for the homosexual defendant reduces bias, or no effect is found for defendant sexual orientation, it would suggest that bias is more implicit. In addition, homophobia scale scores will be examined as an individual difference measure to investigate if the effects found are widespread or person-specific.
17 METHODOLOGY Study Design The study is a 2x2 completely between-subjects design. The independent variables are defendant sexual orientation (heterosexual, homosexual), and salience (salient, non-salient). Measures of homophobia were also examined as an individual difference measures in a follow-up 2x2x2 (defendant orientation, crime type, high or low homophobia) analysis.Participants Participants were 294 undergraduate students at a medium sized southeastern university. The students were 67.3% female, 32.7% male, with a mean age of 19.1 years. The sample was 83.6% Caucasian, 4.4% African American, 4.8% Hispanic/Latino, and 1.7% Asian/Pacific Islander. Materials and Procedure Each participant received one of two versions of the trial summary: Sexuality-salient or sexuality non-salient. The questionnaire instructions emphasized the importance of taking the role of a mock juror seriously, and participants were asked to render judgments as if they were actual jurors in a real case. The trial summary included demographic information about the defendant and victim at the top of the page. In the trial summary for the defendant, the following information was provided: Defendant: Matthew Clinton, 6’2”, 195lbs, Caucasian male, 18 years old, studentVictim: Andre Barkley, 6’0”, 165lbs, Caucasian male, 16 years old, studentTo counterbalance the possible effects of the names and possible different ethnicities being associated with them, the opposite arrangement was used for the other half of participants Defendant:Andre Barkley, 6’2”, 195lbs, Caucasian male, 18 years old, studentVictim:Matthew Clinton, 6’0”, 165lbs, Caucasian male, 16 years old, student
18 Information about the defendant’s height, weight, and age was included to prevent mock jurors from guessing that the study’s primary hypothesis involved the sexuality of the defendant. All mock jurors received the demographic information; the sexuality-salience manipulation occurred within the actual trial summary. The trial summary consisted of two paragraphs describing the prosecution’scase, two paragraphs describing the defense case, and a paragraph of judicial instructions and conviction criteria adapted from the California penal code (in an attempt to match the conditions of the original study). In Sommers and Ellsworth’s (2001) original study, the defendant was a high school basketball player charged with one count of battery with serious bodily injury after an altercation with a teammate in the locker room. The defense claimed that the defendant was upset over losing his place in the starting line-up and attacked his replacement. The defense admitted that the defendant confronted his teammate in the locker room, but claimed that when a
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