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The Boston Globe


Uncommon Knowledge

It’s true; I saw an unrelated photo a few days ago!

And other surprising insights from the social sciences

Arrest you like it’s your birthday

On your birthday, it’s normal to expect special treatment—but apparently not from the cops. A new study suggests that situations that are normally associated with preferential treatment can instead cause a punitive backlash. Analysis of drunken-driving arrests in Washington State revealed that drivers with blood-alcohol levels just under the legal limit were more likely to be arrested on their birthdays. This backlash was also found in experiments, where participants were more willing to punish transgressors who mentioned that it was their birthday.

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