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NCJ Number: 48693 Find in a Library
Title: AUTHORITARIANISM, PRETRIAL PUBLICITY, AND AWARENESS OF BIAS IN SIMULATED JURORS
Journal: PSYCHOLOGICAL REPORTS  Volume:37  Issue:3  Dated:(1975)  Pages:1299-1302
Author(s): S SUE; R E SMITH; G PEDROZA
Corporate Author: Psychological Reports
United States of America
Date Published: 1975
Page Count: 4
Sponsoring Agency: Psychological Reports
Missoula, MT 59807
University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98195
Sale Source: University of Washington
Dept of Psychology
Seattle, WA 98195
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A PSYCHOLOGY CLASS EXPERIMENT USING 158 STUDENTS EXAMINED THE INFLUENCE OF AUTHORITARIANISM, DAMAGING PRETRIAL PUBLICITY, AND JURORS' SELF-AWARENESS OF BIAS ON VERDICTS IN A SIMULATED CRIMINAL TRIAL.
Abstract: IT WAS HYPOTHESIZED THAT IF BIASED JURORS CAN ELIMINATE THEMSELVES FROM JURY DUTY, THE EFFECTS OF PRETRIAL PUBLICITY WOULD BE MINIMIZED. PREVIOUS STUDIES HAVE SUGGESTED THAT AUTHORITARIANISM IS AN ESPECIALLY IMPORTANT PERSONALITY FACTOR TO CONSIDER IN JURORS, SINCE AUTHORITARIAN JURORS ARE MORE LIKELY TO RENDER GUILTY VERDICTS. THE INFLUENCE OF THE FOLLOWING WAS EXAMINED: (1) PRETRIAL PUBLICITY, (2) THE ABILITY OR WILLINGNESS OF INDIVIDUALS TO DISQUALIFY THEMSELVES FOR BEING BIASED, AND (3) AUTHORITARIANISM ON THE DECISIONS OF INDIVIDUALS ACTING AS JURORS. THE AUTHORITARIANISM (F) SCALE BY BYRNE AND LAMBERTH (1971) WAS ADMINISTERED TO THE 158 MALE AND FEMALE SUBJECTS. THEN, SOME SUBJECTS WERE GIVEN DAMAGING PRETRIAL PUBLICITY INVOLVING SUPPRESSED EVIDENCE WHILE OTHERS WERE GIVEN NEUTRAL PRETRIAL PUBLICITY. RESULTS INDICATED THAT SELF-ADMITTED BIASED SUBJECTS WERE MORE LIKELY TO RENDER GUILTY VERDICTS THAN THOSE WHO CLAIM THEMSELVES IMPARTIAL, BUT AMONG ADMITTEDLY BIASED SUBJECTS THERE WAS NO DIFFERENCE IN THE DAMAGING VERSUS NEUTRAL CONDITIONS. THERE WAS A DIFFERENCE AMONG SUBJECTS WHO PROFESSED THEMSELVES UNBIASED BY DAMAGING PUBLICITY. NEGATIVE PRETRIAL PUBLICITY INCREASED RATINGS OF THE PROSECUTION'S CASE AND LOWERED THOSE OF THE DEFENSE'S CASE. A DUNCAN'S MULTIPLE-RANGE TEST INDICATED THAT FEMALES IN THE DAMAGING CONDITION WERE PARTICULARLY AFFECTED. PEARSON OR POINT BISERIAL CORRELATIONS ARE USED FOR TESTS OF AUTHORITARIANISM AS RELATED TO WILLINGNESS TO ADMIT SELF-BIAS, VERDICTS, SEVERITY OF SENTENCES, AND RATINGS OF THE PROSECUTION AND THE DEFENSE CASES. RESULTS INDICATED THAT AUTHORITARIANISM BORE NO SIGNIFICANT RELATIONSHIP TO ADMISSION OF BIAS. HOWEVER, AUTHORITARIAN SUBJECTS VIEWED THE PROSECUTION'S CASE AS MORE CONVINCING. THE STUDY SHOWED THAT JURORS EXPOSED TO EXTREMELY DAMAGING PRETRIAL PUBLICITY ARE MORE LIKELY TO RENDER A GUILTY VERDICT, AND THAT MANY BIASED SUBJECTS DID NOT DISQUALIFY THEMSELVES. VIGOROUS VOIR DIRE IS RECOMMENDED IN JUROR SELECTION. REFERENCES ARE GIVEN. (FCW)
Index Term(s): Fair trial-free press; Juror characteristics; Jury decisionmaking; Jury selection
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=48693

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