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Page 1

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REACHING A VERDICT ­ Section 1

PERSUADING A JURY
1. Order of testimony
2. Persuasion
3. Inadmissible evidence

1. ORDER OF TESTIMONY
Murdoch - conducted a lab study using word lists to see the primacy effect ­ concluded prosecution had
unfair advantage as they give evidence first which is more…

Page 2

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Evaluation issues;
Ecological validity ­ not real courtroom, no interaction
Generalizability
Reliability
Usefulness
Confidentiality ­ real case, names used


2. PERSUASION

Kraus and Sales ­ found that the jury were relatively unmoved by hearing expert witnesses talk about
the reliability of eyewitness testimonies.

Persuasion Study

2 of 3
Cutler

Aim…

Page 3

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Evaluation issues;
Validity ­ more than one variable
Generalisability ­ only student, demand characteristics
Usefulness
Ecological validity ­ low, watched video, not real courtroom setting

3. INADMISSABLE EVIDENCE

If evidence is found inadmissible the judge will direct the jury to disregard what has been said.
However drawing attention to it…

Page 4

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Generalisability ­ only student, demand characteristics
Usefulness
Ecological validity ­ low, videotaped trial, not real courtroom setting

Page 5

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REACHING A VERDICT ­ Section 2

WITNESS APPEAL
1. Attractiveness of the defendant
2. Witness confidence
3. Effects of shields on children giving evidence

1. ATTRACTIVENESS OF DEFENDANT

Dion et al ­ HALO EFFECT ­ physically attractive people are assumed to have other attractive properties
Efran ­ good looking criminals…

Page 6

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Evaluation issues;
Ecological validity ­ mock trial, no interaction
Generalisability ­ uni students, demand characteristics
Reductionism -no cognitions or thoughts considered
Usefulness


2. WITNESS CONFIDENCE

The more confident the witness the more convincing the testimony
Confidence can be affected by system variable ­ if testimony is delayed, long time before…

Page 7

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3. SHIELDS FOR CHILDREN GIVING EVIDENCE

Children can give evidence behind screens or via video link if the case subject is sensitive. It is argued the
use of a shield makes it appear to the jury that the child is in need of protection, suggesting the
defendant is guilty

Shield…

Page 8

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Psychological harm ­ child abuse case


REACHING A VERDICT ­ Section 3

REACHING A VERDICT
1. Stages and influences
2. Majority influence
3. Minority influence


1. STAGES AND INFLUENCES

Dion et al ­ HALO EFFECT ­ physically attractive people are assumed to have other attractive properties
Efran ­ good looking…

Page 9

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Conclusion ­ decision rule didn't appear to affect verdict reached but did affect the quality of decision
making

Orientation period Relaxed and open discussion
Set agenda
Raise questions, explore facts
Opinions arise
Open confrontation Fierce debate
Focus on detail
Different interpretations
Pressure on minority
Support for group decision is established…

Page 10

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Participants agreed with the wrong answer on about third of trials
About 75% conformed at least once
A lot of stress experienced
Control trial with no confederates giving wrong answers found people made mistakes 1% of time

Conclusion ­ study shows impact that a majority can have on an individual.…

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