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Law and Human Behavior

Yueran Yang, Max Guyll, Stephanie Madon
This article presents a new model of confessions referred to as the interrogation decision-making model. This model provides a theoretical umbrella with which to understand and analyze suspects' decisions to deny or confess guilt in the context of a custodial interrogation. The model draws upon expected utility theory to propose a mathematical account of the psychological mechanisms that not only underlie suspects' decisions to deny or confess guilt at any specific point during an interrogation, but also how confession decisions can change over time...
October 20, 2016: Law and Human Behavior
Brian H Bornstein, Jonathan M Golding, Jeffrey Neuschatz, Christopher Kimbrough, Krystia Reed, Casey Magyarics, Katherine Luecht
The advantages and disadvantages of jury simulation research have often been debated in the literature. Critics chiefly argue that jury simulations lack verisimilitude, particularly through their use of student mock jurors, and that this limits the generalizabilty of the findings. In the present article, the question of sample differences (student v. nonstudent) in jury research was meta-analyzed for 6 dependent variables: 3 criminal (guilty verdicts, culpability, and sentencing) and 3 civil (liability verdicts, continuous liability, and damages)...
October 20, 2016: Law and Human Behavior
Kimberly Barsamian Kahn, Joel S Steele, Jean M McMahon, Greg Stewart
Although studies often find racial disparities in policing outcomes, less is known about how suspect race biases police interactions as they unfold. This study examines what is differentially occurring during police-suspect interactions for White, Black, and Latino suspects across time. It is hypothesized that racial bias may be more evident earlier in interactions, when less information about the situation is available. One hundred thirty-nine (62 White, 42 Black, and 35 Latino) use-of-force case files and associated written narratives from a medium to large size urban police department in the United States were analyzed...
October 20, 2016: Law and Human Behavior
Stephanie Madon, Max Guyll, Yueran Yang, Laura Smalarz, Justin Marschall, Daniel G Lannin
We conducted two experiments to test whether police interrogation elicits a biphasic process of resistance from suspects. According to this process, the initial threat of police interrogation mobilizes suspects to resist interrogative influence in a manner akin to a fight or flight response, but suspects' protracted self-regulation of their behavior during subsequent questioning increases their susceptibility to interrogative influence in the long-run. In Experiment 1 (N = 316), participants who were threatened by an accusation of misconduct exhibited responses indicative of mobilization and more strongly resisted social pressure to acquiesce to suggestive questioning than did participants who were not accused...
October 20, 2016: Law and Human Behavior
Andrew M Smith, Gary L Wells, R C L Lindsay, Steven D Penrod
Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) analysis has recently come in vogue for assessing the underlying discriminability and the applied utility of lineup procedures. Two primary assumptions underlie recommendations that ROC analysis be used to assess the applied utility of lineup procedures: (a) ROC analysis of lineups measures underlying discriminability, and (b) the procedure that produces superior underlying discriminability produces superior applied utility. These same assumptions underlie a recently derived diagnostic-feature detection theory, a theory of discriminability, intended to explain recent patterns observed in ROC comparisons of lineups...
September 29, 2016: Law and Human Behavior
Jamal K Mansour, Jennifer L Beaudry, Natalie Kalmet, Michelle I Bertrand, R C L Lindsay
Triers of fact sometimes consider lineup fairness when determining the suggestiveness of an identification procedure. Likewise, researchers often consider lineup fairness when comparing results across studies. Despite their importance, lineup fairness measures have received scant empirical attention and researchers inconsistently conduct and report mock-witness tasks and lineup fairness measures. We conducted a large-scale, online experiment (N = 1,010) to examine how lineup fairness measures varied with mock-witness task methodologies as well as to explore the validity and reliability of the measures...
September 29, 2016: Law and Human Behavior
Tiffany Lavis, Neil Brewer
Witnesses frequently make an error when reporting events they have observed. Although some error in witness reports is to be expected and does not mean the testimony as a whole is flawed, an important question is how such an error affects judgments of credibility of the witness. In 2 experiments we investigated the impact of a single demonstrated (probative or nonprobative) detail inaccuracy on judgments of the likely reliability of witness memory. Potential mediators (witness dishonesty and forgetfulness) were examined to explain the relationship between inaccuracy and perceived reliability of the witness's memory report...
September 29, 2016: Law and Human Behavior
Jennifer Gongola, Nicholas Scurich, Jodi A Quas
Although research reveals that children as young as 3 can use deception and will take steps to obscure truth, research concerning how well others detect children's deceptive efforts remains unclear. Yet adults regularly assess whether children are telling the truth in a variety of contexts, including at school, in the home, and in legal settings, particularly in investigations of maltreatment. We conducted a meta-analysis to synthesize extant research concerning adults' ability to detect deceptive statements produced by children...
September 29, 2016: Law and Human Behavior
Juan P Mendoza, Henri C Dekker, Jacco L Wielhouwer
This study addresses the question of what explains compliance with complex regulations, which are technical, extensive, and often subject to modifications. Based on official (anonymized) data of financial intermediaries in the Netherlands (N = 602), we examined the association between compliance (measured as number of law violations) and the extent to which regulatory complexity is perceived as fair (i.e., the perception that the extensive regulation generates unnecessary difficulties for the firm). We hypothesized that perceiving regulatory complexity as fair would motivate firms to acquire knowledge of the regulation, and that this knowledge in turn would improve their ability to comply...
September 29, 2016: Law and Human Behavior
Carly Giffin, Tania Lombrozo
Most crimes in America require that the defendant have mens rea, Latin for "guilty mind." However, mens rea is not legally required for strict liability crimes, such as speeding, for which someone is guilty even if ignorant or deceived about her speed. In 3 experiments involving participants responding to descriptive vignettes, we investigated whether the division of strict liability crimes in the law reflects an aspect of laypeople's intuitive moral cognition. Experiment 1 (N = 396; 236 male, 159 female, 1 other; Mage = 30) found evidence that it does: ignorance and deception were less mitigating for strict liability crimes than for "mens rea" crimes...
September 15, 2016: Law and Human Behavior
Glenn D Walters
The purpose of this study was to determine whether prison misconduct is capable of predicting rearrest and whether criminal thinking plays a role in this relationship. Two hypotheses, a variable-centered hypothesis and a person-centered hypothesis, were tested in a group of 951 male federal inmates, with results showing that at the variable level, prison misconduct predicted arrests for more serious crimes (person offenses) but not for less serious crimes (nonperson offenses). In an effort to examine the prison misconduct-community recidivism relationship at the person level, latent class growth analysis (LCGA) was performed on offending indicators across 3 nonoverlapping time periods: before prison (prior convictions), in prison (annual rate of incident reports), and after prison (total subsequent arrests)...
September 8, 2016: Law and Human Behavior
Daniella K Cash, Sean M Lane
When an eyewitness makes an identification from a lineup, he or she is asked to provide a confidence statement to help jurors assess credibility. However, these are verbal statements and people must rely on metacognitive processes to correctly interpret them. Recently, Dodson and Dobolyi (2015) argued that a person's interpretation of a witness's verbal confidence is influenced by the diagnosticity of the features used to justify his or her identification. We tested this hypothesis in 2 experiments. Experiment 1 found that, relative to a confidence-only control, participants reduced their ratings of confidence when statements were justified using a facial feature that was shared by lineup members, but not when the feature was unique to the member chosen from the lineup...
September 5, 2016: Law and Human Behavior
Dennis J Devine, Paige C Krouse, Caitlin M Cavanaugh, Jaime Colon Basora
In contrast to the extensive literature based on mock jurors, large-sample studies of decision making by real juries are relatively rare. In this field study, we examined relationships between jury verdicts and variables representing 3 classes of potential determinants-evidentiary, extraevidentiary, and deliberation process-using a sample of 114 criminal jury trials. Posttrial data were collected from 11 presiding judges, 31 attorneys, and 367 jurors using a Web-based questionnaire. The strength of the prosecution's evidence was strongly related to the occurrence of a conviction, whereas most extraevidentiary and deliberation process variables were only weakly to modestly related in bivariate form and when the prosecution's evidence strength was controlled...
September 5, 2016: Law and Human Behavior
Andrea L Miller, Eugene Borgida
We examine the role of moral typecasting in lay individuals' punitive responses to crime. Individuals perceive criminal offenders and victims in ways that are biased by their perceptions of the actors' moral roles in prior simulated criminal incidents. We find that this psychological process of moral typecasting has important implications for punitive responses to criminal offenders, and these findings make 2 major contributions to the literature. First, we show that moral agency is distinct from moral deservingness, which is 1 of the dominant explanations for punitive behavior in social psychology...
August 8, 2016: Law and Human Behavior
Jennifer Skeem, John Monahan, Christopher Lowenkamp
Increasingly, jurisdictions across the United States are using risk assessment instruments to scaffold efforts to unwind mass incarceration without compromising public safety. Despite promising results, critics oppose the use of these instruments to inform sentencing and correctional decisions. One argument is that the use of instruments that include gender as a risk factor will discriminate against men in sanctioning. On the basis of a sample of 14,310 federal offenders, we empirically test the predictive fairness of an instrument that omits gender, the Post Conviction Risk Assessment (PCRA)...
October 2016: Law and Human Behavior
Bradley D McAuliff, Jeana L Arter
This study examined the potential influence of adversarial allegiance on expert testimony in a simulated child sexual abuse case. A national sample of 100 witness suggestibility experts reviewed a police interview of an alleged 5-year-old female victim. Retaining party (prosecution, defense) and interview suggestibility (low, high) varied across experts. Experts were very willing to testify, but more so for the prosecution than the defense when interview suggestibility was low and vice versa when interview suggestibility was high...
October 2016: Law and Human Behavior
Märta Wallinius, Carl Delfin, Eva Billstedt, Thomas Nilsson, Henrik Anckarsäter, Björn Hofvander
Early psychosocial adversities and maladjustment, such as childhood maltreatment and school adjustment problems, have been linked to an increased risk of aggressive antisocial behaviors. Yet, clinical studies of subjects at the highest risk of persistence in such behaviors are rare, especially during the life-changing transition years of emerging adulthood. This study describes early predictors of aggressive antisocial behaviors in a large, nationally representative cohort of Swedish, male violent offenders in emerging adulthood (age range = 18-25 years; N = 270)...
October 2016: Law and Human Behavior
Steve D Charman, Vanessa Quiroz
One of the most recommended procedures proposed by eyewitness experts is the use of double-blind lineups, in which the administrator does not know the identity of the suspect in the lineup. But despite the near universality of this recommendation, there is surprisingly little empirical research to support the claim that nonblind administration inflates false identifications. What little research has been conducted has shown conflicting findings with regard to the conditions under which nonblind administration affects false identifications, as well as its effects on witness confidence...
October 2016: Law and Human Behavior
Richard L Wiener, Katlyn S Farnum
Under Title VII, courts may give a mixed motive instruction allowing jurors to determine that defendants are liable for discrimination if an illegal factor (here: race, color, religion, sex, or national origin) contributed to an adverse decision. Recently, the Supreme Court held that to conclude that an employer discriminated against a worker because of age, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, unlike Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, requires "but for" causality, necessitating jurors to find that age was the determinative factor in an employer's adverse decision regarding that worker...
October 2016: Law and Human Behavior
Skye A Woestehoff, Christian A Meissner
Research on jurors' perceptions of confession evidence suggests that jurors may not be sensitive to factors that can influence the reliability of a confession. Jurors' decisions tend not to be influenced by situational pressures to confess, which suggests that jurors commit the correspondence bias when evaluating a confession. One method to potentially increase sensitivity and counteract the correspondence bias is by highlighting a motivation other than guilt for the defendant's confession. We conducted 3 experiments to evaluate jurors' sensitivity to false confession risk factors...
October 2016: Law and Human Behavior
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