Reaching a Verdict

Basic bullet point of the nine studies

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  • Created on: 08-06-12 17:22

Persuading a Jury

Pennington and Hastie - Order of testimony 

Pickel et al - Inadmissable evidence

Cutler - Expert Witness 

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Penington and Hastie

  • Order of testimony 
  • 130 students
  • Placed on one of four conditions
    1- prosecution , guilty, story order
    2- prosecution, guilty, witness order
    3- defence, not guilty , story order
    4- defence., not guilty, witness order
  • Heard a tape recording, responded to a questionnaire, reached a verdict and rated confidence
  • When the evidence was presented in story order, the jurors had greatest confidence
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  • Expert witness
  • 538 students
  • mock trial, watched a video in which an expert gave evidence on a robbery, a questionnaire was completed after
  • They rated the witness and rated their confidence
  • when an expert gives knowledge, jurors pay more attention and improve their knowledge 
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Pickel et al

  • The effect of inadmissable evidence on jurors verdict
  • 236 students
  • Assigned to one of three conditions
    1) ignore evidence with no reason
    2) ignore evidence and given a legal reason
    3) accept evidence
  • Watched a video of a trial in which evidence was introduced, being either allowed or ignored with a legal reason given or not. A questionnaire then to be filed out.
  • When the evidence was not allowed with a legal reason given the  jurors found it harder to ignore , it was easier to ignore when a reason was not given 
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Witness Appeal

Rotter et al - Protective Shields

Castellow - Attractiveness

Penrod and Cutler - Witnesses Confidence 

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Rotter et al

  • The effect of protective shields on guilty verdicts
  • 300 students
  • placed in one of three conditions
    1- full view
    2- behind a screen
    3- video link
  • A mock trial in which the child witness gave evidence, set out in the conditions, after the participants gave a verdict and rated the creditability of the child
  • there was no significant difference between the three condition son the amount of guilty verdicts given
  • this shows that protective shields do not have an effect 
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  • attractiveness of the victim/defendant and the guilty verdict
  • 71 male and 74 female students
  • Watched a videos of a trails, and then answered a questionnaire, rating both victim and defendant on 11 bipolar scales.
  • If the victim was attractive then 77% more guilty verdicts
    if the defendant was attractive then 56% guilty verdicts
  • Can be applied to the courtroom as appearance is a powerful influence 
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Penrod and Cutler

  • The influence of witness confidence on a juror
  • mock trial,videotape of robbery
    eye witness played a key role being either 100% or 80% confident
  • ppts given a questionnaire on 9 different variables and give a verdict
  • confidence was the only statistical significant variable however is a poor predictor of accuracy 
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Reaching a Verdict

Hastie - stages of decision making

soloman Asch - Majority Influence

Moscovici - Minority Influence 

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  • By applying findings from research on group dymanics in social situations, Hastie developed three stages that a jury will go through when reaching a verdict
  • orientation period
  • confrontation period 
  • reconciliation period
  • However the jury is a special situation and using group dynamics from a 'normal' situation may not be accurate 
  • The jury cannot be observed, so the theories can never be tested 
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Solomon Asch

  • The effect of a majoriy inlfuence over an individual
  • 123 students
  • They were the only participant with a group of stooges, stooges are thoe who are in on the experiment.
  • The group and participant were sat at a table and showed pictures of different length lines , being asked either which is the shortest or longest. The stooges all gave pre-decided answers, in which some were clearly wrong.
  • If the majority gave wrong answers then the participant was 80% more likely to conform
  • Asch concludes that  people conform to belong in a group
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