Comments on
Can You Spot a Rapist?

spotting a bad guyNew research out of Cornell University finds that people can identify criminals simply by looking at photos.

The researchers did all they could to make all things equal about the photos.

19 thoughts on “Can You Spot a Rapist?

  • April 13, 2011 at 11:32 am

    I failed the ‘can you spot a criminal test’ but I think I understand why. I usually rely on a person’s behavior, statements, and other interactions to determine whether the person is someone I would continue to interact with or trust. Looking at the photos only, I have no other clues about the person’s character.

  • April 14, 2011 at 8:31 am

    wow, i got 2 out of the four rapist. this is such a scarry thought though.i am a female and i guess it’s not too bad being that there were 30 men and i got two correct.

  • April 14, 2011 at 9:28 am

    Wow, I surprised myself kind of scary. My results:
    Arson – 3 out of 4
    Assault – 1 out of 4
    Drug Dealing – 3 out of 4 and
    Rape – 2 out of 4, WOW!
    I usually try to get to know someone before judging their character and if I want to continue to keep them in my inner circle. I guess a picture can really say a lot.

  • April 14, 2011 at 10:28 am

    Bwahahaha, got 3/4 rapists and my sister got 4/4. Overall I have 19/32 correct answers and my sister got 18/32. Pretty nifty test. I guess we tend to go with who looks creepiest. XD

    • April 14, 2011 at 11:31 am

      Great! I’m hangin’ with you two, staying safe! What was it that made the people look creepy to you?

  • April 14, 2011 at 1:50 pm

    I failed miserably with all of them. i tended to everyone committed a violent crime. i was raped/ molested by numerous ppl years ago. i guess that may have something to do with it, although i did not pick out any of the 4 rapists. scary.

  • April 14, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    You guys. This is so important! I met a man (the love of my life) I spent almost 2 years in a relationship with who I had checked out by a private investigator because I was beginning to suspect maybe he was married or something. Turns out he gave me an alias & was a habitual criminal sex offender under different names & on the sex offender website under a name I never even heard. I was so crushed & devastated. He knew my co-workers, children, neighbors, friends…& he wasn’t even real! This only happened 7 months ago. I’m still trying to recover!

  • April 14, 2011 at 6:50 pm

    Number 3 jumped out at me, his chin was slightly up and has a slight smurk, he’s proud of his handy work….

  • April 18, 2011 at 5:26 pm

    I thought they all looked guilty of something – except maybe 2 or 3 of them. I have had any history to cloud my judgement either.

  • April 24, 2011 at 7:30 pm

    I got two of them right. I guess that’s good, but not good enough. It’s hard to figure them out, the ones you think might be aren’t and the ones that look like they wouldn’t would. It is very scary because you just never know who you are dealing with.

  • April 28, 2011 at 5:48 am

    I got 3 out of 4 right and to me it was a certain attitude, a look that says just because they are reasonably attractive they expect you to want them and if you don’t they’ll get pissed and take you any way.

  • May 5, 2011 at 9:36 am

    Google “rape culture” and read some feminist writing on the subject–basically, our culture condones rape in part because it castigates female sexuality, eg: victim blaming. (Research that, too.)

    First of all, when various forms of rape and sexual assault are made socially permissible, there is less likely to be “a type” of men that commit these acts. Why WOULD there be a connection between their facial appearance and their propensity towards sexual assault?

    Secondly, why is the onus on women to be good at “spotting rapists?”

  • May 5, 2011 at 9:57 am

    Thanks for a compelling comment, AMC. I don’t disagree with anything you said.

    I didn’t think about this as blaming women or putting the onus on them for spotting rapists as much as a kind of chilling reminder or illustration that we can’t stereotype rapists. It is similar, to me, to the overblown myth of stranger danger when it comes to child molestation, when children are much more likely to be molested by someone known and trusted.

  • May 14, 2011 at 1:22 pm

    Interesting study. I correctly identified 21 of the 32 as criminals (~66%, not very good). Among the 21 were 1 arsonist, 3 assault, 4 drug dealers, 2 rapists. I didn’t try to guess what category each offender was.

    One thing I noticed when checking the key was that many of the ones I guessed wrong were when I had second-guessed myself instead of following my gut. So there’s a lesson there.

  • July 15, 2011 at 12:33 am

    haha , i got 26 out of 32.
    and all of the rapists! yes.

  • July 21, 2011 at 2:52 am

    @AMC, it’s interesting that you bring up the whole rape culture as I’m wondering how society “condones” rape exactly. Also, you seemed to be suggesting the old feminist underlying message that every man is a potential rapist, which is such a sad way of looking at people. I also don’t think this is putting onus on women but is instead simply trying to increase awareness. Last, I think that trying to increase awareness is sometimes unfairly labeled as victim blaming. For example, if you’re flashing a lot of cash around a bunch of strangers and are acting less than aware of what you’re doing, you are putting yourself in an undesirable situation. I’m not saying that you are flashing cash around and therefore DESERVE to be robbed, but that you should be aware of your situation and the kind of attention that your actions bring to you. It’s just one of those harsh realities of our world, not that we shouldn’t work to change that of course. Geez look at all my caveats in here.. Can’t even talk about the subject without scrambling to cover my ass against assumptions.

  • August 5, 2011 at 7:26 pm

    i dont think that u can teel if some one is a rapest in till they do sothin to you or to some one eles but now and day you cant trust every thing you here i should know iv be touched buy guy in the past and i tould them to stop and i never thouth that they would do it and some time they wouldnt stop beacu i didnt know how to run to so i know form the past you cant trust eney one but your self some time and some time you cant even trust famliey.

  • August 31, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    Non Criminal~missed 8 out of 15
    Arson~missed 1 out of 4
    Assault~missed 1 out of 4
    Drug Dealer~missed 0 out of 4
    Rapist~missed 2 out of 5
    Missed 12
    Using instinct first and criminal justice training.
    I need some work, to be sure. I’m not displeased, but it could mean someone who is innocent being accused. Not a good feeling there. Not everyone you meet is going to fall into the criminal category, but always choose safety first in regards to whom you share your time. It could mean life or death. Going with your gut is usually your best advice.

  • November 17, 2017 at 3:48 pm

    The page the link leads to is gone! Where can I find the test?


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