cognitive psych final paper (1).docx - The Effect of...

This preview shows page 1 - 3 out of 6 pages.

The Effect of Emotions on Jury Decision Making Kaleigh Wargo Dr. David Rosen Psych 2215-00 15 November 2018
Every feeling and emotion begin with an external stimulus. This could be something you heard from someone, something you saw, or even felt. This stimulus generates an undetected emotion within the brain, and this causes the body to release the specific hormone to which corresponds to the emotion being felt. These hormones enter your bloodstream and create your feeling of emotion, sometimes being negative, and sometimes positive. When presented with a case, the jurors are the ones who in the courtroom must take everything they have seen and hear from both sides, every witness and establish a verdict. These decisions that take place within the room after the trial has concluded, go through even more debate. How do these jurors establish their decisions? What influences their arguments, or reasonings behind how they choose whether a person is guilty of innocent? What role do certain emotions play in making these decisions? By presenting jurors with certain aspects of evidence, such as gruesome photographs of a crime scene were more likely to convict a person of guilty more often than if there were just left to read a transcript of a case. Cases of mock trials showed that jurors were more likely to convict and were relatively more biased towards convicting when presented with this type of evidence, in multiple trials. In the case study of Douglas, Lyon, and Ogloff (1997) they established a mock trial split into three groups. The first group, Group A, were presented with neutral photos and post mortem photographs in color from the scene. The second group, Group B, were presented with the same exact photos but instead of color were black and white. The last group, group C, were only presented with the neutral photos only. This study showed an emotional reaction or arousal when viewing the photos or evidence that were more gruesome. The self-reported results showed that emotional distress whether it be anger, fear, or sadness they felt overcome their minds and bodies had a positive correlation with finding the accused to be guilty. When asked the participants of the mock trial stated that the photographs did not play any part in their decision emotionally, that they acted on fair grounds with facts from the trial and the other evidence. In some sense this may be true, but results show that the groups in which saw the photographs did correlate with a more positive trend of a guilty verdict. Anger tends to be one of the more influencing factors to which people find others to blame for something. Anger can find its way into a court room very effectively and contribute to the decisions of a jury. Anger is seen to be a response to holding someone accountable for an irrational behavior such as a crime. According to Avrill (1982) it was concluded within his study that people got angry over miniscule, to moderate things multiple times a day. Take a court case, of a man, who has raped and murdered a woman in cold blood. The juror sees the blood-stained

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture