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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1959.3/151493
- Ambiguity and guilt determinations: a modern racism perspective
- Pfeifer, Jeffrey E.; Ogloff, James R. P.
- Studies documenting the existence of prejudice in simulated juror ratings of guilt may not be directly generalizable to legal applications due to a failure to include jury instructions. Jury instructions specifying the conditions required to find a defendant guilty may serve to dissipate juror's overt prejudices. In order to investigate this hypothesis, participants read a transcript of a trial in which the race of the victim and the defendant were varied. In addition, half the participants were given jury instructions which specified the elements of the crime, and noted that in order to find the defendant guilty each element had to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. Participants were then asked to rate the guilt of the defendant. Results replicated earlier studies which found that participants overwhelmingly rate black defendants guiltier than white defendants, especially when the victim is white. However, these differences disappeared when participants were provided with jury instructions. The findings are discussed with regard to the theory of modern racism.
- Publication type
- Journal article
- Journal of Applied Social Psychology, Vol. 21, no. 21 (Nov 1991), pp. 1713-1725
- Publication year
- FOR Code(s)
- 1701 Psychology; 1702 Cognitive Sciences
- Bias; Courts; Discrimination; Guilt determination; Juries; Juror decision-making; Judicial instruction; Modern racism; Personal bias; Prejudice; Racial bias; Racism; Verdict
- Publisher URL
- Copyright © 1991. The copyright policy of the publisher allows the accepted manuscript to be reproduced here after a publisher-enforced embargo period.
- Peer reviewed