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Decision Making of Juries
WJEC POTENTIAL question:
HASTIE ET AL (1983) found that when an individual's opinion differed the majority tend to conform
overall. This social pressure can be due...
1. Normative influences, just wanting to be liked by others
2. Informational influences, thinking others know better than you do.
The majorities view is so influential for many reasons like...
1. Varied opinions, more people having one point of view means you can produce the idea in
different ways and more processing
2. Deeper discussions, is when an idea is shared and therefore can be talked about for longer
than one person's opinion
3. Greater influences, being majority allows the group to be more convincing and forceful.
Minority's may have more influence than majorities as it can make the majority question the
validity of their view. If consistent it may influence a wider group, this can work in long deliberation
periods. However they need to be consistent and not rigid to get their point viewed.
Characteristics of the Defendant
a juror can be influenced by their decision based on stereotypes. A study was done by DIXON ET AL
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(2002) and found those with standard English were not found guilty compared to those with a
When faced with ethnic stereotypes in the juror it can have a large effect. When a white based juror
was to convict a rapist if the was rapist was black they were more likely to convict them guilt than if
they were white. They were more likely if the victim was white themselves.…read more