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Thinking Critically
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Textbook Site for:
Social Psychology , Sixth Edition
Sharon S. Brehm - Indiana University
Saul Kassin - Williams College
Steven Fein - Williams College
Learning Objectives - Law

You should be able to do each of the following by the conclusion of Chapter 12.
  1. Identify the three stages of jury selection. Explain the purpose of the voir dire and of peremptory challenges. (pp. 444-445)

  2. Summarize the extent to which general demographic and personality factors predict how jurors will vote. Describe the process of scientific jury selection. Discuss the arguments made by proponents and opponents of scientific jury selection concerning the ethical issues raised by its use. (pp. 445-448)

  3. Identify the attitudes that scientific jury selection has identified as predictive of verdicts in cases involving capital punishment. Describe the purpose of death qualification. Explain the controversy surrounding the use of death-qualified juries in determining verdicts. (pp. 449-450)

  4. Describe the two approaches currently used by police to extract confessions from suspects. Differentiate false confessions that result from compliance from those that result from internalization. Identify the conditions under which people are most likely to internalize confessions to crimes they did not commit. Discuss the attributional dilemma that juries face, and the decisions that they make, when confessions obtained deceptively are admitted into evidence during a trial. (pp. 451-453)

  5. Describe a polygraph, and identify the assumptions underlying its use. Indicate the problems endemic to the use of polygraphs. (p. 454)

  6. Summarize the acquisition, storage, and retrieval stages of eyewitness testimony. Describe how these stages are susceptible to errors caused by factors such as arousal, the weapon-focus effect, the cross-race identification bias, misinformation, the suggestibility of young children, and the difficulties encountered during line-ups. (pp. 454-460)

  7. Explain why jurors often cannot distinguish credible from noncredible eyewitnesses. Summarize how experts may help jurors to become more competent judges of eyewitnesses. (pp. 460-463)

  8. Summarize the general effects of pretrial publicity on perceptions of defendants. Give two reasons why pretrial publicity is potentially dangerous. List and explain three reasons why jurors are often unable or unwilling to follow a judge’s plea to disregard inadmissible evidence. Explain why comprehension, timing, and jury nullification are important factors in explaining why judges’ instructions often have little impact on jurors. (pp. 463-467)

  9. List factors that influence the selection of a jury foreperson. Summarize the impact that the foreperson has on the jury. (pp. 467-468)

  10. Define the three stages of the deliberation process. Discuss the relative importance of deliberations versus initial juror votes in terms of the final verdicts. Explain how the leniency bias produces one exception to this tendency. Describe the informational and normative influences that affect jury deliberation. (pp. 468-469)

  11. Discuss the effects of jury size and the requirement of unanimity on jury deliberation. (pp. 469-471)

  12. Explain how defendants are treated after being found guilty in a court of law. Define the sentencing disparity, and why it occurs. Summarize factors that may affect the defendant’s experience in prison. Discuss lessons learned from the Stanford Prison Study. (pp. 471-473)

  13. Differentiate between decision and process control. Identify the effects of process control on perceptions of justice. Contrast the adversarial and inquisitorial models of justice. (pp. 474-475)