The Impact of Empathy and Belief in a Just World on Bail Decision-making
In the criminal justice system, the decision to grant or deny bail is made without deliberation and can have consequences for both the defendant and society. In the proposed experiment, bail decisions were investigated in relation to three constructs: empathy, belief in a just world, and attitudes towards the criminal justice system. Participants (N = 53) were asked to make 15 bail decisions based on key information from actual bail cases. Participants were then administered three self-report questionnaires to assess empathy, belief in a just world and attitudes towards the criminal justice system. Results showed that bail decisions were related to any of the above mentioned measures. Explanations for these non-significant findings are discussed.
01 Jan 2008
Corrections and Community Services
Strategic Research Theme
Governance and Public Policy