Social Psychology and Law
Class Notes 12/4
“Quiz” on legal proceedings
Women are not harsher trial jurors than men
Innocent people sometimes confess to crimes they didn’t commit
People fool lie detectors by increasing arousal throughout questions, not suppressing arousal
for certain questions.
Eyewitnesses find it difficult to recognize members of a race other than their own.
More confidence in eyewitnesses does not mean greater accuracy.
One can predict jury’s final verdict by knowing where jurors stood last time they voted.
Determining guilt: confession, evidence, eyewitness testimony
trial: diversity, jury processes
1989 central jogger case, 5 (innocent) boys confessed to assault/rape, real rapist stepped
forward years later
Why do innocent people confess?
Compliance – changing behavior b/c direct requests
Internalization – come to believe they’re guilty
False confession study
College students worked on computer task
During study, computer crashed. All ps accused of pressing “forbidden key.”
IV1: pace of task – fast or slow
IV2: false eyewitness or control
Confederate said that participant pressed key
DV1: compliance – sign confession handwritten by experimenter DV2: internalization – admit guilt to stranger (confederate) after study was supposedly
100% ps agreed to sign paper with false eyewitness, decreased compliance
Only 60% internalized guilt with eyewitne