Social Attractiveness and Blame


Mark D. Alicke, Department of Psychology, Ohio University, Athens, OH 45701. E-mail:


Blame attributions are influenced by various extralegal factors, although at present there is no compelling evidence to link what may be one of the most pervasive sources of bias in blame judgments—an actor's social attractiveness or likableness—to blame attributions. We conducted 2 studies that varied an actor's social attractiveness and assessed its influence on blame. Social attractiveness influenced blame ratings in both studies, and perceptions of the actor's likableness mediated this effect.