Not that we want to encourage any of our patients to enter into (or continue) a life of crime, but among the many potential benefits of cosmetic dentistry there is one that criminals could appreciate: it might help you get a more lenient sentence from a jury. A new study confirms previous research that jurors are more likely to give harsher sentences to less attractive men.
The “Double Devil” Effect
New research has looked at the impact of attractiveness on jury sentencing for criminals, finding that less attractive men are more likely to be given more severe penalties. The study used 170 college aged women who were asked to rate men based on their photos and a variety of written scenarios. In some scenarios, the men committed crimes, and women were asked to decide what punishment each deserved based on his crime.
Interestingly, when unattractive men weren’t blamed for a crime, women rated them with feelings very similar to those of the attractive men. But when the men were blamed for a crime, the attractive men were given a bit of a pass, while the less attractive men were sentenced harshly.
It Works for Dating, Too
As part of the same experiment, women looked at online dating profiles, some of which contained “unusual or alarming information.” Women might consider dating attractive men who posted this kind of information, but unattractive men were immediately dismissed whenever this information came up.
How Will an Attractive Smile Help You?
A good smile contributes to a “halo” effect that lets more attractive people get away with things more easily than unattractive ones. If you’re the sort of person who always seems to be blamed excessively even for a minor offense, it may be that your smile is playing a role.