2 CourtAt start of trialMinimum numberMajorities allowedCrown Court12911-1, 10-2, 10-1, 9-1High CourtCounty Court877-1Coroner's Courtbetween 7 and 11—Minority no more than 2
3 Stages in decision-making What are the key points during a trial where the jury can be heavily influenced:Some of the influences include size of the jury, cognitive processes, pre-trial publicity, ethnicity, gender, individual differences, leadership and the social processes which influence decision making such as majority and minority influence.
4 Stages in Decision making Hastie et al (1983) Jury discussions go through the following stages:Orientation PeriodOpen ConfrontationReconciliation
5 Stages in Decision making Hastie et al (1983) What outside factors might affect a jury’s decision making?Do you think confrontation is always necessary in order to come to a verdict?Is locking people in a room until they come to a unanimous (common) decision a good idea?What’s a problem with this theory?
6 ProblemAt the end of a trial the jury return to the courtroom to give their verdict. How do they reach that verdict?The problem for researchers is that juries are sworn to secrecy about the deliberations, which take place behind closed doors, even after the trial, they are prohibited by law from discussing it.This means that researchers have to rely on mock trials and reconstructions to investigate jury behaviour.
7 June 2012Describe the stages of jury decision-making when reaching a verdict. (10)
8 Section =Reaching a verdict• Stages and influences on decision making (eg Hastie 1983);• Majority influence (eg Asch 1953);• Minority influence (eg Nemeth and Watchler).
10 Majority InfluenceMajority influence is due to public compliance – (Publicly going along with the crowd but privately disagreeing) Due to NORMATIVE SOCIAL INFLUENCE – conforming to fit in or be liked.OR….Majority influence can also be the result of internalisation (publicly and privately agreeing) due to ‘INFORMATIONAL SOCIAL INFLUENCE’ – the desire to be right.
11 Majority Influence -RESEARCH EVIDENCE: Asch (1951, 1956): example of conformity.Line X is clearly not the same as line A – but…When everyone in a group of confederates agreed that X and A were the same, the true participants agreed with them 37% of the time!. However, there were important individual differences. For example, no one conformed on all the critical trials, about 25% didn’t conform to any of the wrong answers and about 75% conformed at least once.X A B C
12 Evaluation of Majority Influence Asch Ethics:Deception:Distress:
13 Evaluation of Majority Influence Asch Can the study be generalised?
14 Evaluation of Majority Influence Asch How is the study linked to situational/individual explanations of behaviour?
15 Evaluation of Majority Influence Asch What does this study tell us about the courtroom?
16 Application/Usefulness Research with over 225 juries has shown that the majority guilty view (8 to 11 jurors) expressed as a vote early in the deliberations led to a guilty verdict 86% of the time, showing that the majority has the most powerful influence (Abbott and Batt, 1999).There is some informal evidence to suggest that the first thing many juries do is take a vote when they withdraw, as a starting point for their discussions.This suggest that…..
17 10 minutes independent study 10 minutes with your partner June 2011How might the view of the majority influence a jury when reaching a verdict? (10)10 minutes independent study10 minutes with your partner5 peer assess!
18 Mark SchemeHow might the view of the majority influence a jury when reaching a verdict?It is likely that supporting evidence will come from mainstream psychology, most probably the infamous conformity study by Solomon Asch. It is imperative that this is explicitly applied to the jury situation to provide an accurate response to the question. It is expected that detailed reference to one piece of research would support a response to this question, although broader reference in less detail would also be acceptable. Weaker candidates may provide less specific accounts or fail to convincingly contextualise the research reported, whereas better candidates will be explicit in direct response to the question.
19 Mark Scheme1-2 marks – Psychological terminology is sparse or absent. Description of evidence is limited, mainly inaccurate and lacks detail. There is no interpretation or explanation of the evidence in the context of the question. The answer is unstructured and lacks organisation. Answer lacks grammatical structure and contains many spelling errors.3-5 marks – Psychological terminology is basic but adequate. Description of evidence is generally accurate and coherent, has peripheral relevance but lacks detail. Elaboration/use of example/ quality of description is reasonable but interpretation of the evidence in the context of the question is poor. The answer has some structure and organisation. The answer is mostly grammatically correct with some spelling errors.6-8 marks – Psychological terminology is competent and mainly accurate. Description of evidence is mainly accurate and relevant, coherent and reasonably detailed. Elaboration/use of example/quality of description is good. There is some evidence of interpretation and explanation in the context of the question. The answer has good structure and organisation. The answer is mostly grammatically correct with few spelling errors.9-10 marks – Correct and comprehensive use of psychological terminology. Description of evidence is accurate, relevant, coherent and detailed. Elaboration/use of example/quality of description is very good and the ability to interpret/explain the evidence selected in the context of the question is very good. The answer is competently structured and organised. Answer is mostly grammatically correct with occasional spelling errors. 
21 Minority InfluenceMinority influence occurs when a minority rejects the established norm of the majority of group members and gets the majority to move to the position of the minority.Minority influence is the result of ‘INFORMATIONAL SOCIAL INFLUENCE’ – the desire to be right.What characteristics are displayed when someone has the desire to be right?
22 Minority InfluenceAccording to Moscovici when the minority are consistent they speak with a single voice and give the impression they are convinced they are right. As a result they appear confident and thus are taken seriously by the majority. Thus, minority influence is based on informational social influence, providing the majority with new ideas that cause them to re-examine their views.History has shown just how powerful minorities can be. Can you think of two examples?(Nemeth and Wachtler, 1974) – Key Research Study
23 Evaluation of Minority Influence Nemeth & Wachtler: Investigation of the influence of perceived autonomy on minority influenceSample & Generalisability:Usefulness:
24 Evaluation of Minority Influence Nemeth & Wachtler: Investigation of the influence of perceived autonomy on minority influenceEthics:
25 Minority Influence: Check your understanding: Do the results of these studies indicate that a minority can influence a majority?How strong is a minority influence compared to a majority influence?How must the minority behave if their influence is to be successful?
26 Potential Exam Question How might the view of the minority influence a jury when reaching a verdict? (10)