The decision of Juries

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What is the decision of making juries be shaped by?
The impression a defendant makes on jurors during a trial
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What does research suggest?
That characteristics of the defendant such as age, race, clothing/hairstyle and attractiveness can influence the jury
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On what?
Whether they find him/her guilty or not
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For example?
Unattractive defendants are much more likely to be found guilty than attractive defendants
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What about black defendants?
They are more likely to be found guilty than white defendants, when accused of the same crime
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What study supports the decisions made by juries are shaped?
Characteristics of the defendant comes from Castellow.
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What happened in his mock jury trial?
he presented jurors with photos of more and less attractive male employees accused of sexual harassment by their receptionist
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What did he find?
The jurors were more likely to find attractive people not guilty (particularly if the victim was unattractive) and less attractive people guilty - perhaps due to the halo effect
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What percentage of people were found guilty?
56% of the time
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What about unattractive people?
76%
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What does it suggest?
a jury's decision can be shaped by factors other than the evidence such as how a person looks
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What else is the jury decision shaped by?
the majority influence
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What does research suggest?
It suggests that a juror in a minority can be influenced to conform to the view of the majority during discussion
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For example?
Asch
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What did he show?
75% of his pps were prepared to deny the evidence of their own eyes at lest once in order to fit in with the majority
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In a jury situation what was the majority view?
tends to be expressed frequently and confidently
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Why can conformity occur?
juror wants to fit in and be accepted by other jurors(normative influence)
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What else can occur?
informational influence
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what is this?
A person begins to doubt their own opinion on guilt or innocence
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What will jurors not do?
'fight their corner' when out of step with other jurors
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Who supports this theory?
Strasser and Stewart
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What happened?
In artifical lab conditions he allowed the majority of a group to share the same informaion
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What did one pps have?
Different information
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What were they told?
discuss all the information
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what did the group focus on?
Entirely on the shared information and ignored the non-shared information
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What does this suggest?
group decisions in situations such as a jury conform to the majority view.
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What else can juries be shaped by?
Minority influence
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When does this occur?
during discussion
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What does research suggest?
one or two jurors who are out of step with the majority can sway the group round to their majority opinion
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For example?
Moscovici showed that 32% of majority pps conformed to the minority view that coloured slides were green at least once
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What was it found?
pps answered incorrectly on 1.25% of trials when the minority said' green' most of the time
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What did this number increase to?
8.42% of trials when the minority were completely consistent in their answer of the 'green'
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What does this suggest?
Consistency of the minority was an important factor in changing the majority's opinion
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When is this the case?
When a situation is ambigious
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What does a juror believe?
defendent is not guity can, if they are consistent yet flexible, persuade the rest of the jury of his or her innocence
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As in what film?
"twelve angry men'
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Where does the support come from?
Nemeth and Brilmayer
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What did he use?
a mock jury trail set up, when the jury were deciding on compensation after a skiing accident.
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What did he find out about a minority juruor?
He found that because he was consistent and flexible was able to shape the majority's decision
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Particularly when?
if they could get the majority to discuss and debate the arguments that they were putting forward
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What does this suggest?
a jury's decision can move towards the view of just one or two jurors rather than the majority
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In terms of methodology, How strong is it?
Very
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Why?
It is high on reliability
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Why?
They were done under controlled lab conditions
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By using mock juries what could they test?
the effect of an IV, such as attractiveness, age or race of jurors
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On what?
DV(jury's decision)
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so it can be?
measured and compared
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What does this suggest?
research which supports the view that factors other than evidence affecting jury decisions can be repeated and retested.
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What is a weakness of this research?
sampling bias
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Why?
This is becasue the opportunist samples used in most jury research are students
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Aged between?
18 and 25
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Who did Castellow recruit?
145 students
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What were they promised?
extra credits in their introductory psychology courses
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What does this mean?
Pps came from a narrow age and social class group
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Whereas in real life what?
jurors are randomly selected from all social classes
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From what age range?
18-70
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What does this suggest about the findings of research?
jury decision making may not be representative and may well be one sided
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What does this research raise?
Ethical issues
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What trial was deemed unfair?
The beating of Rodney king
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

What does research suggest?

Back

That characteristics of the defendant such as age, race, clothing/hairstyle and attractiveness can influence the jury

Card 3

Front

On what?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

For example?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

What about black defendants?

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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