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Can having a babyface get you sent to jail?

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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.

Via In Your Face: The New Science of Human Attraction

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.

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About Eric Barker