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The Effects of Age and Gender on Third-Party Punishment

Colorado Bar Association
Event organized by Colorado Bar Association

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Do humans punish normal violators more harshly or less harshly as we age? This question is not only important in its own right, as researchers begin to study third-party punishment in a systematic and interdisciplinary fashion, but it also bears on vital public policy issues, including what sorts of individuals we should be selecting as our judges and jurors. Using well-studied criminal hypotheticals, which varied both the level of harm and the wrongdoer's mental state (whether he was acting intentionally or just recklessly), our experiment, showed there are significant interaction effects between the punisher's age and gender, and the level of harm caused by the norm violation, in both the intentional and reckless conditions. This research is based upon behavioral experiments Judge Hoffman has been doing with a German neuroscientist examining the effects that the age and gender of the judge have on punishment. These results are being presented to the Stanford Law School on March 23.

Join us for a complimentary Happy Hour immediately following the presentation.

Approved for One General CLE Credit.