This study examined the relationship between levels of sports team identification and sentence leniency. It was hypothesized that sharing the same sports team affiliation with the defendant would create bias in the form of juror leniency, and that highly identified fans would show more bias than lower identified fans. A case description of a hit and run accident, in which the defendant was described as a Tampa Bay Buccaneers fan, was read by 220 participants. Results showed a significant difference in recommended sentence length and levels of sympathy between the three groups (High Identity, Low Identity, & No Identity). However, contrary to the original hypothesis, participants who were highly identified with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers recommended a significantly longer sentence for the defendant and were less sympathetic than participants who had lower identification to the Buccaneers and those who had no Buccaneer identification. This paper discusses the relation of this finding with the Reverse Attractive Leniency Effect, as well as the Same-Sex Penalty Effect.
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Smither, Janan A.
Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
College of Sciences
Dissertations, Academic -- Sciences;Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic
Length of Campus-only Access
Honors in the Major Thesis
Ranieri, Andrea, "The effects of sports team allegiance on jurors' perceptions of a defendant" (2012). HIM 1990-2015. 1294.