An investigation of the effects of attorney attractiveness and gender on jurors' decisions in a medical malpractice trial

Tanya S Taylor, University of Texas at El Paso

Abstract

Attorney characteristics were examined for potential influences on trial decisions. A large sample of mock jurors, including mostly college students and some community residents, rendered verdicts in a medical malpractice case. A 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 between-subjects design was used to assess the influence of the following factors: defense attorney's gender (male, female), plaintiff attorney's gender (male, female), plaintiff attorney's physical attractiveness (attractive, unattractive), and medical malpractice case type (mastectomy, orchiectomy). Jurors not only provided verdicts, but also completed evaluations of the attorneys based on several factors, including competence, fairness, and confidence. Attorney characteristics differentially related to verdicts, awards, and ratings of the attorneys, but not always in the hypothesized direction and often via complex higher-order interactions. ^

Subject Area

Law|Psychology, Experimental|Psychology, Industrial

Recommended Citation

Taylor, Tanya S, "An investigation of the effects of attorney attractiveness and gender on jurors' decisions in a medical malpractice trial" (2006). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI3214018.
http://digitalcommons.utep.edu/dissertations/AAI3214018

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