Butler Journal of Undergraduate Research

Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Rebekah Benjamin


In our research study, we tested whether people can tell if someone is a criminal or not based on a photograph of their face. The importance of the subject lies in the fact that many people are unfairly judged as criminals based on stereotypes such as race. In this study, we wished to eliminate race and see if any purely facial characteristics are stereotypically defined as criminal or if a person’s initial judgment is an accurate predictor of someone’s character. Extensive research has been dedicated to finding if people have facial features that portray some characteristic about them and this study will focus on criminality. Through the use of a face modulating program, neutral faced photographs were shown to participants with a question that asked if the person in the photograph is a criminal or not. The data gathered will be beneficial in either identifying facial features that are associated with criminals or that show the interesting phenomena of gut instinct.