Reaching a verdict

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3.1 Stages and influences on decision making

  • Each juror needs to make sense of the information they are presented with so they can decide a verdict
  • jury retire to deliberation room where they will follow a process to help them come to a decision
  • 1) appoint a foreperson- they are in charge and sit at top of table
  • 2) initial vote to establish jury views- secret ballot/raise hands
  • 3) Evidence review
  • 4) Application of the law to the evidence and deliberation begins-Based on judges instructions
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3.2 Majority Influence

  • Opinions of the majority are hugely influential in final decision made by the jury
  • many people believe that group majority has emotional impacts for individuals, the experience of being in a minority can create anxiety whilst the experience of being part of a majority can create a sense of belonging
  • group decisions are usually more extreme than individual ones
  • the shift to a more extreme decision is called the 'risky shift' this may be due to the 'need to belong' 
  • large impact on those with low self-esteem who are insecure about their opinion- want to belong and be accepted
  • more ambiguous the situation the more likely people will go with the majority
  • research with 225 juries shows that a guilty verdict was gained 86%  of the time when majority view at the begining was guilty 
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3.3 Minority Influence

  • believed that if minority is consistent they can be very persuasive
  • Moscovici believes that its the consistency of the minority view that eventually forces members of the majority to take it seriously 
  • Consistency creates the impression of certainty, confidence and an uncomprimising attitude that when combined with an internal locus of control can cause  the minority to be a powerful influence

Locus of Control

  • external locus of control- they consider events as happening outside of their control and are more likely to attribute responsibilty and blame to powerful others, situation or luck 
  • internal locus of control- Tend to attribute responsibilty to their own intentions, personality or behaviour and often blame themselves for events. More likely to be able to resist conforming 
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Pennington and hastie

'story model'

Evaluation

usefulness- potential jurors may be more aware of factors affecting decisions therefore may nnot be as pressured by the situation

determinism- stages that jurors go through and their schemas determine their decisions 

Individual differences-  schemas are used to make decisions and these are based on past experiences and knowledge which differs for each juror

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