Ibadan Journal of the Social Sciences
Volume 15, No. 2, 2017
DOI: 10.36108/ijss/7102.51.0211

Effects of Crime Type, Perception of Offenders Physical Attraction and Crime Victim’s Status on Perceived Severity of Judgment

Davis Ifeanyi Egwuonwu and Shyngle Kolawole Balogun

Department of Psychology, University of Ibadan, Nigeria



Several researches have been conducted on factors influencing sentencing decisions and severity of judgments with literature suggesting that some elements of bias undermine the outcome of judgment. The Nigerian Judicial system seems not to be free from this postulation as reflected in the many disparities in court judgments. However, literature is insufficient on the effects of crime type and crime victim status on severity of judgment. These disparities and the gaps earlier identified escalated the need to research into the rationale behind these discrepancies in judgment. This work, therefore, investigated the effects of crime type, perception of offenders’ physical attraction, crime victim’s status on perceived severity of judgment A total of 120 randomly selected student participants served as judges’ in the experiment These participants comprised 100 Level students of Psychology, Sociology and Law in the University of Ibadan taking same course in the Department of Psychology. Each of the eight experimental group comprised of 15 participants assigned through randomization. Case scenarios alongside photographic images of offenders were presented to each of the participants from which they had to make judgments. Data were analyzed using Multinomial Logistic Regression. Crime type, perception of offenders’ physical attraction and crime victim’s status had no significant interaction effect on severity on judgment -2loglikelihocd =40.13; X2=2.65; df= 2; P>. 05. However, crime type as an independent variable alone had a significant effect on severity of judgment denoted -2loglikelihood =72.77; X2=19.28; df= 2; P<. 01. The implications of the findings from this study have been elaborately highlighted in the body of the research with directions for further researches discussed.


Download PDF