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Full-Text Articles in Law

Ask And What Shall Ye Receive? A Guide For Using And Interpreting What Jurors Tell Us, Barbara O'Brien, Samuel R. Sommers, Phoebe C. Ellsworth Jan 2011

Ask And What Shall Ye Receive? A Guide For Using And Interpreting What Jurors Tell Us, Barbara O'Brien, Samuel R. Sommers, Phoebe C. Ellsworth

Articles

We review the extensive body of studies relying on jurors' self-reports in interviews or questionnaires, with a focus on potential threats to validity for researchers seeking to answer particularly provocative questions such as the influence of race in jury decision-making. We then offer a more focused case study comparison of interview and questionnaire data with behavioral data in the domain of race and juror decision-making. Our review suggests that the utility of data obtained from juror interviews and questionnaire responses varies considerably depending on the question under investigation. We close with an evaluation of the types of empirical questions most ...


Tort Damages And The New Science Of Happiness, Rick Swedloff, Peter H. Huang Jan 2010

Tort Damages And The New Science Of Happiness, Rick Swedloff, Peter H. Huang

Articles

The happiness revolution is coming to legal scholarship. Based on empirical data about the how and why of positive emotions, legal scholars are beginning to suggest reforms to legal institutions. In this article we aim to redirect and slow down this revolution.

One of their first targets of these legal hedonists is the jury system for tort damages. In several recent articles, scholars have concluded that early findings about hedonic adaptation and affective forecasting undermine tort awards for pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, and other non-economic damages. In the shadow of a broader debate about ...


'Race Salience' In Juror Decision-Making: Misconceptions, Clarifications, And Unanswered Questions, Samuel R. Sommers, Phoebe C. Ellsworth Jan 2009

'Race Salience' In Juror Decision-Making: Misconceptions, Clarifications, And Unanswered Questions, Samuel R. Sommers, Phoebe C. Ellsworth

Articles

In two frequently cited articles, Sommers and Ellsworth (2000, 2001) concluded that the influence of a defendant’s race on White mock jurors is more pronounced in interracial trials in which race remains a silent background issue than in trials involving racially charged incidents. Referring to this variable more generally as "race salience," we predicted that any aspect of a trial that leads White mock jurors to be concerned about racial bias should render the race of a defendant less influential. Though subsequent researchers have further explored this idea of "race salience," they have manipulated it in the same way ...


How Much Do We Really Know About Race And Juries? A Review Of Social Science Theory And Research, Samuel R. Sommers, Phoebe C. Ellsworth Jan 2003

How Much Do We Really Know About Race And Juries? A Review Of Social Science Theory And Research, Samuel R. Sommers, Phoebe C. Ellsworth

Articles

The past decade has witnessed numerous high-profile criminal trials in which controversial verdicts have been attributed to racethe race of the defendant, the racial composition of a jury, an attorney "playing the race card," and so on. A predominantly Black jury's acquittal of O.J. Simpson and White jurors' leniency in the police brutality cases of Rodney King and Amadou Diallo not only sparked public debate, but also led to rioting and violence. In the wake of trials such as these, many have questioned the viability of the American jury system.' More specific questions regarding the influence of race ...


Race In The Courtroom: Perceptions Of Guilt And Dispositional Attributions, Samuel R. Sommers, Phoebe C. Ellsworth Jan 2000

Race In The Courtroom: Perceptions Of Guilt And Dispositional Attributions, Samuel R. Sommers, Phoebe C. Ellsworth

Articles

The present studies compare the judgments of White and Black mock jurors in interracial trials. In Study 1, the defendant’s race did not influence White college students’ decisions but Black students demonstrated ingroup/outgroup bias in their guilt ratings and attributions for the defendant’s behavior. The aversive nature of modern racism suggests that Whites are motivated to appear nonprejudiced when racial issues are salient; therefore, the race salience of a trial summary was manipulated and given to noncollege students in Study 2. Once again, the defendant’s race did not influence Whites when racial issues were salient. But ...


Sticks And Stones, Phoebe C. Ellsworth Jan 1999

Sticks And Stones, Phoebe C. Ellsworth

Articles

I believe that research should be refuted by research. More and more of our scarce journal space is being taken up by attacks, rebuttals, and rebuttals to the rebuttals, often ending with a whimper of recognition that the adversaries were not so very far apart to begin with, and that the only way (if possible) to resolve the disagreement is through empirical research. Communication of scientific disagreement does not require a published article. Grant proposals and manuscripts submitted to refereed journals like this one are sent out to reviewers, who provide written evaluations that are communicated to the author. Papers ...


The Jury As Critic: An Empirical Look At How Capital Juries Perceive Expert And Lay Testimony, Scott E. Sundby Jan 1997

The Jury As Critic: An Empirical Look At How Capital Juries Perceive Expert And Lay Testimony, Scott E. Sundby

Articles

No abstract provided.


That's My Story And I'M Stickin' To It: The Jury As Fifth Business In The Trial Of O.J. Simpson And Other Matters, Marianne Wesson Jan 1996

That's My Story And I'M Stickin' To It: The Jury As Fifth Business In The Trial Of O.J. Simpson And Other Matters, Marianne Wesson

Articles

No abstract provided.


Real Jurors' Understanding Of The Law In Real Cases, Alan Reifman, Spencer M. Gusick, Phoebe C. Ellsworth Jan 1992

Real Jurors' Understanding Of The Law In Real Cases, Alan Reifman, Spencer M. Gusick, Phoebe C. Ellsworth

Articles

A survey of 224 Michigan citizens called for jury duty over a 2-month period was conducted to assess the jurors' comprehension of the law they had been given in the judges' instructions. Citizens who served as jurors were compared with a base line of those who were called for duty but not selected to serve, and with those who served on different kinds of cases. Consistent with previous studies of mock jurors, this study found that actual jurors understand fewer than half of the instructions they receive at trial. Subjects who received judges' instructions performed significantly better than uninstructed subjects ...


To Tell What We Know Or Wait For Godot?, Phoebe C. Ellsworth Jan 1991

To Tell What We Know Or Wait For Godot?, Phoebe C. Ellsworth

Articles

Professor Elliott raises two questions about the American Psychological Association's practice of submitting amicus briefs to the courts. First, are our data sufficiently valid, consistent, and generalizable to be applicable to the real world issues? Second, are amicus briefs adequate to communicate scientific findings? The first of these is not a general question, but must be addressed anew each time the Association considers a new issue. An evaluation of the quality and sufficiency of scientific knowledge about racial discrimination, for example, tells us nothing at all about the quality and sufficiency of scientific knowledge about sexual abuse. "Are the ...