Faculty & Research Anger Damns the Innocent Jul 28, 2021 By Gabrielle AdamsKatherine A. DeCellesHolly S. HoweLeslie K. John Anger Damns the Innocent False accusations of wrongdoing are common and can have grave consequences. In six studies, we document a worrisome paradox in perceivers’ subjective judgments of a suspect’s guilt. Specifically, we found that people (including online panelists, and working professionals such as fraud investigators and auditors) use suspects’ angry responses to accusations as cues of guilt. However, we found that such anger is an invalid cue of guilt and is instead a valid cue of innocence; accused individuals (university students) and online panelists were angrier when they are falsely relative to accurately accused. Moreover, we found that individuals who remain silent are perceived to be at least as guilty as those who angrily deny an accusation. Link to Case Areas of focus Social Psychology Gabrielle Adams Gabrielle Adams is an associate professor of public policy and business administration at the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy and in the Darden School of Business’s Leadership and Organizational Behavior area. Adams studies the processes and dynamics that give rise to ‘good’ decisions, policies and conditions in organizations. Read full bio Katherine A. DeCelles Holly S. Howe Leslie K. John Related Content Gabrielle Adams The “Equal-Opportunity Jerk” Defense: Rudeness Can Obfuscate Gender Bias Research In this research, we identified a barrier that makes sexism hard to recognize: rudeness toward men. We found that observers judge a sexist perpetrator as less sexist if he is rude toward men. People systematically overlook subtractive changes Research A series of problem-solving experiments reveal that people are more likely to consider solutions that add features than solutions that remove them, even when removing features is more efficient. Meeting Overload Is a Fixable Problem News Batten School professor Gabe Adams spoke with American Talk about the benefits of adopting a subtraction mindset and how to get it done. When Less is More: How Harnessing the Power of Subtraction Can Add to Life News There’s a lot of thought that goes into adding things to our routines, our closets, our lives. But how much thought goes into subtracting things? Not enough, according to three University of Virginia professors.