chapter 7-psychology of the courtroom

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Stewart-attractiveness and harsher verdict

what is the aim of this study?

to look for a correlation between the attractiveness of a defendant and the severity of the punishment awarded. Predicted- as the attractiveness of the defendant, the severity of punishment will decrease

what is the method of this study?

observation

who were the participants of this study?

60 criminal trials were observed in Pennsylvania, USA. Defendants were a range of ages. 8 white observers were used, each trial was observed by at least2 observers

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Stewart-attractiveness and harsher verdict

what was the procedure of this study?

observers rated the defendants on a range of scales. These included physical attractiveness, neatness, cleanliness and quality of dress and posture, these items were combined to produce an attractiveness index

what were the results of this study?

No significant correlation was found between race and the attractiveness index.
Posture showed a negative correlation.
Attractiveness index was negatively correlated with punitveness, that is the less attractive the defendants were judged to be, the more severe their punishments.

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Stewart-attractiveness and harsher verdict

whatare 2strengths of this study?

Usefulness- found results, can apply to everyday life

High EV- Real court rooms

High inter-observer reliablity-no bias

what are 2 weaknesses of this study?

Not generalisable- only from Pennsylvania

Correlation doesn't show cause and effect

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Pennington-primacy effect-defence 1st then defence

what was the aim of this study?

to examine whether there is a primacy effect or a recency effect in relation to witness testimony

what was the method of this study?

a simulated courtroom procedure. This is an experimental design with independent measures.

what was the sample of this study?

192 undergraduate students 96 male, 96 female. All were eligible for jury service in the UK.

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Pennington-primacy effect-defence 1st then defence

what was the procedure of this study?
Some participants heard witnesses give guiltytestimonies first and others heard witnesses give innocent testimony first.

Each participant was exposed to exactly the same material, but in a different order.

what were the results of this study?
The group that heard the guilt witnesses first produced more guilty verdicts than the other group. They were also more confident in their judgments.

What does this suggest?
strong primacy effects in the courtroom

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Pennington-primacy effect-defence 1st then defence

what are 2 weaknesses of this study?

High EV-due to stimulated cells

Sample- representative of both genders

What are 2 weaknesses of this study?

Sample- Age of the jury-undergraduates

Demand characteristics-Participant's knew what was going on

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Asch -juries and conformity to majority influences

what was the aim of this study?

to investigate the effect of a majority influence on a minority of one, using a simple perception task.

what was the method of this study?

this is a laboratory study

what was the sample of this study?

123 participants from 3 different institutions

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Asch -juries and conformity to majority influences

what was the procedure of this study?

On each series of trials a group of 7-9 young male students were seated at a table to take part in a perception task. One of them was a true participant either sat in the second to last seat or the last one, the remainder were confederates.

They were told to compare 3 different lines with the standard one and say which one was the same length as the standard line, they were told to give their answer in turn starting from number 1.

Before the study started the confederates were requested to give the same incorrect answers on certain crucial trials. There were 18 trials in each series.

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Asch -juries and conformity to majority influences

what were the variations of the basic study?

a. The number of people seated around the table was varied from 2 to 16.

b. A single dissenter placed in position before the participant, stated the correct answer. The P was no longer on his own in his own judgment.

c. A single dissenter answered differently from the confederates but incorrectly

what were the results of thisstudy?
There were considerable individual differences in the amount of conformity. About 25% of participants never agreed with the incorrect judgements of the majority. In contrast some individuals went with the majority nearly all the time.

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Asch -juries and conformity to majority influences

what are 2 weaknesses of this study?
low EV lab experiment

Unethical-decieved

High demand characteristics-Lab exp

what are 2 strengths of this study?
High control-standardised procedure-reliability.

Usefulness apply to every day life

what suggestions can be made from this study?
written verdict rather than spoken

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Pennington & Hastie-story model can aid decision m

what was the aim of this study?

to investigate their theory on how jurors make decisions in criminal trials.

what was the method of this study?

Case study of frank johnson trial

what was the procedure of this study?

asked people to make decisions on simulated trials.

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Pennington & Hastie-story model can aid decision m

what are 2 weaknesses of this study?

Low EV- Less emotion because of actor

Generalisability-Only one case used

what are 2 strengths of this study?

High EV - simulated courtroom

Usefulness- shows us the flaws in jury

what suggestions can be made from this study?
Training required before jury service is undertaken for them to become a juror.

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Ross-children in open court lead to more guilty ve

what was the aim of this study?

to examine the effects on cinviction rates if children give evidence in sexual abuse cases in court or with a protective sheild or via video tape

what was the method of this study?

an experiment

what was the sample of this study?

300 students 150 male 159 female (majority white and middleclass)

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Ross-children in open court lead to more guilty ve

what was the procedure of this study 1?
Simulation of a sexual abuse trial. It was videotaped in a real courtroom using legal professionals.

what was the IV of this study?
The way in which the child gave her evidence

what were the 3 conditions?
con1- child gave herevidence in court, directly confronting the defendant

con2- gave her evidence in the courtroom, with a protective sheild

con3- she gave evidence on video

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Ross-children in open court lead to more guilty ve

what were the participants asked to do in the first study?

watch the whole video and then asked to judge the guilt of the defendant

what were the results of this study?

the type of testimony had no effect on conviction rates, although there was a tendency for females to return more guilty verdicts than males

Open court: Guilty verdicts 51%, not guilty verdicts 49%

Protective sheild: Guilty Ver 46%, Not guilty verdict 54%

Video: Guilty ver 49%, Not guilty verdict 51%

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Ross-children in open court lead to more guilty ve

what was the procedure of study 2?
the same procedure was followed with a new sample of 300 students. However the video was stopped immediately after the child gave her evidence and the participants were asked to make their judgement at this point.

What were the results of this study?
when evidence was given in open court, more convictions were returned than in the protective sheild and video conditions.

what does this study demonstrate?
it is the effect on the final decision that is crucial and this study demonstrates that the use of video or protective sheilds does not significantly reduce the likelihood of a conviction

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Ross-children in open court lead to more guilty ve

what are 2 weaknesses of this study?

Unethical-children weren't protected or jurors

Not generalisable- only one case

what are 2 strengths of this study?

High EV-in a realcourtroom

Usefulness apply to everyday life

what suggestions can be made from this study?

child should give consent if they want to be in court

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Peters-children as witnesses

what is the aim of this study?

to find out if children are reliable to testify in a court room

what was the method of this experiment?

feild experiment

what was the procedure of a study?

asked children who visited a dentist, to pick out from a range of photossomeone they had seen there

what was the sample?
oppurtunity sample of young children

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Peters-children as witnesses

what were the results of this study in con1 and con2?

con1 -children selected a different photo 31% of the time

con2-71% of the children picked picture when they weren't even there.

what was the conclusion of this study?

shows in con1 - children are not reliable enough to testify in court of law, shows in Con2 children found it hard to defy the authority figure making them feel pressurised causing them to choose a pic- demand characteristics, choose pic that wasn't there

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Peters-children as witnesses

what are 2 weaknesses of this case?
low EV because it was out of court room and done in a dentist

Low Validity- context-done in 1987, results not as valid as they were before

Unethical-didn't have informed consent

what are 2 strengths of this study?
High EV- it was a feild experiment children were actually going to dentist and were sitting in a waiting room

Usefulness-apply to everyday life

what suggestions can be made from this study?
Don't accept children as witnesses unless there is other evidence to support their testimony

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