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PSYC 3310 (60)
Chapter 8

PSYC 3310 Chapter 8: Chapter 8

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York University
PSYC 3310
Jennifer Bazar

Chapter 8 Studying Juries Criminal code prohibits jurors from disclosing any of their deliberations under threat of summary convictions (could result in a max sentence of 6 months and a fine of up to 5000) Social scientists in Canada cannot study the jury directly Rely on mock or simulate juries Researchers systematically change the variable of interest so that different groups are exposed to alternative versions of the same case Because researchers systematically change the variable of interest within the mock jury simulation, they are able to isolate and directly assess its impact on participants decisions Ensures that the independent variable, should be the only factor that varies across conditions, is responsible for any observed differences between the conditions Internal Validity: ability to isolate a cause and effect relationship; degree to which the experiment actually measures the variable of interest Mock trials typically brief, less complex, jurors decisions are hypothetical, minimal consequences External Validity: to what extent are the data generalizable to jurors decisions in real trials? Simulations tend to be low on external validity (high on internal validity) Researchers also make use of archival records to identify patterns in jury decision making Able to identify patterns among variables using real jurors deciding real cases Data it yields is only correlational Cannot know if methods for recording cases have changed over time, accuracy of the data? American jurors are permitted to engage in posttrial deliberation discussions Researchers have identified a of extra legal factors underlying the jurors decisions Eg. If victim had engaged in extra marital sex or used drugs less likely to believe defendant is guilty Although posttrial interviews provide valuable insight into the jury Jurors selfreports may be misremembered, inaccurate, coloured by a desire to present themselves in a favourable light People are often unaware of the factors that influence their behaviour Data gathered through posttrial interviews is correlational
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