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1. Persuading a jury<br />Reaching a verdict<br />G543: Options in applied psychology<br /> 2. Psychology in the courtroom<br />Describe the…
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  • 1. Persuading a jury<br />Reaching a verdict<br />G543: Options in applied psychology<br />
  • 2. Psychology in the courtroom<br />Describe the courtroom.<br />What are the features of a trial?<br />How might these things be informed by psychology?<br />Who can enter a courtroom?<br />Trial by jury is what kind of justice system?<br />
  • 3. Jury selection<br />How is a jury selected?<br />What is a “challenge for cause”?<br />Briefly describe the stages of a court case.<br />
  • 4. To cover...<br />Effect of order of testimony<br />Persuasion<br />Effect of evidence being ruled as inadmissible<br />As always these issues will each be supported with a study.<br />
  • 5. A test... <br />...of memory<br />
  • 6. Effect of order of testimony<br />Primacy and recency effect<br />Memory related phenomena arguing that people are more likely to remember the first and last words in a list and forget what’s in the middle.<br />This has translated into the courtroom.<br />
  • 7. Effect of order of testimony<br />One explanation may be that the novelty and freshness at the beginning means that we attend to it and our memory encodes information better.<br />In a courtroom it means that the prosecution’s opening statement is at an advantage.<br />
  • 8. Glanzer and cunitz (1966)<br />Demonstrated that when a list of words is recalled after spending some time counting backwards, there is a reduced recency effect but a retained primacy effect.<br />This means that they lost the ability to remember the last few words in the list, which were probably held in “working memory”.<br />How does this translate to the courtroom? <br />What might disrupt the recency effect?<br />
  • 9. Pennington and hastie (1988) Effects of memory structure on judgement<br />To investigate the best ways for cases to be presented.<br />Should counsel (i.e. Prosecution or defense lawyers) take advantage of the primacy and recency effects and present their best pieces of evidence/witnesses first and last?<br />Or should they provide their evidence in a chronological (story) order?<br />Research by Pennington and Hastie in 1986 suggested that if counsel uses the former approach, jurors will still make the information into a chronological story.<br />
  • 10. Pennington and hastie (1988) Effects of memory structure on judgement<br />Participants listened to a tape recording of a stimulus trial and then responded to written questions.<br />They were told to reach a guilty or not guilty verdict and to rate their confidence.<br />Participants were allocated to one of four groups and heard different combinations of conditions:<br />
  • 11. Pennington and hastie (1988) Effects of memory structure on judgement<br />The findings suggested that in prosecution-story vs defence-story order, the jurors opted for guilty (59%).<br />If the jurors heard the defence present in witness order, even more opted for guilty (78%).<br />If the defence present as a story while the prosecution present in witness order, then the guilty rate drops to 31%.<br />Confidence levels were highest when participants had heard the defence or prosecution in story order.<br />
  • 12. Pennington and hastie (1988) Effects of memory structure on judgement<br />Explanations from Pennington and Hastie for their findings suggest that story evidence is most persuasive; and more effective for the prosecution.<br />Pennington and Hastie believe that this is due to the nature of the case that they used in the study, which was adapted from a real life case and the defence’s argument was less plausible.<br />
  • 13. Pennington and hastie (1988) Effects of memory structure on judgement<br />Evaluation<br />Does the study have ecological validity?<br />How useful is it?<br />How reductionist is it?<br />How deterministic is it?<br />Consider both sides of the argument and use evidence for your answers.<br />
  • 14. persuasion<br />In courts people can be called as expert witnesses.<br />This is when they can offer insight into a crime or the criminal due to their specific knowledge of a subject.<br />A forensic psychologist could be called as a witness if they can offer substantiation or sufficient challenge to a case.<br />They might talk about the effects of weapon focus on eyewitness testimony or issues concerning face recognition.<br />
  • 15. Cutler et al (1989) the effect of the expert witness on jury perception of eyewitness testimony<br />Aim: To investigate whether hearing about psychological research from an expert witness which casts doubt on the accuracy of EWT would affect a juror’s decision.<br />Method: A lab experiment using a videotaped mock trial.<br />Sample: 538 undergraduate psychology students.<br />
  • 16. Cutler et al (1989) the effect of the expert witness on jury perception of eyewitness testimony<br />Method: Participants viewed a video of a robbery trial in groups of 2-8.<br />They then completed their own questionnaire concerning verdict and confidence.<br />The IVs: “witnessing identifying conditions, witness confidence, form of expert testimony and expert opinion confidence.<br />Read these and make further notes from your book on p.44<br />
  • 17. Cutler et al (1989) the effect of the expert witness on jury perception of eyewitness testimony<br />Results<br />WIC = good – more guilty verdicts were given. This increased when the expert witness gave a descriptive testimony.<br />85% of jurors recalled the testimony and its details (including issues of weapons effect and the stages of memory)<br />WIC = good – jurors have greater confidence.<br />
  • 18. Cutler et al (1989) the effect of the expert witness on jury perception of eyewitness testimony<br />Conclusions:<br />It would appear that when jurors hear an expert witness, it increases their attendance to the WIC and decreases their reliance on witness confidence alone.<br />The expert testimony didn’t seem to make jurors sceptical about EWT, but made them sensitive to some of the issues it raises.<br />What evaluative points would you raise about this study?<br />
  • 19. Effect of evidence being ruled inadmissible<br />This is when the judge telling a jury to disregard inadmissible evidence.<br />It is an issue in the US legal system.<br />Inadmissible evidence includes unjustified bias or prior conviction evidence (which is not meant to be heard by a jury).<br />If evidence is seen as biased, a re-trial could be called for with a new jury, and counsel responsible for introducing the evidence would be disciplined.<br />
  • 20. “the jury should ignore that last remark....”<br />This is quite often heard if counsel “drops” a remark that is seen as inadmissible.<br />But how?<br />Reactance theory argues that if a judge asks the jury to ignore a comment, if anything, they are more likely to attend to it....<br />Kind of like a big red button that should NEVER be pressed.<br />
  • 21. Wolf and montgomery (1977)<br />Wolf and Montgomery wanted to test reactance theory further and found that in a mock trial, jurors were actually likely in some cases to react against the judge’s instruction if they felt it undermined their freedom.<br />In a condition where the judge said “this evidence must play no role in your consideration of the case. You have no choice but to disregard it”.<br />Otherwise they reacted indifferently to inadmissible evidence.<br />
  • 22. Pickel (1995) Investigating the effect of instructions to disregard inadmissible evidence<br />Aim: To look at:1. The effect of prior convictions2. The role of the judge’s instructions and whether he explains the legal implications 3. The credibility of the witness and its effect on the juror’s regard of inadmissible evidence.<br />Participants: 236 psychology students. Independent measures design (two groups)<br />Method: In a mock trial, inadmissible evidence was introduced and objected to. The independent variable was whether or not the judge gave a legal explanation as to why. <br />Participants listened to a tape of the trial and then answered a questionnaire on the verdict and confidence.<br />
  • 23. Pickel (1995) Investigating the effect of instructions to disregard inadmissible evidence<br />Results: When participants heard the evidence ruled as inadmissible with a legal explanation, they were less likely to find the defendant guilty (and vice versa)<br />Conclusions:Pickel argues that calling attention to the inadmissible evidence makes the juror think about it more and then apply their own sense of “fair play” to the information.<br />It can therefore produce a “backfire effect”.<br />
  • 24. Pickel (1995) Investigating the effect of instructions to disregard inadmissible evidence<br />Evaluation:<br />How would you evaluate this study?<br />What are its strengths and weaknesses?<br />What issues does it raise?<br />Is it (or any of these studies) ecologically valid?<br />
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