Matching Items (19)

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Measuring the Double-Edged Sword: Does Scientifically Deterministic Evidence Protect or Punish Criminals?

Description

Scientists, lawyers, and bioethicists have pondered the impact of scientifically deterministic evidence on a judge or jury when deciding the sentence of a criminal. Though the impact may be one that relieves the amount of personal guilt on the part

Scientists, lawyers, and bioethicists have pondered the impact of scientifically deterministic evidence on a judge or jury when deciding the sentence of a criminal. Though the impact may be one that relieves the amount of personal guilt on the part of the criminal, this evidence may also be the very reason that a judge or jury punishes more strongly, suggesting that this type of evidence may be a double-edged sword. 118 participants were shown three films of fictional sentencing hearings. All three films introduced scientifically deterministic evidence, and participants were asked to recommend a prison sentence. Each hearing portrayed a different criminal with different neurological conditions, a different crime, and a different extent of argumentation during closing arguments about the scientifically deterministic evidence. Though the argumentation from the prosecution and the defense did not affect sentencing, the interaction of type of crime and neurological condition did.

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2014-05

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Levels of Escape, Belief in a Just World, and Victim Blame: Contributing variables of blame attributions in kidnapping crimes

Description

A between-subjects online survey was conducted to explore the extent to which female victims of kidnapping crimes are blamed for the crimes committed against them and why. Scenarios involving victims aged 8 years old and 30 years old were constructed

A between-subjects online survey was conducted to explore the extent to which female victims of kidnapping crimes are blamed for the crimes committed against them and why. Scenarios involving victims aged 8 years old and 30 years old were constructed using various routes of escape. Routes of escape included a control condition in which it was not clear whether or not the victim would have escaped given the opportunity, a condition in which the victim had a clear opportunity to escape and took it, a condition in which the victim had a clear opportunity to escape and chose not to take it, and a condition in which the victim did not have an opportunity to escape. The results of the study demonstrated that the 30-year old kidnapping victim was consistently blamed more than the 8-year old victim. These victim blame measurements were exacerbated when the participant maintains a high belief in a fair and just world. A second study was constructed to determine if the victim's actions preceding the kidnapping influence victim blame attributions, and to determine if providing additional details on the victim's mindset or intentions to escape would affect the amount of blame attributed.

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Created

Date Created
2016-05

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Perceptions and Punitiveness Towards Police Officers who Commit Crimes

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Society places great trust in the police to uphold and protect the law. People who have a duty to protect (vs. no duty) and violate the institution they are supposed to safeguard are often judged more harshly. I test whether

Society places great trust in the police to uphold and protect the law. People who have a duty to protect (vs. no duty) and violate the institution they are supposed to safeguard are often judged more harshly. I test whether people will punish an on-duty police officers more severely for committing a violent crime compared to an off-duty officer or a civilian. I hypothesized that this effect might be enhanced when a perpetrator commits a violent crime against an African-American compared to a Caucasian. Furthermore, I predicted that this effect will be exacerbated after highly publicized controversial incidents of police use-of-force. In a mock jury paradigm involving a defendant who committed a violent crime, I found that the protective role of the perpetrator and race of the victim did not affect punishment judgments. Participants did, however, punish defendants less and identified with police more after a highly publicized incident (the Ferguson grand jury decision) compared to before the incident.

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Date Created
2015-05

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Transcendence of prejudice or transcendence with prejudice?: stronger beliefs regarding transcendence are correlated with greater Intergroup bias

Description

Recent research has identified affirmation of transcendence and exposure to violent Bible verses as being related to greater prejudice toward value-violating out-groups (Blogowska & Saroglou, 2012; Shen et al., 2013). Effects of exposure to specific Bible verses on attitudes toward

Recent research has identified affirmation of transcendence and exposure to violent Bible verses as being related to greater prejudice toward value-violating out-groups (Blogowska & Saroglou, 2012; Shen et al., 2013). Effects of exposure to specific Bible verses on attitudes toward out-groups have not been measured in combination with the Post-Critical Belief Scale developed by Hutsebaut (1996). The relationships between exposure to scriptural endorsements of prejudice, affirmation vs. disaffirmation of transcendence, literal vs. symbolic processing of religious content, and prejudice toward value-violating out-groups were examined using an online survey administered to a sample of U.S. adults (N=283). Greater affirmation of transcendence scores were linked to greater prejudice toward atheists and homosexuals and more favorable ratings of Christians and highly religious people. Lower affirmation of transcendence scores were linked to less favorable ratings of Christians and highly religious people and more favorable ratings of atheists. Exposure to scriptural endorsements of prejudice did not have a significant effect on levels of prejudice in this study.

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Date Created
2013

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Multilevel potential outcome models for causal inference in jury research

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Recent advances in hierarchical or multilevel statistical models and causal inference using the potential outcomes framework hold tremendous promise for mock and real jury research. These advances enable researchers to explore how individual jurors can exert a bottom-up effect on

Recent advances in hierarchical or multilevel statistical models and causal inference using the potential outcomes framework hold tremendous promise for mock and real jury research. These advances enable researchers to explore how individual jurors can exert a bottom-up effect on the jury’s verdict and how case-level features can exert a top-down effect on a juror’s perception of the parties at trial. This dissertation explains and then applies these technical advances to a pre-existing mock jury dataset to provide worked examples in an effort to spur the adoption of these techniques. In particular, the paper introduces two new cross-level mediated effects and then describes how to conduct ecological validity tests with these mediated effects. The first cross-level mediated effect, the a1b1 mediated effect, is the juror level mediated effect for a jury level manipulation. The second cross-level mediated effect, the a2bc mediated effect, is the unique contextual effect that being in a jury has on the individual the juror. When a mock jury study includes a deliberation versus non-deliberation manipulation, the a1b1 can be compared for the two conditions, enabling a general test of ecological validity. If deliberating in a group generally influences the individual, then the two indirect effects should be significantly different. The a2bc can also be interpreted as a specific test of how much changes in jury level means of this specific mediator effect juror level decision-making.

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Created

Date Created
2015

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Differential perceptions of LGBT individuals: the intersectionality of sexual orientation and gender

Description

Current research on anti-gay attitudes has focused heavily on heterosexuals versus

non-heterosexuals, with very little research delving into the differences within these “non-heterosexual” groups. The author conducted an exploratory analysis of how the intersectional effect of gender and sexual orientation affect

Current research on anti-gay attitudes has focused heavily on heterosexuals versus

non-heterosexuals, with very little research delving into the differences within these “non-heterosexual” groups. The author conducted an exploratory analysis of how the intersectional effect of gender and sexual orientation affect perceptions of target groups’ gender and sexuality, which in turn might explain different levels of prejudice toward LGBT subgroups. Based on previous studies, the author hypothesized that participants would believe that a gay male has a more fixed sexuality than a lesbian, leading in turn to higher levels of moral outrage. This study further aims to extend the literature to perceptions of bisexual and transgender individuals by testing competing hypotheses. Participants might feel less moral outrage toward these groups than other LGBT subgroups because they believe their sexuality is even less fixed than lesbians’. Alternatively, participants might feel more moral outrage toward bisexual and transgender targets (versus other LGBT groups) because of the uncomfortable feeling of uncertainty about these groups’ sexuality and/or gender. Overall, participants demonstrated an interactive effect of gender and sexuality on factors including perceived sexual orientation, perceived biological sex, perceived gender identity, perceived sexual fixedness, and moral outrage rather than gender having a main effect on perceptions of gender and sexual orientation having a main effect on perceptions of sexuality. Furthermore, perceptions of sexual fixedness mediated the effect of gender on moral outrage for heterosexual target groups, but not gay targets. Gender certainty mediated the effect of gender on moral outrage for pre-op transgender target groups, but not heterosexuals. This work is important to inform future research on the topics of the intersection of sexuality and gender, especially to extend the limited literature on perceptions of bisexual and transgender individuals.

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2016

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How the expression of DNA evidence affects jurors' interpretation of probabilistic fingerprint evidence

Description

Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) evidence has been shown to have a strong effect on juror decision-making when presented in court. While DNA evidence has been shown to be extremely reliable, fingerprint evidence, and the way it is presented in court, has

Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) evidence has been shown to have a strong effect on juror decision-making when presented in court. While DNA evidence has been shown to be extremely reliable, fingerprint evidence, and the way it is presented in court, has come under much scrutiny. Forensic fingerprint experts have been working on a uniformed way to present fingerprint evidence in court. The most promising has been the Probabilistic Based Fingerprint Evidence (PBFE) created by Forensic Science Services (FSS) (G. Langenburg, personal communication, April 16, 2011). The current study examined how the presence and strength of DNA evidence influenced jurors' interpretation of probabilistic fingerprint evidence. Mock jurors read a summary of a murder case that included fingerprint evidence and testimony from a fingerprint expert and, in some conditions, DNA evidence and testimony from a DNA expert. Results showed that when DNA evidence was found at the crime scene and matched the defendant other evidence and the overall case was rated as stronger than when no DNA was present. Fingerprint evidence did not cause a stronger rating of other evidence and the overall case. Fingerprint evidence was underrated in some cases, and jurors generally weighed all the different strengths of fingerprint testimony to the same degree.

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Date Created
2012

What helps self-control?: Social relationship characteristics and self-control

Description

Researchers have found inconsistent effects (negative or positive) of social relationships on self-control capacity. The variation of findings may depend on the aspects of social relationships. In this study, rather than examining overall social relationships and self-control, characteristics in social

Researchers have found inconsistent effects (negative or positive) of social relationships on self-control capacity. The variation of findings may depend on the aspects of social relationships. In this study, rather than examining overall social relationships and self-control, characteristics in social relationships were clearly defined, including social support, social connection and social conflict, to determine their specific effects on self-control. An online survey study was conducted, and 292 college students filled out the survey. For data analysis, path analysis was utilized to examined the direct effect and indirect effect from social relationships to self-control. Results showed social connection and social conflict may indirectly associate with self-control through stress, but social support does not. It may suggest, in traditional stress buffering model, it is the social connection in social support that really reduce the stress. Concerning the direct effects, social support and social connection were significantly associated with self-control directly, but social conflict does not. This result may support the Social Baseline Theory that positive social relationships have direct regulating effects. Results are good for guidance of experimental manipulation of social relationships in study of social influences of self-control.

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Date Created
2012

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When hurt heroes do harm: collective guilt and leniency toward war-veteran transgressors

Description

Protectors who do harm are often punished more severely because their crime is perceived as a betrayal of trust. Two experiments test whether this will generalize to protectors who incur harm while serving in their protective role, and if not,

Protectors who do harm are often punished more severely because their crime is perceived as a betrayal of trust. Two experiments test whether this will generalize to protectors who incur harm while serving in their protective role, and if not, whether collective guilt for the harm they suffered provides an explanation. Study 1 tested competing hypotheses that a veteran (versus civilian) with PTSD would be punished either more harshly because of the trust betrayal, or more leniently because of increased guilt about the harm the veteran suffered during war. Men and women were both more lenient toward a veteran (versus civilian) but this effect was mediated by collective guilt only among men. In Study 2, guilt inductions increased leniency among participants less likely to classify the veteran as an in-group member (women, low national identifiers), but not in those who are more likely to classify the veteran as an in-group member (men, high national identifiers), who were lenient without any guilt inductions.

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Date Created
2015

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Effects of videoconferencing on perception in the courtroom

Description

A sample of 193 participants viewed one of six variations of an eyewitness giving mock testimony. Each participant viewed testimony, which varied by level of emotion (none, moderate, or high) and frame (waist-up or head only). Participants then rated the

A sample of 193 participants viewed one of six variations of an eyewitness giving mock testimony. Each participant viewed testimony, which varied by level of emotion (none, moderate, or high) and frame (waist-up or head only). Participants then rated the witness using the Brodsky Witness Credibility Scale and the Reyson Likability Scale. A set of ANOVA's was performed revealing an effect of emotion level on both credibility and likability. Emotion level was found to influence participant judgments of poise, however, to a lesser degree than judgments of credibility and likability. These results suggest that attorneys may want to avoid the use of videoconferencing with certain types of witnesses where testimony may be highly emotional.

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Date Created
2014