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Faculty Mentor

Debra Spear

Abstract

The current study analyzed the relationship between an authority figure's presence and the prevalence of prejudice when sentencing criminals. Eighteen undergraduate students (5 men and 13 women) aged 18 to 21 years, volunteered to participate in the study. Each participant completed the Implicit Association Test (lAT) and completed four fictitious criminal sentences. Significant support was not found for the current hypothesis, although more participants showed prejudice when the authority figure was absent compared to when the individual was present.Women showed prejudicial behavior more often then men when the authority figure was absent. Participants had a tendency to sentence longer for different races and for the crime involving homicide when compared to a rape crime.

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