Psychology of the courtroom

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PROCEDURES AND PERSUASION TECHNIQUES

Adversarial: Trial was by juries, no judge involvement. impacted by funding mainly from pennington and hastie.

Inquisitorial: Judge is cebtral to the case.

PERSUASION TECHNIQUES:

Yale model of communication
Primacy and recency effects
moriss and moriss - questions in order
pennington and hastie - primacy produced guilty verdicts.

Lawyers use pennington and hasties storytelling method.

the yale model of persuasion by Hovland and Yanis

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JURY SELECTION AND DECISION MAKING

  • Decision making influences pre-trial publicity, witness attractiveness, defendant ethnicity, jury dynamics, conformation.

Stewart 1985 - appearance and punishment the attraction leniency effect. observation of 60 trials. the defendant was rated by the observers. attractiveness negativeley correlated with the length of the sentance.

juries are thought to focus on two areas - evidential factors, these include eye-witness testimony, and extra-evidential factors such as pre trial publicity and confidence,attractiveness,gender,age.

Beautiful but dangerous by Sigall and ostrove 1975.

effects of offender attractiveness and the nature of the crime on juridic judgement.

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CHILDREN AS WITNESSES

spencer and flin had developed a model of the stress experienced by child witnesses, and this includes the factors shown below:

causes of stress

  • the crime ( as a witness or victim)
  • the period before th trial
  • the trial
  • after the trial

Mediating factorsEffects of stress

  • pre trial prep the crime(post traumatic stress)
  • social support before trial (anxiety,interuption of skills)
  • personality the trial(anxiety, fear)
  • age after trial(lasting psycho disturbance)
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PROTECTION FOR CHILD WITNESSES

changes to the criminal justice act
use of video footage

emphasis on appropriate interviewing of children

Saywitz 1996 memory training for child witnesses, showe dtrained group recalled, significantly more correct information.

Ross et al 1994 imapct of child testimony. experiment to test whether presence of child affected verdict. 300 students watche dvideos of court trials . Verdict not affected if child present or not.

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