Pretty good liar: do ‘attractive’ facial features influence the process of detecting deceit within the criminal justice system?

Hylands, Nicola (2014) Pretty good liar: do ‘attractive’ facial features influence the process of detecting deceit within the criminal justice system? BSc dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    Abstract

    Stereotyping occurs when a ‘group’ of people are assumed to all possess the same qualities as a result of their appearance. ‘Attractiveness’ can influence how an individual is perceived, and certain attributes are assigned to this ‘attractive’ group; one particular characteristic that is affected by ‘attractiveness’ levels is ‘honesty’. This research aimed to discover whether a relationship lies between ‘attractive facial features’ and ‘honesty-perception’. Questionnaires containing thirty images of people were distributed to participants who met select requirements. The participants were required to ‘rate’ the attractiveness levels of the images, therefore creating a ranking order. Further questions were posed to discover what facial features were taken into consideration when determining attractiveness. A second questionnaire was distributed to different participants. The participants were required to score how ‘honest’ photographed individuals appeared to be. Target images were placed within the second questionnaire; images which had previously received an ‘attractiveness’ ranking. Questions were also posed to determine an ‘honest’ facial feature. The scores provided in both questionnaires allowed quantitative analysis to be conducted that highlighted a relationship between ‘attractive facial features’ and ‘honesty-perception’. The ‘gender’ of the participant and the ‘gender’ of the image were also taken into consideration, and statistical evidence suggests that gender plays a role in the detection of deceit. Qualitative analysis was conducted on the written responses in both and it was found that there were in fact resemblances between select facial features. The findings were subsequently applied to the Criminal Justice System and it was found that the ‘attractive-honest’ relationship does influence the process of detecting deceit within the system. As a result of this, the research provides recommendations that may be taken into consideration by the CJS in an attempt to prevent any miscarriages of justice occurring.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Institute of Criminal Justice Studies
    Depositing User: Beth Atkins
    Date Deposited: 16 Jan 2015 14:53
    Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 12:48
    URI: http://eprints.port.ac.uk/id/eprint/16512

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