Judges and Juries

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  1. How do sex differences influence decision making?
    • Women are significantly more likely to convict a defendant based on circumstantial evidence -Sealy & Cornish and were more than 20% more likely to judge defendants guilty in murder and rape cases (1973)
    • Females change their initial verdicts more than males as further details emerge- Thomas (2010)
    • Males deliver stiffer sanctions in mock trials Villemar & Hyde, and when a defendant is represented by a female they are significantly more likely to be acquitted (1983)
  2. How does race affect decision making?
    • The higher the white:black ratio of a jury, the more likely a black defendant is given the death sentence in 340 cases (Bowers et al, 2001)
    • White jurors more likely to vote guilty than black jurors, especially if the defendant was black in mock trials (Bernard, 1979)
    • This extends to Latinos (Perez et al, 1993)
    • Race didn't have a significant effect unless the case was ambiguous Ugwuegbu (1979)
  3. Why does race affect decision making?
    • Superficial processing occurs and stereotypes have an effect 
    • People in the out group have evidence perceived in a different and more negative way
  4. What was the case of Vicky Pryce?
    • Jury dismissed due to fundamental lack of understanding of legal proceedings
    • Asked if they could use reasons not presented in court and with no evidential support 
    • Asked if they could speculate on the defendant's life and thoughts at the time of the offence
  5. How does legal jargon affect jury decision making?
    • Liable to confuse jurors (Thomas, 2010)
    • Jurors rated them as having significantly less understanding for difficult to follow instructions than easy ones
    • The easiest instructions also yielded slightly lower understanding levels than slightly more difficult ones
  6. What is an expert witness?
    • An individual qualified to offer an interpretation of the evidence 
    • To what extent can evidence from a crime scene be linked to the defendant of other sources
  7. What is the prosecutor fallacy?
    • Use the example of the suspect's blood type matching that found at the crime scene (Elffers, 2012)
    • Logical correct conclusion: a match is highly probable if it was the suspect who left the blood there 
    • Logical incorrect conclusion (the prosecutor's fallacy): A match indicates a high probability that the suspect left the blood 
    • This is untrue as there could be a large number of people in the population with this blood group
  8. How does conformity influence jury decision making?
    • Asch (1951)
    • We follow others when it conflicts with personally held values and beliefs
    • Line length experiment, 75% agreed with wrong group answer
    • More than 3 other needed for conformity and no dissenters 
    • Either normative (fit in with the group) or informational (believe others are right) social influence
  9. How has conformity been shown to affect decision making?
    • Jury discussions strengthen majority position 
    • Nemeth (1983)
    • P's asked to decide upon amount of compensation given in mock trial 
    • Confederate gives exceedingly low amount 
    • P's adjusted their estimations downwards after this
    • This was more pronounced if the confederate sat at the head of the table
  10. What is the story model?
    • Pennington & Hastie (1991)
    • Jurors construct a causal and incentive based story in their mind to make sense of evidence
    • Evidence is evaluated based on this story and is used to fill in the gaps and strengthen it
  11. How does the story model affect jury decision?
    • Pennington % Hastie (1992)
    • P's given a memory recognition task
    • Remembered more sentences that were consistent with the story that led to their verdict than ones from stories associated with a different one
    • Used mock jurors and presented evidence in either story or witness format
    • P's significantly more likely to convict or acquit if the evidence is presented in story format
  12. What cognitive biases affect the judgements made by judges?
    • Fitzmaurise & Pease (1986) found that: 
    • Ross & Nisbett (1990)- Judges are subject to fundamental attribution error, attributing internal characteristics to behaviour or evidence
    • Judges experience the anchoring heuristic: placing undue weight on the first piece of information presented (Kahneman & Tversky 1974)
    • Judges showed conformity effects and stubborn first impressions (confirmation bias, Watson, 1960) and Snyder & Swann (1978)(subsequent behaviour perceived in a biased way)
  13. How do judgments from judges and juries compare?
    • Kalven & Zeisel (1966)
    • Over 3500 US trials reviewed and guilty verdict from judge and jury compared using a questionnaire
    • 78% concordance rate for convictions
    • Greater tendency for jurors to acquit when a judge would convict than vise versa (19%/3%)
    • Similar findings from Eisenberg et al (2003)
  14. Are biases exclusive to judges and juries?
    • No- Kassin, Bogart & Kerner (2012)
    • Looked at the effect of confirmation bias from false confessions on subsequent evidence gathering 
    • 78% of cases contained errors such as improper evidence gathering and interpretation of witnesses 
    • This was more pronounced if a confession was received first
Card Set:
Judges and Juries
2015-04-09 12:04:12
Psychology Criminology
Psychology,Forensic Psychology
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