If you’re on trial for something malicious, you’re less likely to go to jail if you have an innocent-looking babyface.
However, if you’re on trial for something negligent, you’re more likely to end up behind bars because of those same naive looks.
What’s more alarming, perhaps, is that baby-faced looks affect the way individuals fare in court cases. Specifically, if your crime is one that involves a certain degree of nefarious intent – actively falsifying records to embezzle funds, say – then you’re more likely to be acquitted or get a lighter sentence if you have a baby face, perhaps because baby-faced people are generally perceived to be more honest and trustworthy than mature-faced individuals. If on the other hand your crime involves unintentional negligence – forgetting to inform a customer that a product may have hazardous side-effects, for instance – then baby-faced individuals are more likely to be convicted than mature-faced defendants. Apparently we think that a baby-faced individual is unlikely to do wrong deliberately, but is quite likely to do wrong by accident.
Join 25K+ readers. Get a free weekly update via email here.