reaching a verdict, section 1

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1. Order of testimony
2. Persuasion
3. Inadmissible evidence
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 likely to be remembered
Glanzer ­ discovered primacy and recency effect existed when participants recalled word lists.
Therefore concluded most important evidence should be given at the start and end of a trial.
Order of testimony Study
1 of 3
Hastie ­ memory structure
Aim ­ whether or not the order in which evidence is given influences both the verdict reach and the
participant's confidence in their decision.
Participants ­ 130 students from Northwestern and Chicago Uni. Paid to participate in 1 hour
Procedure ­ Participants in 1 of 4 conditions; guilty prosecution in story order, guilty prosecution in
witness order, non guilty defence in story order, non guilty defence in witness order
All participants listened to a tape recording of a stimulus trial and were asked to respond to written
questions and reach a verdict, as well as rate their confidence.
Findings ­
% who fund guilty verdict Defence story order Defence witness order
Prosecution story order 59 78
Prosecution witness order 31 63
Shows story order persuaded more jurors of guilt in the prosecution case.
Greatest level of confidence experience in prosecution and defence story order, lowest confidence in
witness order.
Conclusion ­ story order is best for both prosecution and defence in court
Understanding Statement ­ The study therefore shows that the order of a case does effect
prosecution outcome, and that story order is best for prosecution as it is more effective

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Evaluation issues;
Ecological validity ­ not real courtroom, no interaction
Confidentiality ­ real case, names used
Kraus and Sales ­ found that the jury were relatively unmoved by hearing expert witnesses talk about
the reliability of eyewitness testimonies.…read more

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Evaluation issues;
Validity ­ more than one variable
Generalisability ­ only student, demand characteristics
Ecological validity ­ low, watched video, not real courtroom setting
If evidence is found inadmissible the judge will direct the jury to disregard what has been said.
However drawing attention to it actually makes the jury pay more attention. Reactance theory ­
jurors perceive instructions to ignore evidence as undermining their freedom. May not take
evidence into account until it is ruled inadmissible.…read more

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Generalisability ­ only student, demand characteristics
Ecological validity ­ low, videotaped trial, not real courtroom setting…read more


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