“This article extends homicide adaptation theory by investigating signal effects of a murder. In two experiments (N = 299 and N = 161) participants reported their perceptions of a described person. The first study manipulated the information about the person (including or excluding a single sentence stating that the person has committed a murder) and stimulus person/observer sex match (same vs. opposite sex). Results suggest that murder functions as a signal of the described person’s fitness that enhances observers’ evaluations and inclination to interact with the person. Opposite-sex observers evaluate the murderer’s intent more favorably than same-sex observers, but these evaluations of intent produce differential (positive vs. negative) effects between the two groups. The second study replicated the findings and ruled out potential confounds.”
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