• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

a)How might the view of the majority influence a jury when reaching a verdict?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

´╗┐Psychology Revision ? Reaching A Verdict Q1)a)How might the view of the majority influence a jury when reaching a verdict? (10) Juries consist of twelve people, and often their verdicts of guilt or innocence aren?t unanimous. In this case, the view of the majority can greatly influence the minority in reaching a verdict. In a study conducted by Asch ? though not originally a forensic study ? he aimed to show how the views of the minority can be altered by the majority, even when presented with an unambiguous task. The task consisted of line X and comparison lines A, B and C and the five participants (all confederates except one) had to identify which of the lines A, B or C was the same length as line X. ...read more.

Middle

Majority influence, studied by Asch, proved how the majority voice can overpower the minority via use of consistent and confident delivery of beliefs. This, whist never originally a forensic study, can be generalised to courtroom behaviour as the participants used in Asch?s study were strangers that had never met, which reflects the reality of real juries, so it can be considered that the behaviour monitored in the study is similar to what would be observed in a jury. The study was very simplistic and required very little equipment, meaning the cross-cultural replications of the study are available and can increase reliability. However, the study really only pertains to countries or jurisdictions that use the adversarial system of justice in their courtroom; if the courtroom uses an inquisitorial system, then there is no need for a jury and majority influence has no effect. ...read more.

Conclusion

A further influence on courtroom verdicts is primacy effects. Studied by Pennington, who then went on to study the effect of Story Order (chronological) vs. Witness Order, primacy effects were said to influence the jury?s decision in favour of the prosecution because it is the information that is heard first, as opposed to the defence which is heard last. Primacy effects dominate recency effects, and thus the study can be applied to courtroom behaviour because some court cases are very longwinded and go on for months, meaning by the end the attention of the jurors is less active than at the start, and they may miss important pieces of evidence in favour of the defendant. These influences can lower the accuracy of the jury?s verdicts, but they are always present in courtroom and special measures need to be taken in order to cancel them out, though it is not always possible. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Social Psychology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Here's what a star student thought of this essay

5 star(s)

Response to the question

This answer consists of two questions for the OCR G543 syllabus. It has one question worth 10 mark for AO1 (knowledge and understanding) and another question carrying 15 marks for AO1 and AO2 (critical evaluation), totally 25 marks altogether. It ...

Read full review

Response to the question

This answer consists of two questions for the OCR G543 syllabus. It has one question worth 10 mark for AO1 (knowledge and understanding) and another question carrying 15 marks for AO1 and AO2 (critical evaluation), totally 25 marks altogether. It is my understanding that there would be four of these 25-mark questions to answer within two hours for the G543 exam.

The candidate easily achieves the full ten marks for Question 1. There is an infallible knowledge of the study by Asch into conformity, and an excellent level of control when discussing the procedure, as it is not a very easy study to explain at all. The results cited are all accurate and these are nicely tied back in to the question focus of how a jury might be influence if there is a clear majority opting for one decision and a minority opting for another.

The second question is much harder, but the candidate's answer is very strong, and would be likely to achieve round about 14-15 marks. The knowledge of empirical evidence is exceptional, and it really aids them in being able to attack this question with flair and confidence. They write with assertiveness and show a good understanding of how to consistently link the analysis back to the question of how studies into majority influence can b e observed in a real life courtroom. My only quandary here (though arguably not a large one) is that there is no balance where the candidate might chance to evaluate a study that does not support the idea of majority influence. However, this does not stop the candidate's answer being confident and accurate.

Level of analysis

The Level of Analysis is only measure in Question 2. Here the candidate presents a fairly unconventional structure,l which can make the analysis hard to identify, but this does not hinder them whatsoever. The fresh structure may actually be favoured by examiners who, if having seen one too many exam responses with the same prescriptive structure, become bored and don't appreciate the answers properly.

The analysis is in-depth and shows a great level of attention to the empirical evidence provided by the studies cited in the answer. All the information is used well and whilst some maybe be superfluous, this would only hinder the candidate's chances of finishing the exam on time, rather than any of their marks.

Quality of writing

The Quality of Written Communication is interesting. Psychology answers like this call for the utmost clarity yet 'purpose-built' language possible. Given that four of these 25-mark questions must be completed within two hours, I recommend the candidate being a little more stark with their language. Whilst there is absolutely no cause for concern with regards to spelling, grammar or punctuation from an English perspective, from a practical perspective using such vocabulary may take too much time and perhaps simple lexes would be a better way of ensuring exam completion.


Did you find this review helpful? Join our team of reviewers and help other students learn

Reviewed by sydneyhopcroft 15/09/2012

Read less
Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Social Psychology essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Describe what psychologists have learned about environmental disaster and/or technological catastrophe.

    4 star(s)

    In CONTRAST Bowman (1964) was able to observe responses of psychiatric patients during and immediately after an event and made comparisons to their behaviour prior to the event. However in most cases research cannot make such comparisons. The second evaluation issue is measurement, which is how psychologists actually measure the variables they are interested in.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    The effect of the Level of Processing on the amount of information recalled

    4 star(s)

    Also, the participants may be aware of the expectations of the experiment and change their behaviour; these are demand characteristics. The researcher may indirectly convey the purpose of the experiment, as shown by the researcher's behaviour. Independent measures: This involved using two groups, but all the participants took part in the same conditions.

  1. Psychology First Impression

    So instead of using Bob in the story, we can use Person X / someone to replace the name. There may have also been the problem of demand characteristics , as participants knew they were taking part in an psychology study, therefore, may have known what results were expected and

  2. Pro and Anti Social Behaviour

    However, when the transgressors mood was first improved by their praised or receiving a small amount of money, the level of pro-social behaviour was reduced. This confirmed the belief that people engage in pro-social behaviour in an attempt to overcome the negative mood that arises from harming another.

  1. "Anti-Social Behaviour is caused by a person's family background"

    parent families seems to be higher than professional and nuclear it is moderately low. The high crime rate in working class areas could be a contributing factor for why they engage in anti social behaviour, as they might be easily strayed.

  2. An Investigation to see whether the halo effect is present when rating personality ...

    attractiveness, to ensure this extraneous variable is monitored pictures of similar aged similar skin toned individuals were chosen in order to eliminate prejudice and possible racism. One ethical issue raised by the investigation was informed consent. Before the investigation started, participants were verbally asked if they would like to take

  1. Social influence, its concepts and ethics

    The key here is that the loafer is not worried about being evaluated. Social inhibition is when in a group situation that a person wants to be seen as normal within the group. Crowd theory, this is mainly based on 'mob psychology' when you become part of a crowd you

  2. Physiological Arousal and its Effects on Females interpretations of physical attractiveness

    Whenever an unaccompanied male began to walk across either bridge, he was approached by a male or female assistant, who introduced themselves as a psychology researcher, and asked the men to write an imaginative story in response to a picture while standing on the bridge.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work