Decision making of juries

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P1 - Intro

Every court case in the UK includes 12 individuals summouned to court to be on the jury

Aged between 18-70 and selected at random to decide verdict of case

Several elements impact decision making of jury

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P2 - Describe social influence

Social influence impacts the decision of the group

Majoirity can often lead single people to change decisions to conform

Hastie et al (1983) - in most casrs, juries final decision reflects view held by majority

Pressure comes from both normative and informational influences

Smith & Mackie (1995) - majority influential due to deeper discussions taking place on their opinion and being more confident in expressing it 

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P2 - Evaluate social influence

Stasser & Stewart (1992) - info given to majority of people discussed in a lot more depth than that only given to one person, even if told to discuss all 
McLachlan (1986) - stated majority group members were more confident, logical and intelligent - helps sway minority

Minority group can also sway opinion of majority - make them question opinion

Nemeth (1917) - showed single individual could make jury undermine general consensus
Moscovivi et al (1969) - individuals can change majority when they have long deliberation period
Need to be consisence in their opinion and willing to discuss why they disagree with majoirity

Attribution theory explains social influence - because taking unpopular stand we attribute their belifs to internal, dispositional causes - big effect on us

However, Wood et al (1994) - minority of 1 isn't effevive - can be easily dismissed as eccentric but increasing numbers can't be ignored
Flexibility valued in minority influence and exerts influence on the majority as seen by Nemeth and Brilmayer (1987)

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P3 - Describe physical attractiveness

Physical attractiveness also impacts decisions

We associate beauty with innocent - Saladin et al (1998) - attractive men voted less likely to commit murder and armed robbery than unattractive 

Desantis &  Kayson (1997) - used mock jury and discovered jurors recommended harsher sentence for unattractive men

Halo-effect said to be strongest for women accused of non-serious crimes however if said to be abusing looks, e.g to con people, then advantages are lost 

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P4 - Evaluate physical attractiveness

Sigall & Ostrove (1975) - although unattractive people given longer sentences for burgalry, reverse for fraud where looks used for criminal gain

Most studies support relationship between physical attractiveness and jury decisions 

Bull & McAlpine (1998) - suggested may reflect a publication bias and think studies showing no correlation weren't published - questions accuracy of knowledge 

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P5 - Describe ethnicity

Final factor impacting decision making of juries

Pfeifer & Ogloff (1991) - found white Ps were more likely to judge black person as guilty in a **** case, especially if victim was white

When asked to explain decision - no mention of ethnicity suggesting choice was down to stereotyping

Baldwin & McConville (1979) - even when jury made up of black people, black defendents still more likely to be wrongly concivted 

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P6 - Evaluate ethnicity

Mazella and Feingold (1994) - no overall effect of ethnicity on mock jury decisions suggesting not all juries affected by it 

Found white jurors made more situational attributions about white defenders & suggested more leniant punishments than they did for black 

Gordon et al (1998) concluded ethnical differences depended on crime - longer sentences given to black defendents than white convicted of burgalry, but reverse found for fraud

Conc - discuss validity of mock jury

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