Date of Graduation

Spring 2012

Degree

Master of Science in Psychology

Department

Psychology

Committee Chair

David Lutz

Keywords

perception, dangerousness, treatability, tattoos, biases

Subject Categories

Psychology

Abstract

Considerable research suggests that stimuli with a visible tattoo are rated as more negative (Dean, 2010, Wohlrab et al., 2007). The present study was designed to investigate the implications of such research on legal decision-making. Participants (N=102) were randomly assigned to respond to a vignette paired with an offender photograph with or without a visible face tattoo. Responses were recorded on a visual analog scale, and results indicate a significant difference with regard to the treatability of offenders. Specifically, offenders with a visible face tattoo were rated less likely to benefit from treatment (F (1, 100) = 4.579, p = 0.035) as compared to those without a visible tattoo. No significant differences were found with regard to guilt, dangerousness, likelihood of recidivism, or necessity of incarceration.

Copyright

© Kristina Kay Johnston

Campus Only

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