelings toward the offender. Theoretical and practical implications of the results are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)588-601
Number of pages14
JournalPsychiatry, Psychology and Law
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2016


  • Attractiveness
  • Judgments
  • Police officers
  • Women offenders


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