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  • Created by: Steff06
  • Created on: 15-05-16 12:47
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    • Aims:
      • 1. Find out if the use of protective shields and videotaped testimony increases likelihood of a guilty verdict.
      • 2. Investigate effect of protective devices on jury reaction to testimony.
    • Methodology:
      • Mock trial based on an actual court transcript. Professional film crew recorded actors playing roles in the case.
      • 3 versions of the case were created.
        • 1st = Open court with the child in full view.
        • 2nd = Child behind  4 x 6ft screen.
        • 3rd = Child's testimony came via video link.
    • Participants:
      • 300 college students (150 male, 150 female) from introductory psychology class.
      • Majority white, middle class. Told it was a study of psychology and the law. 100 allocated to each condition.
    • Procedure:
      • Watched 1 of  3 versions of the 2-hour film of a court case of alleged abuse. Child's father as accused defendant, mother, 2 expert witnesses (1 for either side) and child as witnesses.
      • Alleged abuse was a single touch while the father was giving the child a bath. Case focused on whether it was innocent or sexual in nature.
      • Judge in the case read a warning before either the screen or video monitor was used directly the jury to not imply guilt by their use.
      • After the case, participants gave their verdicts and rated credibility of child witness on various aspects of her story. Also rated defendant on credibility.
    • Results:
      • Guilty verdicts show no significant differences between conditions, but there was a significant difference between male + female participants.
      • 58.6% females found defendant guilty against 38.6% males. Jury's perception of credibility of defendant didn't differ across the conditions but there was a gender difference.
      • More females rated defendant as less credible than males. Same pattern for credibility of witness. Female students rate child as more credible.
    • Conclusions:
      • Experiment 2 conducted after with same conditions except tape was stopped immediately after child testified. Results showed clear difference - those in open court far more likely to decide guilty, less gender effects.
      • Effect of credibility of witness same as before - no significant differences between conditions. Results of both research shows defendant is not more at risk if protective devices are used. Video condition slightly less likely to produce conviction.
      • Biggest differences found in 2nd experiment where trial was artificially interrupted to test the jury's response. When a case is allowed to run full course and judge's warnings are in place, there is no disadvantage to the defendant.


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