- Published: October 31, 2012
- Written by Alicia Jones
In a game designed to simulate monetary investment, scientists found that people have two neural structures at work: guilt aversion and coopoeration. The researchers drew an interesting conclusion that some people are more sensitive to this guilt response than others.
This could be an interesting method to use in the courts, if the technology was adapted and made more sophisticated. There would have to be an assumption that there is a physiological guilt response that neuroscience could identify accurately.
If scientists could determine there was a significant ability to show a person's feelings of guilt, one could follow this with studies on recidivism rates for different crimes. If there was a significant relationship between feeling guilt and recidivism, it might be useful in sentencing. If someone who feels definitively guilty about a crime is less likely to recidivate, then perhaps that person would not serve the public's best interests in serving a long sentence.
Again, this would require a definitive relationship between guilt and recidivism in addition to a well-defined physiological response to feeling guilt. This would also require specific relationships for specific crimes. If these were unattainable, any conclusions drawn would likely be flawed.