A new variable, the Self-Identification Factor (i.e. the extent to which an individual can identify or relate to another person) may override other variables thought to influence suggestions for punishment. Level of self-identification was manipulated and students were asked to decide appropriate punishment for individuals who had committed plagiarism. Results indicated that attractiveness of the plagiarist and the intentionality of the plagiarism influenced decisions. The results further indicated that the degree of self-identification had a
significant effect on punishment decisions in that, people identified significantly more with the unintentional plagiarist. Findings suggest that the extent of self-identification is a possible underlying factor in simulated jury studies.