Eyal Aharoni

Eyal Aharoni
Georgia State University | GSU · Department of Psychology

Ph.D.

About

40
Publications
7,508
Reads
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1,009
Citations
Additional affiliations
January 2016 - present
Georgia State University
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
January 2013 - December 2015
RAND Corporation
Position
  • Research Associate
August 2009 - December 2012
University of New Mexico
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Education
September 2002 - June 2009

Publications

Publications (40)
Article
Full-text available
Judges are typically tasked to consider sentencing benefits but not costs. Previous research finds that both laypeople and prosecutors discount the costs of incarceration when forming sentencing attitudes, raising important questions about whether professional judges show the same bias during sentencing. To test this, we used a vignette-based exper...
Article
This preregistered experiment examined two proximate drivers of retributive punishment attitudes: the motivation to make the perpetrator suffer, and understand the wrongfulness of his offense. In a sample of 514 US adults, we presented criminal case summaries that varied the level of suffering (absent vs. present) and understanding (absent vs. pres...
Article
Full-text available
Prosecutors can influence judges’ sentencing decisions by the sentencing recommendations they make—but prosecutors are insulated from the costs of those sentences, which critics have described as a correctional “free lunch.” In a nationally distributed survey experiment, we show that when a sample of ( n =178) professional prosecutors were insulate...
Article
Previous studies have associated adult men with elevated psychopathic traits with reduced endorsement of certain moral foundations measured with the Moral Foundations Questionnaire (MFQ), including Harm/Care (measuring one's concern for protecting individuals from harm) and Fairness/Reciprocity (measuring one's concern for the rights of individuals...
Chapter
This chapter explores current trends in cognitive neuroscience research and its implications for criminal punishment. It considers what this research can (or cannot) tell us about an offender’s future dangerousness as well as how brain function, and folk perceptions of brain function, might inform punishers’ sentencing judgments. Finally, this chap...
Article
Full-text available
Do people punish more than they would if the decision costs were more transparent? In two Internet-based vignette experiments, we tested whether juvenile sentencing recommendations among U.S. adults are responsive to variation in the salience of the taxpayer costs and public safety benefits of incarceration. Using a 2 Cost (present vs. absent) x 2...
Article
Since the historical conception of psychopathy, researchers have been interested in understanding moral functioning among psychopathic individuals. The present study investigated the association between psychopathic traits and moral intuitions among incarcerated juvenile offenders (N = 178). Participants were assessed using the Psychopathy Checklis...
Article
Purpose At what cost to society are we willing to punish criminal offenders, and how does our awareness of those costs impact our support for punitive measures? In a nationally distributed sample of 191 Internet users, we examined the elasticity of punishment in response to information about the direct material cost of incarceration. Methods Using...
Article
Full-text available
Legal theorists have characterized physical evidence of brain dysfunction as a double-edged sword, wherein the very quality that reduces the defendant’s responsibility for his transgression could simultaneously increase motivations to punish him by virtue of his apparently increased dangerousness. However, empirical evidence of this pattern has bee...
Data
Data underlying findings. (CSV)
Article
Full-text available
Age is one of the best predictors of antisocial behavior. Risk models of recidivism often combine chronological age with demographic, social and psychological features to aid in judicial decision-making. Here we use independent component analyses (ICA) and machine learning techniques to demonstrate the utility of using brain-based measures of cereb...
Chapter
The incarceration system in the United States is broken. It does not effectively-much less efficiently-serve the forward-looking goals of punishment, which rely heavily on fear of incarceration. It neither rehabilitates criminals nor prevents recidivism effectively. Evidence suggests the current system fails to deter any more than shorter sentences...
Article
Rearrest has been predicted by hemodynamic activity in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) during error-processing (Aharoni et al., 2013). Here we evaluate the predictive power after adding an additional imaging modality in a subsample of 45 incarcerated males from Aharoni et al. Event-related potentials (ERPs) and hemodynamic activity were collect...
Article
Full-text available
This article reviews the scientific literature on the epidemiology, prevention, and treatment of problematic Internet use (PIU) with the goal of informing Air Force policies aimed at mitigating PIU's negative impact on operations and the mental health of Airmen. The study is motivated by a recent RAND study estimating that 6 percent of Airmen have...
Book
Biased expert testimony is a leading cause of wrongful convictions, and new techniques are needed to reduce such biases. This study conducted an experimental investigation of two potential contributors to biased testimony within adversarial litigation involving forensic evidence: (1) experts' knowledge of their party representation (i.e., prosecuti...
Article
A prominent explanation for antisocial behavior in psychopathic offenders is that they cannot distinguish between right and wrong. Using a modified version of the classic Moral/Conventional Transgressions task that minimizes strategic responding, this study evaluated the hypothesis that psychopathic traits are negatively associated with moral class...
Article
Full-text available
A recently published study by the present authors reported evidence that functional changes in the anterior cingulate cortex within a sample of 96 criminal offenders who were engaged in a Go/No-Go impulse control task significantly predicted their rearrest following release from prison. In an extended analysis, we use discrimination and calibration...
Article
We report a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study of 102 healthy participants who completed a demanding Go/NoGo task. The primary purpose of this study was to delineate the neural systems underlying responses to errors in a large sample. We identified a number of regions engaged during error processing including the anterior cingulate,...
Article
Although recent research has found that neurological expert testimony is more persuasive than other kinds of expert and non-expert evidence, no impact has been found for neuroimages beyond that of neurological evidence sans images. Those findings hold true in the context of a mens rea defense and various forms of insanity defenses. The present stud...
Article
The “successful psychopath” is thought to evade scientific study because most forensic psychopathy research is limited to incarcerated—putatively unsuccessful—samples. By redefining criminal success as the proportion of past undetected crimes, the present study tested the hypothesis that psychopathic traits are associated with criminal success with...
Chapter
Why do individuals so willingly risk the enforcement of punishment of moral offenders? A satisfying explanation for moralistic punishment should consider possible incentives that could have reliably motivated individuals to incur the risks of punishment over the course of our evolution. Conceivably, moralistic punishment evolved to protect our soci...
Article
Full-text available
Identification of factors that predict recurrent antisocial behavior is integral to the social sciences, criminal justice procedures, and the effective treatment of high-risk individuals. Here we show that error-related brain activity elicited during performance of an inhibitory task prospectively predicted subsequent rearrest among adult offenders...
Article
Full-text available
Research has suggested that criminal punishment decisions are driven primarily by retribution and that retributive judgments are achieved by a process of abstract moral reasoning. However, problems with construct validity limit confidence in these conclusions. Study 1 (N = 254) used experimentally manipulated vignettes to isolate retributive motive...
Article
Full-text available
A prominent view of psychopathic moral reasoning suggests that psychopathic individuals cannot properly distinguish between moral wrongs and other types of wrongs. The present study evaluated this view by examining the extent to which 109 incarcerated offenders with varying degrees of psychopathy could distinguish between moral and conventional tra...
Article
Full-text available
The present study examined whether and in what ways psychopathy is associated with abnormal moral intuitions among criminal offenders. Using Haidt et al.'s Moral Foundations Questionnaire, 222 adult male offenders assessed for clinical psychopathy reported their degree of support for five moral domains: Harm Prevention, Fairness, Respect for Author...
Article
It is a thorn in the side of the law that judges and jurors are influenced by extra-legal factors, such as the attractiveness of the defendant or victim. In order to promote equal treatment, it may be helpful to understand why these biases occur and in what ways. Drawing on evolutionary considerations, the present study predicted that victims beari...
Article
Can neurological evidence help courts assess criminal responsibility? To answer this question, we must first specify legal criteria for criminal responsibility and then ask how neurological findings can be used to determine whether particular defendants meet those criteria. Cognitive neuroscience may speak to at least two familiar conditions of cri...
Article
When deciding a criminal's punishment, people typically exhibit both retributive and consequentialist motives in their decision making, though retribution's role may be stronger. This study aimed to discern possible functions of retribution by examining a population predicted to be deficient in retributive drive. Participants who rated either high...
Article
What criteria afford a machine the status of a social agent? In this investigation, the mere label identifying an oral interviewer as human or computer was sufficient to affect participants’ responses toward the interviewer during an online interview for a competitive mock job. Participants’ impressions of the interviewer and self-reported emotiona...
Article
Full-text available
Recent work [1, 2, 3] has argued that subjective questionnaires may be ineffective at measuring copresence towards agents and avatars in immersive virtual environments (IVEs). The current work directly compares self-report and behavioral measures of copresence. In two studies, we measured the interpersonal distance between participants and either a...