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NCJ Number: 51494 Find in a Library
Title: PERSUASION DURING THE VOIR DIRE (FROM PSYCHOLOGY IN THE LEGAL PROCESS, 1977, BY BRUCE D SALES - SEE NCJ-51491)
Author(s): R A BLUNK; B D SALES
Corporate Author: Spectrum Publications, Inc
United States of America
Date Published: 1977
Page Count: 20
Sponsoring Agency: Spectrum Publications, Inc
Jamaica, NY 11432
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: PSYCHOLOGICAL ASPECTS OF THE PROCESS OF PERSUASION ARE DISCUSSED, WITH REFERENCE TO WAYS IN WHICH ATTORNEYS CAN INCREASE THEIR PERSUASIVE IMPACT IN VOIR DIRE.
Abstract: VOIR DIRE IS THE QUESTIONING OF POTENTIAL JURORS TO DETERMINE WHETHER THEY CAN JUDGE A CASE IMPARTIALLY. SOME ATTORNEYS DISCREDIT THE VALUE OF VOIR DIRE QUESTIONING, PREFERING EITHER SIMPLY ACCEPTING THE FIRST 12 CANDIDATES OR DECLINING THE OPPORTUNITY OF QUESTIONING WITH A 'GRAND GESTURE'--AN ATTEMPT TO IMPRESS JURORS BY IMPLYING THAT THE VERDICT NATURALLY WILL FAVOR THE ATTORNEY'S CLIENT. OTHER ATTORNEYS SEE VOIR DIRE QUESTIONING AS AN OPPORTUNITY TO ELIMINATE PREJUDICED JURORS AND/OR TO REGISTER POSITIVE FIRST IMPRESSIONS ON JURORS. PSYCHOLOGICAL RESEARCH INTO THE PROCESS OF PERSUASION HAS FOUND THAT THREE PERCEIVED CHARACTERISTICS OF THE PERSUADER--ATTRACTION, CREDIBILITY, AND POWER--AFFECT THE IMPACT OF PERSUASION. THERE IS EVIDENCE TO SUGGEST THAT ATTORNEYS CAN ENHANCE THEIR PERSUASIVE IMPACT DURING VOIR DIRE BY ESTABLISHING AN IMPRESSION OF SIMILIARITY, OBJECTIVITY, AND EXPERTISE IN THE PERCEPTIONS OF JURORS. OTHER RESEARCH HAS IMPLICATIONS FOR IMMUNIZING PROSPECTIVE JURORS AGAINST THE INFLUECE THAT CERTAIN FACTS ABOUT A CLIENT OR CASE ARE LIKELY TO EXERT. THE IMMUNIZATION TECHNIQUE INVOLVES LINKING DESIRED BELIEFS TO ACCEPTED VALUES (E.G., LINKING BELIEF IN THE PRESUMPTION OF INNOCENCE WITH THE VALUE OF JUSTICE). THE COMMITMENT TECHNIQUE ASSUMES THAT PEOPLE TRY TO KEEP THEIR INTERNAL BELIEFS, VERBAL STATEMENTS, AND BEHAVIOR IN AGREEMENT, AND TAKES ADVANTAGE OF THE EFFECT OF ENCOURAGING PEOPLE (E.G., POTENTIAL JURORS) TO STATE THEIR BELIEFS PUBLICLY. (LKM)
Index Term(s): Attorneys; Psychology
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=51494

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