What is it about?

This study examines the association between observer and suspect gender and perception of suspect credibility. The results indicated a significant main effect of observer gender: men perceived suspects as more credible than women. However, these differences were salient only regarding a male suspect. Regarding a female suspect, there were no significant differences between female and male observers. The manuscript addresses these findings in the context of social identification theory and defensive attribution theory.

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Why is it important?

From the theoretical point of view, this research supports defensive attribution theory’s claim that attitudes depend on observer perception of situational and personal similarity with the people involved in a criminal scenario. From the practical point of view, practitioners should be aware of possible effects of perception of similarity on their perceptions of credibility and our findings may be also useful in the context of jury selection.


Till now, many studies examined racial and ethnic effects on suspect credibility; this study's findings indicate that gender is also a significant factor.

Dr Inna Levy
Ariel University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Perceived suspect credibility: a brief report on the association between suspect and observer gender, Journal of Gender Studies, May 2021, Taylor & Francis, DOI: 10.1080/09589236.2021.1930524.
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