Social Psychology Notes (DOC)

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					Social Psychology Notes
April 20, 2010
Justice System Continued

Effects of Judges’ Instructions
     Disregarding inadmissible testimony and pretrial publicity—priming and paradoxical
        rebound effects.
            o May backfire, because when you try to rid of bad memory you paraxodically
               remember it instead.
     Legal definitions often fail to match juror “prototypes” of crimes.
     Subjective determinations of “preponderance of evidence” and “reasonable doubt”
            o Reasonable doubt is open to interpretation, and will often lead to disagreement
               among the twelve jurors.

Juror Variables
     Schematization- creating plausible story for the jury.
           o Both the defense and prosecuting attorney are competing to get into the minds
              of the jurors their side of the story.
           o Jurors will interpret, construe the information in a certain way.
           o Great deal of ambiguity in a trial, that’s when schemas are intensified and both
              attorneys know this.
     Personality Factors- authoritarianism (conviction rate and
           o People who judiciously embrace law and order as imposed by authority figures.
              Believe it should be enforced with absolute strictness with no leniency or
     Quality of evidence is the BEST predictor of jurors’ verdicts.
     Group-Related Phenomenon
           o Minority influence- power of informational influence
           o Group norm formation, conformity, polarization
           o Persuasion variables

Why Have Juries?
   Group recall > individual recall
         o Having 12 people definitely superior to having only one person.
         o 12 is optimal for reaching a decision
   Forced deliberation requires in-depth thinking—the use of central route (systematic)
     processing is increased.
         o Think logically, examine evidence to make sure all evidence ties together
   Representativeness (diversity) of perspectives.
   Attention focused on all of the evidence rather than selective pieces
   Restrains use of inadmissible evidence
       o Presence of other jurors remind people not to include evidence that the judge
   When the evidence is unambiguous and can be understood, most juries render verdicts
    consistent with it.

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