Undergraduate Psychology Research Methods Journal


As humans, we rely on our eyes to help us understand the world around us. While this seems like the ultimate asset, it is also detrimental because our eyes are often deceiving. Specifically, when we use visual information to draw conclusions about other people, our perceptions are shaped by what we see, and sometimes such information is misleading and inaccurate. The present study's purpose is to identify how visual information (i.e. race) influences our judgement of criminals who have committed violent and non-violent felony crimes. Participants were shown lineups containing headshots of four male criminals, which varied in race (i.e. Black, White, Asian, and Latino), and they were asked to determine which criminal they believed was responsible for 10 violent felony crimes and 10 non-violent felony crimes. I hypothesized that the nature of the crime would impact participants' perception of who committed each crime. Furthermore, I predicted that the amount of time it would take for participants to determine a suspect would vary by crime, and that participants' race would influence who they found responsible for each crime. The findings indicated that racial typicality was evident, and it is possible that new patterns of racial typicality among minority groups are also emerging.

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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.

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