Matching Items (4)

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Moral Intuitions About Fault, Parenting, and Child Custody After Divorce

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Allocations of child custody postdivorce are currently determined according to the best interest standard; that is, what is best for the child. Decisions about what is best for a child

Allocations of child custody postdivorce are currently determined according to the best interest standard; that is, what is best for the child. Decisions about what is best for a child necessarily reflect cultural norms, at least in part. It is therefore useful as well as interesting to ask whether current understandings of the best interest standard align with moral intuitions of lay citizens asked to take the role of judge in hypothetical cases. Do factors such as whether 1 parent had an extramarital affair influence how respondents would award custody? In the current studies, a representative sample of citizens awaiting jury service was first given a neutral scenario portraying an “average” family. Almost 80% favored dividing custodial time equally between the 2 parents, replicating earlier findings. Then, in Study 1, they were given a second, test case, vignette in which either the mother or the father was said to have carried on an extramarital affair that “essentially ruined the marriage.” In Study 2, either the mother or the father was said to have sought the divorce, opposed by the other, simply because he or she “grew tired” of the marriage. For both test cases, our respondents awarded the offending parent significantly less parenting time; about half of our respondents in each Study. The findings indicate that many citizens feel both having an affair and growing tired of the marriage is sufficient cause to award decreased parenting time, reasons for which are explored in the discussion.

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Date Created
  • 2014-08-01

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Child Support and the Custodial Mother's Move or Remarriage: What Citizens Believe the Law Should Be

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Whether a custodial mother’s new husband earns more or less than the father, economic realities ensure his income will usually affect the child’s financial well-being, sometimes dramatically. The stepfather’s daily

Whether a custodial mother’s new husband earns more or less than the father, economic realities ensure his income will usually affect the child’s financial well-being, sometimes dramatically. The stepfather’s daily contact with the child may be more than the father’s, possibly burdening father's relationship with his child, especially if mother moves with stepfather and child to a distant location. Nonetheless, the law does not usually consider remarriage and moves in setting the father’s child support obligation. With remarriage now common, the tension between these traditional rules and economic and social realities may suggest the rules’ reform. This article asks whether current law is consistent with citizens’ beliefs about what the law should provide. A random sample of citizens was asked to set support amounts across cases with systematically varying facts about the mother’s circumstances. The citizens’ preferred rules, inferred from their case decisions and their answers to Likert-type questions, show considerable support for the law’s taking remarriage into account, especially at higher stepfather incomes. The mother’s move to a distant location does not alone affect most respondents’ support judgments, but it does when combined with either remarriage or an increase in the mother’s income. These effects are found in both male and female respondents, although females are less responsive than males to remarriage without relocation. Our respondents appear to consider both social and financial factors in these judgments, and to prefer rules that are more nuanced than the traditional law’s categorical exclusion of remarriage and moves in support judgments.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2015-05-01

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My baby daddy is a 10: mate value, sex ratio, and the endorsement of child support laws

Description

Life History Theory suggests that, in order to maximize reproductive fitness, individuals make trade-offs between allocating resources to mating and parenting. These trade-offs are influenced by an individual's sex, life

Life History Theory suggests that, in order to maximize reproductive fitness, individuals make trade-offs between allocating resources to mating and parenting. These trade-offs are influenced by an individual's sex, life history strategy, and environment. Here, I explored the usefulness of a Life History Theory framework for understanding endorsement of child support laws. This study experimentally manipulated sex ratio, and gathered information about participants' endorsement of child support, sexual restrictedness, and mate value. As predicted, women endorsed child support more than men, whereas men favored greater restriction of child support in the form of required paternity testing. However, in general, results do not support an effect of sex ratio, sexual restrictedness, or mate value on endorsement of child support. Results suggest sensitivity to exploitation in a male-biased sex ratio, reflected by an increase in men's endorsement of paternity testing requirements under a male-biased sex ratio prime. Women, on the other hand, report especially unfavorable beliefs toward paternity testing in a male-biased sex ratio. Although results of the current study are mixed, there remains much to be gained from applying an evolutionary perspective to understanding variability in endorsement of child support.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2013

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Partitioning responsibility: the influence of cultural differences in social attributions on jurors' division of responsibility in a negligent tort context

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Research at the intersection of psychology and law has demonstrated that juror decision-making is subject to many cognitive biases, however, it fails to consider the influence of culturally derived cognitive

Research at the intersection of psychology and law has demonstrated that juror decision-making is subject to many cognitive biases, however, it fails to consider the influence of culturally derived cognitive biases. As jurors become increasingly demographically and culturally diverse it is possible—and even likely—that their attributions might vary because of their cultural background. I predict that cultural and demographic group affiliation affects attributional tendencies such that, compared to situationally focused individuals (those from East Asian cultures, women, those from lower socioeconomic status groups, and older individuals), dispositionally focused individuals (those from Western cultures, men, those from higher socioeconomic status groups, and younger individuals) are less likely to attribute some portion of causation and responsibility for the harm to other influences, and they are more likely to find the defendant liable and hold the defendant financially responsible to a greater degree. This dissertation has three aims: (1) to examine how culturally derived attributional tendencies influence jurors' assessments of causation in complex negligent tort cases where there are multiple causal influences (i.e., multiple tortfeasors and plaintiff negligence) (Studies 1 and 2); (2) to study the implications of those causal determinations on liability determinations, damage awards, and other legal decisions (Studies 1 and 2); and (3) to determine whether these culturally derived attributional tendencies are malleable, suggesting an intervention that might be used to attenuate the influence of attributional tendencies in a trial setting (Study 3). This work advances psychological research on cultural differences in attribution by exploring attributional differences in a new domain, developing a new scale of individual differences in attributional tendencies, and examining how multiple causal influences affects culturally derived attributional tendencies and downstream decision-making.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2017