Forensic - Reaching A Verdict - Reaching A Verdict

stages in decision making

majority influence

minority influence

HideShow resource information
  • Created by: sian
  • Created on: 04-04-11 18:54

Hastie (1983)

Jury discussion goes through these stages:

Orientation period: relaxed and open dicussion. set the agenda. raise questions and explore facts. different opinions arise 

Open confrontation: fierce debate. focus on detail. explore different interpretations. pressure on the minority to conform. support for group decision established

Reconciliation: attempts to smooth over conflicts. tension released through humour

Applying findings from social-psychological research of group dynamics to jury here.

Problems: - actual jurors cannot be studied, - assumption that these processes apply 

1 of 6

Hastie (1983)

COGNITIVE/SOCIAL

Evaluation Points:

  • determinism vs. free will
  • individual vs. situational

useful applications when applied to court cases and jurys. social influences have been shown to have stronger effect than dispositional factors.

Juries cannot be studied. ignores other human complexities - deterministic. low in ecological validity - pps cannot feel full arousal felt in courtroom situations. 

2 of 6

Asch (1955)

Aim: to investigate the effects of conformity to a majority when the task is unambiguous

Method: lab experiment

Procedure: Asch arranged for naive participant to be asked a question to which several stooges had already given clearly the wrong answer ('which of 3 lines, A,B or C matches the stimulus x?'). interested to see if even in a crystal-clear decision, an individual would defer to the majority

Key Results: individuals conformed in 1/3 conditions. finding of ~32% conformity is robust until stooge is instructed to disrupt conformity, when it falls to about 5%. majorities >3 make little difference to effect of conformity. 3 is enough to create a group norm where as 2 is not.

Discussion: Why do we conform? the need to belong to a group, the need to be right.

3 of 6

Asch (1955)

COGNITIVE/SOCIAL

Evaluation Points:

  • determinism vs. free will
  • individual vs. situational

Method issues:

  • low ecological validity - will not be as simple in a jury
  • participant variables - depends on personality type 

useful applications when applied to court cases and jurys. social influences have been shown to have stronger effect than dispositional factors.

Juries cannot be studied. ignores other human complexities - deterministic. low in ecological validity - pps cannot feel full arousal felt in courtroom situations. 

4 of 6

Nemeth & Wachtler (1974)

Aim: to investigate the influence of perceived autonomy (choosing where to sit at a table) and consistency on minority influence Method: Lab experiment Sample: Groups of 5 (one stooge) drawn from an adult sample of students

Procedure: group have to deliberate on amount of compensation due for victim of injury. after hearing facts, make individual verdict, taken to a rectangular table 2 seats on long ends and one at the head. in 1/2 groups pps asked to sit at table, stooge in head seat, other groups told where to sit. then deliberate - confederate adopts deviant position suggesting $3000 instead of $10000-25000.

Key Results: confederate exerts influence when consistent & when perceived or autonomous because chosen seat. whereas when experimenter seated-he has little influence. when he has been influential, effect continues in second case. when he sits at head of table, seen as more consistent and confident

Conclusions: interesting repercussions for jury where people sit. many examples exist where minorities have influenced i.e. gay rights, global warming, cult music. possible that in jury room this effect weakened by need for unanimity in ltd time

5 of 6

Nemeth & Wachtler (1974)

COGNITIVE/SOCIAL

Evaluation Points:

  • determinism vs. free will
  • individual vs. situational

Method issues:

  • low ecological validity - will not be as simple in a jury
  • participant variables - depends on personality type

useful applications when applied to court cases and jurys. social influences have been shown to have stronger effect than dispositional factors.

Juries cannot be studied. ignores other human complexities - deterministic. low in ecological validity - pps cannot feel full arousal felt in courtroom situations. 

6 of 6

Comments

No comments have yet been made

Similar Psychology resources:

See all Psychology resources »See all Conformity resources »