A study of the relationship of psychiatric testimony and juror variables to the decision process


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A study of the relationship of psychiatric testimony and juror variables to the decision process
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McMahon, Elizabeth Ann, 1937-
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Jury   ( lcsh )
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Insanity (Law)   ( lcsh )
Psychology thesis Ph. D   ( lcsh )
Dissertations, Academic -- Psychology -- UF   ( lcsh )
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Thesis--University of Florida, 1974.
Bibliography: leaves 56-62.
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In Memory of My Parents


So many people contributed to the planning and completion of this

research that they are too numerous to thank individually. However, to

the following, I am especially grateful: to my doctoral committee, Drs.

Jacquelin R. Goldman, Louis D. Cohen, Wilse B. Webb, and Betty Siegel

for their encouragement and assistance; and particularly to my Chairman,

Dr. Paul Satz, for his constant support, counsel, and most helpful

suggestions throughout the duration of this effort.

Judge James F. Minnet, Chief Judge of the Circuit Court for Broward

County, most graciously made his facilities and the jury pool available

to me. Without his cooperation and assistance, this study would not

have been possible. In particular, I should like to thank Miss Carol

Eddy, Clerk of the Circuit Court, for her time and help in so efficiently

obtaining the juror subjects and space to conduct the simulated trials.

And of course to the juror subjects, themselves, I extend my grateful


For the taping of the trial transcript, my sincere thanks go to

Spencer Fox and his classmates at the University of Miami Law School. I

am indebted to Karen Maitland for scoring the moral judgment stories and

to Ron Gable for his generous and helpful consultation on the statistical

aspects of the research.

I should also like to thank Dr. T. K. Buchanan, Director of

Henderson Clinic, and Dr. Bady Quintar, Chief of the Psychology Department,

for allowing me the time to gather the data. For the final form of this

paper, typewritten under a great pressure of time, I acknowledge the skill

and consideration of Mrs. Sandy Wiedegreen.

And to my friends, Mary and Al Copsey and Eileen Garrison, I extend

my most heartful appreciation for their assistance throughout the

entirety of this project but most of all for their unfailing inspiration,

confidence, and friendship.














Univariate Analysis
Multivariate Analysis
Discriminant Function Analyses
Discriminant Function Analysis 1
Discriminant Function Analysis II
Discriminant Function Analysis III







Table Page

1 Values for Chi-Square Tests of Association Between 27
Nine Variables and Membership in Criterion Groups.

2 Cases Classified Into Groups 29

3 Cases Classified Into Groups 30

4 Cases Classified Into Groups 30

81 Means and Standard Deviations for the Two Groups 53
Whose Verdicts were Guilty and Not Guilty at the
Liability Phase.

B2 Means and Standard Deviations for the Two Groups 54
Whose Verdicts were Guilty and Not Guilty at the
Responsibility Phase.

B3 Means and Standard Deviations for the Three Groups 55
who Retained Their Verdict of Guilty, Retained
Their Verdict of Not Guilty, and Changed Their

Abstract of Dissertation 'resented to the
Graduate Council of the University of Florida in Partial
Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy



Elizabeth Ann McMahon

March, 1974

Chairman: Peul Satz
Major Department: Psychology

In spite of the monumental effects of jurors' decisions, there has

been a dearth of research in this area. Virtually nothing is known about

the factors which influence these decisions, although there is a great

deal of legal folklore, or implicit assumptions, on hliich lawyers appear

to act. The present study sought to identify those intrinsic subject

variables, if any, which influence jurors' views of a defendant who

enters a plea of insanity.

The subjects were seventy-two individuals from the jury pools of the

Circuit Court of Broward County, Florida, who volunteered to take part in

the study. The instruments consisted of a biographical questionnaire, an

attitude questionnaire (Rundquist and Sletto Law Scale), Piagetian-type

moral conflict stories, the semantic differential, and several open-ended

questions. The variables which were assessed were: race; age; sex; edu-

cation; socio-economic level; birth order; marital status; religious

affiliation; attitude toward lew, judges, courts, etc.; level of moral

judgment; self image; perceived similarities between juror and defendant;

and opinion regarding the death penalty, labels of criminal vs. insane,

mental hospitals vs. prisons, and determinism.

The procedure used was that of the Chicago Mock Trial technique in

which the subjects listened to an edited taped recording of an actual

trial. However they rendered a decision at two stages in the proceedings

rather than only at the end. The first decision was given following the

presentation of the State's case consisting of the facts of the event and

attempting to establish liability. The second decision was rendered

following the Defense's case, consisting of the expert psychiatric testi-

mony, which attempted to establish the lack of responsibility. Juror

biographical and personality variables were assessed by the instruments

mentioned above and the relationship between these variables and their

decisions were examined. This procedure also permitted an examination of

the effect of the psychiatric testimony as well as the intrinsic subject


Univariate analysis was employed on all dichotomous variables and

multivariate discriminate function analysis was employed on all continuous

variables. The data indicated that the psychiatric testimony exerted the

strongest influence on the jurors' decisions. None of the intrinsic sub-

ject variables was shown to have been significant in their decision-

making. Implications of the present study are discussed from the point

of view that the data are valid as well as from the point of view of

problems within the design which may have decreased its validity and what

each of these mean for future research within the area.




Criminal law is one of the mechanisms by which society attempts to

control human behavior. It defines conduct that is thought to undermine

or destroy the community; and its objectives include the protection of

the life, liberty, dignity, and property of that community through the

threat to deprive freedoms and inflict sanctions. However, the sanctions

which are authorized, whether the purpose is to punish, restrain, reform

or deter, constitute, themselves a deprivation of life, liberty, dignity,

and property.

Because of the inherent conflict between values ultimately
to be preferred and their deprivation by the sanctions which
are authorized, criminal law has sought to minimize the
consequences of this paradox through rules of law which
restrict the state's authority to sanction. (Goldstein and
Katz, 1963, p. 853.)

The primary method used to minimize these consequences is through the

entering of various defenses in response to accusations.

The plea of insanity as a defense has raised, perhaps, as much, if

not more, rhetoric and emotion in the history of society's endeavors to

control human behavior than any other single effort. This has been

especially true with the expansion in knowledge of the dynamics of

human behavior and the increase in interaction between the areas of law

and psychology. The total spectrum of opinions can be found to he

massively represented in the volumes which have been written and ver-

balized concerning the issue of behavioral science's contribution to the

field of jurisprudence in general and to the adequacy of the various

rules of insanity in particular.

The purpose of the rules for determining the legal responsibility

of the defendant, as well as the grounds on which these rules have been

criticized, is to provide the jury with guidelines for discriminating

between those cases where a punitive-correctional disposition is appro-

priate and those where a medical-custodial disposition is the only kind

which the law should allow. The point of argument centers around the

criteria (or lack thereof) which determines who fits into which category.

For every opinion that the criteria are sufficiently implied to allow

for consistent and adequate interpretation, there is a converse opinion

that they are not. However, it is predominately just that--opinion,

based only on the personal experiences of the author and those to whose

opinions he is exposed.

In a court of law, jurors must pass judgment upon a fellow member

of society--a judgment which will determine at least the next several

years of his life. A defendant may indicate that he was not responsible

for the act of which he is accused. In the evolution of the American

system of law, it has been viewed as more humane to judge such an indi-

vidual as "not guilty by reason of insanity," implying the need for

treatment; than to judge him "guilty," implying the need for punishment.

Thus a defendant who enters such a plea of non-responsibility is in

essence requesting to be judged more leniently than if he had not

entered such a plea.

It may be assumed that the decision of whether or not to acquiesce

to his request is multi-determined. Roche (1956) has suggested that this

decision is made independently of what is going on in a trial on a

conscious level of verbal communication. It is his feeling that jurors

are more influenced by their own unconscious motivations. Others have

suggested biographical variables, attitudes, the interaction of the

jury during its seclusion and voting, etc., are more important deter-

minants. Yet the lives and futures of human beings are constantly being

decided in criminal trials on the basis of some criteria. But what?

One of the reasons why there is no answer to this question at

present is because of the absence of research in the area. This in

turn is due, partially, to the lack of recognition of any need for

research. Assumptions as to what is transpiring during a trial are both

widely held and deeply ingrained among those involved. Secondly, the

field of law operates on principles almost diametrically opposed to

those of the behavioral sciences. The latter asks questions, seeks

understanding and new and better ways of accomplishing tasks; while the

former looks to the past, to precedent, for its direction.

Thus, the present study ventures into a practically untrod area--

that of juror decision-making. It will attempt to establish which

variables, if any, within the juror relate most strongly to his decision

regarding a defendant who enters a plea of insanity. Selected variables

of a biographical, attitudinal and personality nature will be employed.

The influence of these variables will also be compared with that of the

expert psychiatric testimony.



As Lawson (1970) pointed out with regard to the question of

communication, there are many conclusions concerning human behavior in

the courtroom which are derived from legal reasoning, based on logic and

a rather haphazard study of human nature, and are totally unblemished by

scientific data. One has only to observe prosecutors and defense

attorneys during the procedure of jury selection to feel certain that

they are operating from some implied assumptions regarding the trial

decision that particular jurors are likely to reach. Since there has

been no presentation of evidence at this point in the legal proceedings,

these assumptions must be concerned with some variables of the jurors


There is also a great deal of communication, both via the mass

media and from professional sources, regarding the inconsistencies with

which the insanity rules are applied by jurors. Tn some cases, it has

been maintained that this was done under the guise of the jury exer-

cising moral judgment to ameliorate severity. At other times, it has

been felt that they were taking an "out" in certain highly charged

emotional situations. Guttracher and Weihofen (1952) contend that such

inconsistencies are a normal concomitant of the jury system; indeed they

can be said to be its justification. The only basis for getting the

jury's reaction is that a community consensus is desired. "Taking the

verdict of the jury allows the rule of law to be tempered by a public

sense of justice in hard cases. This has nothing to do with the rule of

insanity as such. It is merely the case of a jury unwilling to apply the

law as written, and using any excuse that happens to be at hand."

(p. 400). This appears to be, with specific regard to the jury, what

Justice Frankfurter was referring to when he said the rules ". were

honored in the breach and not in the observance;" and what Szasz means

by substituting the rule of men for the rule of law.

These comments indicate that oftentimes decisions are not being made

in terms of the presentation of evidence or the "burden of proof."

Kalven and Zeisel (1966) maintain that while the jury understands the

judge's instructions, it then ". .. yields to its sentiments in the

apparent process of resolving doubts as to evidence." (p. 165); giving

recognition to values which fall outside the official rules and doing

more than dealing merely with issues of fact. In their opinion, delib-

erations ". do not so much decide the case as bring about consensus."

(p. 488). Kadish and Kadish (1971), in their article on jury acquittals

not only support but encourage this situation.

The obligation to defer to the court's instructions, while
binding on the juror, exists side by side with a protected
power and privilege to override that obligation. The result
is the legitimate interposition of the juror's judgment
between the consequences of the court's instructions and the
fate of the defendant. (p. 199).

On what bases, then, do juries make such judgments or decisions?

What determines this "rule of man?" Erlanger (1970) feels that:

Social characteristics of jury members may play an especially
important role in the determination of the verdict in cases
falling under one of the principles of jury law. Besides
being associated with a general predisposition favoring either
the state or the defendant, social variables are probably also

related both to belief in the principles of jury law and to
a willingness to implement these principles (in general or
in specific cases) in spite of instructions not to. (p. 355).

He notes that, so far, research on the social characteristics of jurors

has centered on small group studies of the influence of a juror's social

status on the deliberations. While these studies have yielded consider-

able knowledge, it is Erlanger's opinion that their importance ". is

diminished by the finding, ., that in over ninety percent of all

cases, the decision is in effect made before the jury enters the jury

room." (p. 355-356).

In view of the magnitude of the decisions made by juries, it is

somewhat appalling to realize that so little actual research of any

kind, before or after they enter the jury room, has been undertaken in

the study of juries, jury processes, and jury membership. Following

the studies of Munsterberg (1914), Burt (1920), Marston (1924), and

Dashiell (1935), the psychological literature has been very sparse of

research in this entire area.

Walster (1966) did investigate the assignment of responsibility

when the consequences of an act varied in degree of seriousness, and

Landy and Aronson (1969) have studied the relative effects of the

character of the victim as well as the character of the defendant on

subjects' decisions to sanction an offender. Lawson (1967-1968, 1970),

Murray (1969), Stone (1969), Wallace and Wilson (1969), and Wilson (1971)

have examined questions of evidence with regard to recency, primacy and

order effects; source credibility; and relative strength of presentation.

Vidmar (1972) found that restricting the decision alternatives available

to jurors, especially when the guilty alternative has a consequence which

is perceived to be too severe, may increase the likelihood of obtaining

a not guilty verdict. All of those studies used simulated jurors, pri-

marily college undergraduates.

The main work which has been done in this area has been carried

out in an experimental jury project begun in 1953. The University of

Chicago Law School, in conjunction with the Sociology Department, con-

ducted a series of experiments investigating various aspects of jury

functioning. The experiments focused on a number of social-psychological

factors including group functioning and process (Strodtbeck, 1962), social

status (Strodtbeck, James, and Hawkins, 1957), social dimensions

(Strodtbeck and Hook, 1961), sex role differentiation (Strodtbeck and

Mann, 1956), evaluation of testimony of jurors (James, 1960), interaction

and coalition development in juries (Hawkins, 1960), and jurors' reactions

to rules of law, to expert psychiatric testimony and to disposition of

"insane" defendants (Simon, 1967). Instead of using simulated jurors,

they used members of jury pools from various jurisdictions, presenting

recordings of real and disguised trials which had been edited. This

method is known as the Chicago Mock Trial Technique and will be explained


In his review of jury research in America, Erlanger (1370), devotes

much of his article to the work of the Chicago Project. In his opinion,

it showed that social characteristics of jurors affect both the indi-

vidual's decision and the process through which the jury comes to its

collective verdict. He cites Zeisel's (1968) study, directed specifically

to the scrupledd juror" in capital punishment cases, as showing that:

Race is a good predictor of opposition to the death penalty;
among whites there is also a sharp differentiation by sex;

religion and age have only a slight influence; and age and
education are operative primarily among males, where wealth
predisposes a man to favor the death penalty, and college
education tends to mitigate approval. (p. 353).

Erlanger also notes Simon's (1967) findings that college education, high

income and high status occupation predisposed a juror to conviction with

regard to the insanity defense but that the evidence on the relationship

of this verdict and attitudes on other issues was mixed. However, Simon

did find that "jurors are on guard against abuse of the insanity plea

and many see a prison sentence in such cases as a useful deterrent to

potential offenders." (p. 350).

Very few studies could be found which examined personality factors

among jury members. Gladstone (1969), Crosson (1970), Thayer (1970),

Centers, Shomer, and Rodrigues (1970), and Shortum and Ashear (1972) all

investigated the relationship of authoritarianism to punitiveness toward

criminals. Their results are conflicting, perhaps due to the various

subject populations--college students, community residents, and, in

Crosson's study, former jurors. However, there is the strong suggestion

of a bias in capital juries in favor of authoritarian personalities with

a tendency toward harsh punishment. In several of the above-mentioned

studies, biographical factors such as age, sex, and education have been

examined secondarily. These variables show conflicting results with the

exception of age which is positively correlated with punitiveness.

It is important to note that the differences in the subject popu-

lation is most probably a significant factor in this type of research.

With the exception of Crosson, whose subjects had previously served on a

jury, the studies conducted in the Chicago Jury Project are the only ones

where subjects were selected from actual jury pools. Yet a study by

Holbrook (1956) reports that from over 4,000 California residents

responding to jury letters, only 6.2% of the men and 10.6% of the women

were ultimately qualified for jury duty. This would imply a definite

selection process and it would seem essential to gain further information

on the dispositions and beliefs of these individuals who do, in fact,

serve as jurors in criminal trials.

In view of the sparseness of research concerning jury functioning,

especially with regard to the insanity defense, it is necessary to

examine some of the research dealing with the variable to be used in the

present study which has been carried out in other areas. Serum and

Myers (1970), Brigham (1970, 1971), Eysenck (1971), Buys and Bebeau

(1971), Gray (1971) and Terry and Evans (1972) investigated the factors

of age, sex, socio-economic class, and race with regard to attitudes

toward such issues as riots and demonstrations, law and order, and ethnic

groups. While there are conflicts in the results concerning sex, age,

is positively correlated and socio-economic class is negatively corre-

lated with prejudice, punitiveness, and a tendency to stereotype indi-

viduals. Race was found to be only incidental to such factors as social

class and belief similarity or dissimilarity.

Studies which have assessed attitudes toward the mentally ill,

specifically, have been very confusing in their conclusions. Earlier

reports, such as those by Star (1955), Cumming and Cumming (1957),

Nunnally (1961), and the Joint Commission on Mental Health (1961) indi-

cate very negative, rejecting attitudes of the public toward the mentally

ill. However, these are contradicted by thw work of Lemkau and Crocetti

(1962), Bell (1970), Bentz and Edgerton (1970), and Crocetti, Spiro, and

Siassi (1971) who did not find such rejection. Dohrenwend and

Chin-Shong (1967) concluded that much of the confusion was due to the

definition and label of mentally ill as opposed to tolerance of the

behavior in that more deviate behavior was tolerated as long as the

individual was not labeled mentally ill. Once that label was applied,

rejection followed.

Phillips (1964, 1969) found that increasing visibility of behavior

deviation did result in rejection, but that the help-source from which

an individual sought assistance was also of great significance in the

rejection. Educational level (and/or socio-economic level) and amount of

contact with mental illness have been shown to be negatively correlated

in most of the studies noted above. However, in their review of

research concerning attitudes of the public toward mental illness,

Sarbin and Mancuso (1970) conclude that:

a) the public is not sympathetic toward persons who are
labeled mentally ill. They look upon such persons with dis-
respect and are willing to relegate them to a childlike, non-
person role; b) the public does not share the
professional's propensity for labeling deviant behavior as
mental illness. (p. 168).

The components of potential threat to others, as well as unpredictability

appears to be a major factor in rejection.

In a replication and extension of the work of Phillips, Schroder

and Ehrlich (1968) and Bord (1971) found that while respondents did

reject others on the basis of threat and unpredictability, the threat

factor implied by a given behavior was contingent upon the actor's socio-

economic status. He feels that research concerned with reactions toward

various types of deviance must focus on the meanings of these behaviors

have for potential reactors; and furthermore, that these meanings vary

with, among other things, the deviant's other social identities and the

social characteristics of the reactors. In line with this, Delis,

Gonyea, and Crockett (1971) found that subjects, when confronted with

a body of information about another person, "made sense" of the infor-

mation by interpreting it within their own existing frame of personal

constructs. Their results also suggest that the more contradictory the

information is, the higher the level of organization which is needed to

achieve a balanced, harmonious understanding of the individual. Although

DeWolfe (1970) found that subjects labeled an individual as criminal or

mentally ill in terms of their own administrative and theoretical sphere;

a study by Dillehay, Bruvold, and Siegal (1969) illustrates that attitudes

expressed toward a uniform attitude object are mediated by the label that

has already been attached to that object. Finally, Haney and Miller's

(1970) data indicate that the judgment, and therefore, the label, of

mental illness or incompetency by a court is influenced to a significant

degree by factors other than the pathology of the individual. Again

there is confusion and, again, it appears that the differences in subject

population used in these studies is at least partially the reason.

Another variable which is assumed to influence a juror's decision

is that of level of moral judgment. The research conducted over the

years by Kohlberg (1963, 1969) has substantiated the validity of his

theory of moral development. His stages and levels of moral functioning

appear to be universal and can be assessed by the technique of moral

conflict stories. Hogan (1970), Hogan and Dickstein (1972), and MacDonald

(1971a) have taken a somewhat different approach. They feel that the

moral principles which individuals use to guide their reasoning in

situations of moral uncertainty can be placed in categories corresponding

to the classic traditions of social philosophy, the ethics of personal

conscience and the ethics of social responsibility. Their research

suggests that individuals in these two categories differ a) in the degree

to which they consider rules and established procedures useful for regu-

lating society and promoting human welfare, and b) in their opinion

regarding the source of injustice--whether institutions or individuals.

These two categories appear to correspond to Kohlberg's levels five and

six of moral development. MacDonald (1969, 1971b) has extended Hogan's

theory in studies of birth order and morality types. He found that

firstborns were more highly socialized, tended toward the directions of

the ethic or social responsibility, and were more negative toward the

poor. He cautioned, however, that there may be an interaction effect

due to sex differences.

Finally, the issue of personality similarity has been raised with

regard to one individual's perception of another. Griffitt (1966), Byrne,

Griffitt and Stefaniak (1967), McLaughlin (1971), and Simon (1971) all

found that attraction is a positive linear function of the proportion of

personality characteristics which were similar to those of the subject.

These findings were congruent with those mentioned in the review of this

area by Byrne, Griffitt, and Stefaniak.

Two studies dealing with this issue conducted by Novak and Learner

(1968) and by Taylor and Mettee (1971) are very cogent to the present

research. In the latter, it was found that a pleasant similar other was

liked more than a pleasant dissimilar other, but that an obnoxious similar

other was disliked more than an obnoxious dissimilar other. Two factors

appeared to be operating; fear of possessing the undesirable trait; and

the saliency of the behavior in that when the other's behavior was highly

salient and unpleasant, it was evaluated more negatively and produced more

dislike than when it had little meaning for the subject. In Novak and

Learner's study, subjects evaluated a "partner" who was presented as

similar or dissimilar and as either normal or emotionally disturbed.

When the partner was perceived as normal, subjects preferred to interact

with a similar partner; but when perceived as emotionally disturbed, they

showed a greater willingness to interact with a dissimilar partner than

with one who was similar to themselves. Both of these studies suggest

that it is possible that the perception of similarity may occur in a

context in which the salient motives make similarity relatively

threatening and non-rewarding.

In addition to the confusion reflected in the studies mentioned

above, the fact that they have been conducted almost exclusively with

college student populations make their generalization to the less homo-

geneous population of jury members questionable. With the exception of

Crosson's study and the work of the Chicago Jury Project, even that

research which has dealt with juror impressions, behavior, decision

making, etc. has used student subjects; and only the Chicago studies

have dealt with any aspects of the insanity defense. Furthermore, only

four studios have dealt directly with personality factors and all of them

have been concerned with authoritarianism; any biographical factors which

have been examined have been secondarily considered. Jury decision-

making, especially with regard to the plea of insanity, is, as Lawson

said, almost totally unblemished by scientific data--and this is in the

face of the tremendous consequences which their decisions carry.

What, then, are some of the factors, if any, present within the

juror himself, which predispose him toward a particular view, and even-

tually a particular verdict, of a defendant who enters a plea of insanity

in response to an accusation of criminal behavior? The following vari-

ables have been chosen for assessment with regard to their relationship

to a verdict which the juror will render himself, independent of any

discussion or consultation with his fellow jurors: 1) race; 2) age;

3) sex; 4) education; 5) socio-economic level; 6) birth order; 7) marital

status; 8) religious affiliation; 9) attitude toward law, judges, courts,

etc.; 10) level of moral judgment; 11) self-image; 12) perceived simi-

larities between juror and defendant; and 13) opinion regarding the

death penalty, labels of criminal vs. insane, mental hospitals vs.

prisons, and determinism. The basic issue, assessing juror variables

which are thought to influence their verdict, implies the underlying

premise, which will also be examined, that the expert psychiatric testi-

mony plays a minor role in the decision-making.process.

Within such a virgin field, one has a myriad of choices as to where

to begin. The particular problem of juror factors which are critical to

a particular verdict was selected in an effort to verify or cast doubt

upon the body of legal folklore which exists concerning what type of

juror will be favorably disposed toward a given issue or individual. if

these implied assumptions or "superstitions" are true, then we need hard

data as proof and eventually some considerations as to the implications

for conducting the voir dire as well as jury trials in general. If they


are not evident, then we need to look closer at the technique of assess-

ment or look elsewhere for just what are the critical points of the trial

process to which the jury responds when rendering its decision. In any

event, the present problem is, in essence, merely a starting point.



The following procedure was used to investigate the relationship,

if any, between the preceding variables and the decisions made by jurors

at two stages of a criminal trial.


The subjects were individuals who were present for one week of jury

duty in Broward County, Florida, during the weeks of March 19 and 26, and

April 2 and 16, 1973. On Thursday of each week, volunteers were

requested from the jury pool for "a research project dealing with trial

procedure." All those who volunteered were excused from jury duty on

the following day. An effort was made to obtain approximately an equal

number of black and white, male and female, subjects. While this was

achieved with regard to sex (37 males and 38 females); only four of the

seventy-nine volunteers were black, a ratio which approximated that of

the jury pool itself. Therefore these four subjects were discarded.

Also, data on three were incomplete, resulting in a total sample of

seventy-two subjects (35 males and 37 females).


(See Appendix A for a copy of the instruments and the instructions.)

Biographical questionnaire.--The biographical questionnaire

requested information concerning the sex, age, race, birth order,

education, occupation, income, marital status, and religious affiliation

of the subject. It also inquired as to whether he was questioned during

the impaneling of any jury that week and if he had served or, if not,

why he was excluded.

Attitude questionnaire.--The Law (L) Scale (Rundquist and Sletto,

as cited in Shaw and Wright, 1967) is a 22 item Likert-scale measuring

attitudes toward laws, judges, juries, court decisions, lawyers, etc.

High scores presumably indicate a strong positive view and low scores

indicate a skeptical or negative view of the preeminence or sacro-

sanctity of the above aspects of law--but not necessarily the abstract

concept of law itself. The authors report split-half reliability of .84

and a test-retest reliability of .78. They also offer evidence on con-

current validity (Rundquist and Sletto, 1936).

Moral conflict stories.--Piaget (1932) described the course of moral

development as a gradual progression from an absolute and rigid sense of

justice, moral realism, to a flexible sense of equity, moral relativism.

Moral realism is a tendency to regard duty and the value attaching to it

as self-subsistent and independent, as imposing itself regardless of the

circumstances in which an individual finds himself. A rigid respect for

rules is derived from a personal respect for the authorities who promul-

gate and teach the rules. Later there develops a respect toward authority

and toward rules that is mutual, reciprocal and relativistic. This

respect leads to an autonomous regard for rules as products of group

agreement and instruments of cooperative purposes. There is an increase

in the use of reciprocity, exchange and retaliation as a basis for choice

and judgment and also an increase in notions of relativism of value and

an egalitarian denial of the moral superiority of authority per se.

Kohlberg (1969), whose extensive research in this area is based on

Piaget's formulations, maintains that there are "natural," culturally

universal and regular age-developmental trends in moral judgments. He

has defined six stages of moral development: 1) obedience and punish-

ment orientation, 2) naively egoistic orientation, 3) good-child orienta-

tion, 4) authority and social-order maintaining orientation, 5) contractual

legalistic orientation, and 6) conscience or principle orientation. The

definition of each stage is based on the subsumption of moral judgment

under one of twenty-five aspects (e.g. punishment, rights of property,

contract) representing basic moral concepts believed to be present in any

society. Using typical Piagetian moral conflict stories, a situation is

presented to an individual and he is asked what should be done to resolve

the conflict. The important part of each answer, the reasoning behind it,

is then used to assign a level of moral judgment following Kohlberg's


Kenniston (1970) pointed out that the level of moral development is

not necessarily consistent for a given individual across all situations.

In line with this, an unpublished study by Goldman and McMahon (1971)

confirmed the importance of affective states upon moral judgment.

Therefore, although moral development is an increasing function of age

and social interaction, the effect is moderated by the individual's

response to the affective nature of the content with which he deals. For

this reason, two moral conflict stories were presented, one presumed to

be more affect arousing than the other, and two levels of moral judgment

were obtained for each subject.

The semantic differential.--The semantic differential is a very

general way of obtaining a certain type of information; it is essentially

a combination of controlled association scaling procedures. The subject

is provided with a concept to be differentiated and a set of bipolar

adjectival scales against which to do it, his only task being to indi-

cate for each item (pairing of a concept with a scale), the direction of

his association and its intensity. There are no standard concepts and

no standard scales; rather, the concepts and scales used in a particular

study depend upon the purposes of the research. The crux of the method

lies in selecting the sample of descriptive polar terms.

In developing this procedure, a multidimensional semantic space was

postulated by the authors (Osgood, Suci, and Tannenbaum, 1957) and each

semantic scale (set of polar adjectives) was assumed to represent a

straight line function that passes through the origin of this space. In

an effort to uncover as many independent dimensions of semantic space as

could be identified and measured reliable, factor analysis yielded the

following: a pervasive evaluative factor in human judgment regularly

appears first and accounts for approximately half to three-quarters of

the extractable variance; the second dimension to appear is usually the

potency factor, typically accounting for approximately half as much

variance as the first factor; the third dimension, usually about equal to

or a little smaller in magnitude than the second, is the activity factor.

Thus, the first criterion for selecting scales is their factoral com-

position--that is, scales to represent each factor, these being maximally

loaded on that factor and minimally loaded on the other two.

In addition to scales which have been proven to load heavily on one

factor and minimally on the other two, and which have also proven perti-

nent in previous jury studies (Simon, 1967), four additional scales were

included (emotional-unemotional, introverted-extroverted, free-controlled,

and impulsive-cautious) because they were presumed to be relevant to this

particular research project. Each subject filled out a semantic differ-

ential scale regarding himself and, later, regarding the defendant.

Questions.--Several questions were asked of the subjects concerning

their view of the death penalty, the labels of "criminal" and "insane,"

mental hospitals and prisons, determinism and free will, and the value

of the psychiatric testimony.

The information obtained from each of the instruments was used to

test the relationship of the independent, subject variables, singly and

in combination, to the jurors' decisions regarding a defendant, as well

as to test the underlying premise concerning the value of the psychiatric



The procedure was essentially that of the Chicago Mock Trial tech-

nique. The transcript of a homicide trial in which the plea of insanity

was entered was obtained from the Attorney General's Office in

Tallahassee, Florida. The original trial had been held in Palm Beach

County, Florida, in May of 1968. The transcript was edited, deleting

all repetitious testimony. The following was included: the counsels'

opening remarks, testimony as to the facts of the event, testimony of

two expert psychiatric witnesses, and the judge's instructions to the


As is the situation, with rare exception, whenever the plea of

insanity is entered, the entire case for the defense consisted of the

testimony of the psychiatric witnesses. The statements of the five

witnesses (two for the defense and three, in rebuttal, for the state)

were combined into two--one for the defense and one, in rebuttal, for

the state. This reduced the time involved, eliminated repetition, and

gave equal weight to both viewpoints.

The edited transcript was tape-recorded by students at the University

of Miami Law School. There was no testimony by the defendant himself.

Therefore the investigator informed one half of the subjects that the

defendant was white and informed the other half of the subject that he

was black. In all cases he was presented as a 35 year old male. The

recorded version of the trial was one hundred and thirty-five minutes in

length. A fifteen minute break was allowed at a convenient point approxi-

mately half-way through the procedure during which the subjects were

asked not to discuss the case among themselves.

A set of papers were given to each subject and he was asked to fill

out the first four pages. These consisted of the biographical question-

naire, the attitude questionnaire, the moral conflict stories, and a

semantic differential for the juror to fill out on himself.

When this was done, the subjects heard the recorded trial as far

as the testimony of the psychiatric expert witnesses (i.e. the counsels'

opening remarks, testimony as to the facts of the event, and the judge's

instructions to the jury). Witnesses were recorded in the order in which

they appeared when the actual trial was held. The subjects were then

asked to fill out a semantic differential on the defendant; what verdict

they would give at that point (guilty or not guilty by reason of insanity);

and what disposition they would recommend if they had a choice of: death,

prison, state mental hospital, outpatient psychiatric treatment,

probation, outpatient treatment and probation, or release. They were also

asked to give the reason for their choice.

Finally, the subjects heard the testimony of the psychiatric wit-

nesses and were requested to read a statement of the pertinent points,

dealing with insanity, in the judge's instructions. They were again

asked to fill out a semantic differential on the defendant, what their

verdict would be, and what disposition they would recommend and why.

They were also asked if the psychiatric testimony contributed to their

understanding of the defendant, and if so, how; what new information it

provided to them; and how it changed their view of the defendant, if in

fact, it did.

Criminal trials consist of presentation of the state's case first,

followed by that of the defense. Those in which the plea of insanity

is entered consist of the state attempting to prove liability, followed

by the defense attempting to disprove liability due to the absence of

responsibility. By gathering the data in the above manner, a measure of

the endogenous variables was obtained prior to any confounding by the

trial material itself. Then measures of the jurors' verdict, view of

the defendant, etc., were taken at the point of completion of testimony

regarding liability and again at completion of that regarding responsi-

bility. This provided a means for comparing the jurors' views following

each phase of the trial. Also, the effect of the psychiatric testimony

could thereby be assessed.

The only deviation from the procedure of an actual trial was in the

judge's instructions. They were given the first time (midway in the

trial itself) so that the jurors would be informed as to the law in

rendering their first verdict. That portion relating to the law with

respect to the plea of insanity was repeated because it was felt to be

too complicated to be remembered accurately when the verdict was rendered

a second time.

Briefly, then, a sample of seventy-two individuals drawn from a

circuit court jury pool listened to an edited tape recording of an

actual homicide trial. Prior to hearing the tape, they filled out a

biographical questionnaire, an attitude questionnaire, and a semantic

differential scale concerning themselves. This information, along with

the semantic differential scales which they later filled out concerning

the defendant, provided the independent variables which may be considered

intrinsic attributes of the subjects themselves. Following the first

part of the trial, consisting of testimony concerning the facts of the

case, they rendered a verdict as to the defendant's guilt or innocence.

They then listened to the expert psychiatric testimony and again

rendered a decision as to the defendant's guilt or innocence. These two

decisions, one following the liability phase and the second following the

responsibility phase of the trial, provided the dependent variables.

Statistical procedures were then employed to test the associative

relationship between the independent measures, singly and in combination,

and the two decisions rendered.



In order to examine the underlying assumption regarding the influence

of the psychiatric testimony, the protocols for the seventy-two subjects

were first divided into those who had changed their verdict from the

first decision point, completion of the testimony regarding liability,

to the second decision point, completion of the testimony regarding

responsibility; and those who had not changed it. They were also divided

according to the race of the defendant.

At the first decision point, 42 subjects rendered a verdict of guilty

and 30 voted not guilty. At the second decision point, 26 saw the defen-

dant as guilty and 46 saw him as not guilty. Therefore, fifty-six subjects

(78% of the total sample) did not change their verdict; thirty viewed the

defendant as not guilty by reason of insanity at both decision points and

twenty-six continued to view him as guilty. However, sixteen subjects

(22% of the total sample) changed their verdict; all of them altering their

view from guilty to not guilty by reason of insanity after hearing the

psychiatric testimony. These sixteen subjects comprised thirty-eight

percent of those who initially viewed the defendant as guilty. The race

of the defendant was not a significant factor in any of these decisions.

The psychiatric testimony, therefore, was associated with a shift in

the guilty-not guilty ratio from 4:3 in favor of guilty to 9:5 in favor of

not-guilty. This phenomenon was contrary to that expected from the

underlying assumption regarding the minor role played by the psychiatric

testimony in the decision-making process. Nevertheless, it was decided to

explore the concomitant strength of the other variables. This was accom-

plished by establishing the extent of the relationship between the intrin-

sic subject variables and the two decisions which the jurors made--the

first following the liability phase of the trial and the second following

the responsibility phase. This degree of relationship was examined for

each subject variable individually as well as in combination with each of

the others for both decision one and decision two. The individual and

composite relationships were analyzed separately by using both univariate

and multivariate techniques.

Univariate Analysis

Three criterion groups were employed in the univariate analysis:

those who rendered a guilty verdict at both points, those who rendered a

not guilty verdict at both points, and those who changed their verdict.

These groups were further divided into those who had been told that the

defendant was white and those who had been told that he was black. In

order to ascertain what, if any, association exists between each of the

dichotomous variables and membership in a particular criterion group,

chi-square tests were performed.

The variables which were used in this part of the analysis were:

sex (male vs. female); birth order (only children and firstborn vs. later

born); marital status (married vs. non-married); religion protestantt vs.

non-protestant); recent jury participation (served vs. did not serve); and

ratings on the four questions of degree of emotionality, introversion,

impulsivity and freedom (juror vs. juror's view of the defendant). Two

overall comparisons were made (thirty-six individual chi-square tests)

using each of the nine variables above, with the groups divided according

to the race of the defendant: a) a comparison between those who changed

their verdict from guilty to not guilty by reason of insanity and those

who retained their opinion of guilty on both choices (Comparison I) and

b) a comparison between those who felt that the defendant was guilty on

both choices and those who felt he was not guilty by reason of insanity

on both choices (Comparison II).

As can be seen in Table 1, only two of the tests were significant:

birth order in Comparison I when the defendant was presented as white,

and difference in degree of emotionality (between juror and defendant) in

Comparison II when the defendant was presented as black. In view of the

fact that these two values were the only ones which even approached sig-

nificance, it is felt that this was a chance occurrence and should be

interpreted as such.

Thus, there was no evidence of a significant association between any

of the nine subject (independent) variables used and the verdict which a

juror rendered at either decision point. The continuous variables were

explored next using a multivariate analysis technique.

Multivariate Analysis

In order to assess the predictive strength of each of the continuous

variables as well as to obtain the best estimate of the predictive value

of all of the variables combined, a step-wise discrimination function pro-

cedure was employed. In this technique, the distributions of the criterion

groups are first compared for each variable. This comparison yields uni-

variate "F" values indicating the difference, if any, between distributions.

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Next, using each variable successively, a composite Z-score is obtained

which is the best predictor, based on the relative contribution of all of

the variables combined, of membership in a particular criterion group. In

other words, this technique indicates the separation of the distributions,

or the degree of differentnesss" of individuals who belong to one group as

opposed to those in another group.

Discriminant Function Analyses

Three separate discriminant function analyses (Fisher, 1936) were

performed. One dealt with the decision at the point of liability; one

dealt with the decision at the point of responsibility; and the last

dealt with those subjects who had changed their verdict relative to those

who had not. The variables used in this part of the analysis were: age;

education (last grade completed); marital status (using all categories);

occupation (as rated in Reiss, 1961); level of moral judgment on situa-

tional stories one and two; score on the law scale; opinions regarding

capital punishment, prisons vs. state mental hospitals, determinism vs.

free will, and the labels of criminal vs. insane; the evaluative, activity

and potency factors of the jurors' semantic differential on himself; and

the difference between the juror's own semantic differential and his two

regarding the defendant. Of these sixteen variables, only those ten which

contributed most toward identifying criterion group membership were

employed in each subproblem. The means and standard deviations on each of

the variables for the groups in the three subproblems can be found in the

tables in Appendix B.

Discriminant Function Analysis I (Liability Phase)

The first subproblem used the criterion groups of those whose verdict

was guilty (N=42) versus those whose verdict was not guilty by reason of

insanity (N=30) at the first decision point, liability. None of the uni-

variate "F" values were statistically significant at the .05 alpha level,

nor were any of the values in the F-matrixes, indicating that there was

no discernible difference between the two criterion groups on any of the

variables. Using all of the variables combined, the obtained Z-score

correctly predicted criterion group membership for forty-one of the

seventy-two cases, as shown in Table 2.

Table 2.--Cases Classified Into Groups


Criterion Groups Guilty Not Guilty

Guilty 24 18

Not Guilty 15 17

Discriminant Function Analysis II (Responsibility Phase)

The second subproblem used the criterion groups of those whose

verdict was guilty (N=26) versus those whose verdict was not guilty be

reason of insanity (N=46) at the second decision point, responsibility.

Again, neither the univariate "F" values nor the values in the F-matrixes

were statistically significant at the .05 alpha level. Using all of the

variables in combination, the best prediction of criterion group member-

ship correctly classified forty-nine of the seventy-two cases (Table 3).

Table 3.--Cases Classified Into Groups


Criterion Groups Guilty Not Guilty

Guilty 18 8

Not Guilty 15 31

Discriminant Function Analysis III

The third subproblem used three criterion groups rather than two as

in the previous analyses: those who maintained a verdict of guilty at

both decision points (N=26), those who maintained a verdict of not guilty

by reason of insanity at both decision points (N=30), and those who

changed their verdict (N=6). The univariate "F" values again did not

reach statistical significance at the .05 alpha level.

The criterion group membership of thirty-nine of the seventy-two

cases was correctly predicted by the Z-score obtained from all of the

variables used in combination (Table 4).

Table 4.--Cases Classified Into Groups


Criterion Groups Guilty Not Guilty Change

Guilty 16 6 4

Not Guilty 9 11 10

Change 4 0 12

As was true of the dichotomous variables, there was no evidence of

a significant relationship between any of the continuous subject variables


and the verdict which a juror rendered at either decision point. Nor was

there any association between these intrinsic variables and whether or

not a juror changed his verdict from the liability phase to the responsi-

bility phase of the trial.

Thus, contrary to the presumed importance of the subject variables of

the study, the data indicated that the expert psychiatric testimony had

more of an influence on the decisions of the jurors than did the intrinsic

variables which were assessed. Although only 22 percent of the total

sample changed their verdict after hearing the psychiatric testimony,

there was no evidence of relationship between any of the subject variables

singly or in combination and the jurors' verdicts following the liability

phase or the responsibility phase of the trial.



The statistical procedures reported in the previous Chapter were

presented in two discrete sections: univariate analysis and multivariate

analyses. In the present Chapter the results will be discussed and inte-

grated in terms of their bearing on the questions posed in this research

and will not be treated in a bipartite fashion. The results, in fact,

raise many more questions than they answer.

Contrary to prior expectations, the data indicate that within the

context of this study, the intrinsic subject variables do not influence

jurors' decisions. In fact, of all the factors which were examined, only

the psychiatric testimony had any measurable effect upon their decisions.

If it is assumed that the data validy reflect the "state of nature," then

the implication is that verdicts are rendered either on the basis of

experiential trial variables, e.g. the facts of the case, the psychiatric

testimony, the lawyers' presentations, etc.; or that an interaction

effect exists between the intrinsic subject variables and the experiential

trial factors.

If the first condition is the case, that the trial variables exert

the greatest influence upon jurors' verdicts, then much more knowledge is

needed concerning such factors as the "type and degree" of insanity to

which jurors respond, the level of expert testimony which is most clearly

understood by jurors, the format of legal presentation which is most

persuasive, etc. This would also preclude the need for anything but the

most cursory voir dire in the selection of jurors for a particular trial.

If the second condition is the case, that an interaction exists, then

greater knowledge is needed concerning both these trial factors and the

intrinsic subject variables, as well as the ways in which these latter

characteristics influence or mitigate against the effects of the experi-

ential trial conditions. In the event of this situation an extensive

voir dire would be needed. In addition, it may be possible to establish

only the most general principles concerning this interaction with the

more specific relationships differeing for each trial.

However, if it is assumed that the data do not validly reflect the

"state of nature," and that intrinsic juror variables do exert an impor-

tant influence on verdicts, then one must examine the present study for

areas which may have helped to obscure that influence. 'Four such areas

are the psychiatric testimony, the sample, and the procedure of the

Chicago Mock Trial technique.

Although the psychiatric testimony was associated with a shift in

the guilty-not guilty ratio from 4:3 in favor of guilty to 9:5 in favor

of not guilty, one must question the underlying factors of this shift

since only 22% of the sample changed their verdict and they all changed

from guilty to not guilty. The psychiatric testimony was the only part

of the trial in which the statements of two or more witnesses were com-

bined. This was done for the reasons stated in the Method Chapter--it

reduced the time involved, eliminated repetition, and assumedlyy) gave

equal weight to both viewpoints. However, in the original trial, in

which there were two expert psychiatric witnesses for the defense and

three for the state, the defendant was found guilty of homicide.

There are at least two possible explanations for this situation. One

is that although the researcher thought that both viewpoints were equally

represented, the jurors perceived the testimony differently. Those who

studied the Harrisburg Five Trial found an analagous situation--". ..

the lawyers for both sides were sure that the jurors were reacting to a

witness or a cross-examination as the lawyers did. The jurors, however,

often had very different reactions." (Schulman et al., 1973, p. 77).

A second explanation is the "superstition held by many criminal trial

lawyers; that is, there is a direct correlation between a successful

verdict and the number of expert witnesses one presents. In any event,

the psychiatric testimony did exert the strongest influence of any vari-

able examined. There is, of course, the possibility that this degree of

influence was idiosyncratic to this particular trial--a question which

can only be answered by further research.

Although the variables and the instruments were suggested by previous

experimental studies--primarily the work of Simon (1967, 1968), Kohlberg

(1969), and Thayer (1970)--they had not been used in combination nor,

with the exception of Simon's work on jury deliberations, with a jury

pool sample. There are, therefore, several similarities and differences

between the results of this investigation and prior ones. Simon (1967)

found that college education and high status occupation predisposed a

juror to conviction when insanity was the defense. As can be seen in

Appendix B, the present sample had an average education of twelve years

and an occupational status rating averaging 40 (from a positively skewed

population index with a mean of 30 and a range of 0-99). Although those

who voted for conviction and those who voted for acquittal were very

similar in these characteristics, the final vote was 9:5 in favor of

acquittal, in accord with Simon's outcome.

In her 1968 study, using the semantic differential, Simon found

that the perception of the defendant held by jurors who voted for convic-

tion changed after the jury-room deliberations--they decreased their

image of his potency and increased their negative evaluation of him.

Although that defendant was being tried for incest and the second

measurements were taken after jury deliberations, it is interesting to

note that in the present study, the overwhelming majority of subjects

viewed the defendant as closer to their own positive self image

(decreased semantic space) following the psychiatric testimony. Since

370 of Simon's 535 subjects voted for conviction, there was obviously

less compassion evidenced. However, there is no way of knowing if this

was because of the defendant, his assumed state of mind, his crime, or

perhpas even something else.

Two of the measures are quite divergent from previous studies--the

moral judgment scores on the situational stories and the scores on the

Law Scale. Kohlberg (1969) is in agreement with Durkeim's opinion that

level four is the usual adult view of morality. However, means for the

present sample were between 2.27 and 3.06. Furthermore, it might be

assumed that scores on the Law Scale would be inversely related to moral

judgment scores (high scores on the Law Scale presumably indicate a

strong positive view of laws, judges, courts, policemen, etc.). Thayer

(1970) found that his college student subjects who could return a death

verdict scored significantly higher than those who could not. However,

their mean was only 51.2 as opposed to the present sample who averaged

76.94 to 84.27. This suggests that although there may have been some

fault with the situational stories themselves, this sample responded to

several questionnaire items in a manner that was biased toward strict

enforcement of laws. In their behavior, though, they voted 9:5 in favor

of acquittal. Perhaps this was the influence of the psychiatric testi-

mony; perhaps the instruments are not appropriate for predicting actual,

on-the-spot behavior; perhaps this reflects a conflict at a point of

cultural transition or even some differences as a result of age discrep-

ancies; or perhaps this is unique to this particular sample. In any

case, these particular instruments did not, at least for this sample,

predict differences in actual behavior.

Undoubtedly the sample used contributed somewhat to a) the differences

between the results of this study and those cited from the literature, and

b) the different verdict rendered in this version of the trial from that

of the original one. As mentioned previously, all of the studies in the

literature were conducted with college students except Crosson's (1970)

which investigated authoritarianism, etc. in capital and non-capital

trial jurors and those of the Chicago Jury Project which concentrated on

social-psychological variables and small group techniques. The degree to

which one can generalize from college students to jury pools has never

been assessed. While the sample in this study was drawn from the jury

pool itself, and was presumably motivated to participate, one extremely

important aspect of jury selection had to be ommitted--the voir dire.

Since this procedure provides both lawyers with the opportunity to pick

jurors favorably disposed to their case, it is possible that the original

jury was biased in favor of the state or was particularly on guard

against any abuse of the insanity defense. As Mossman (1973) points out,

"Composition of the jury will play as vital a role in a trial as the

choice of defense attorney, prosecutor, or trial judge." (p. 78).

However, the sample was not treated as a whole but was broken down and

analyzed according to the decision and according to whether or not they

changed their opinion and still no differences were evident.

The fourth major question which can be raised concerning the study

of these particular issues is the applicability of the Chicago Mock

Trial technique. This procedure was an excellent vehicle for studying

the behavior of the jury from a small group process point of view since

the conditions of the trial itself were not critical to what was being

measured in the jury room. However, for the issues under consideration

in the present study, this may not be the case. This procedure does pre-

clude the juror seeing the defendant, the expert witnesses, the attorneys,

etc. and the interplay among these individuals; and these stimuli may well

play a strong role in shaping his behavior. There was, of course, no

opportunity for group interaction in the present design as there was in

the original Chicago Mock Trial studies. The question of juror interaction

was considered beyond the scope of this project since the research question

was concerned with the variables, if any, which are intrinsic to the juror


What, then, is the true "state of nature?" This researcher feels

that on the basis of reading and of experience, intuitively and logically,

most probably an interaction does exist between the intrinsic juror

variables and the experiential trial variables. However, given a partic-

ular set of trial variables, then it seems as if juror variables play an

extremely important role--otherwise, how can we explain such things as

hung juries?

One alternative would be to use the Chicago Mock Trial technique

with video tapes instead of merely audio tapes. This is, of course, a

closer simulation to an actual trial and the presence of visual cues

might make some significant difference. The advantage of having a con-

stant stimulus that could be presented to several groups of subjects

would be retained. Another alternative would be to use "live" juries.

If initial measurements could be taken on the total jury pool, those who

were selected for a particular jury could then be compared to those who

had not. In-depth interviews and measurements could also be obtained

after the trial. This procedure would not interfere with the trial pro-

cess itself but would reap the benefits of assessing pertinent factors

during the "real thing." Both of these alternatives have their place in

the research of this area. Schulman et al. (1973) feels that ". we

cannot separate the effects of the trial itself from effects due to the

jurors' personal characteristics." (p. 81). Perhaps we can't, but we

can hold the trial effects constant by simulated situations. Perhaps

that is one possible starting place before going on to live juries.

The article by Schulman et al. (1973), which was published during the

time the present study was being carried out, is an excellent account of

the work done by social scientists in an effort to assist the defense

counsels during the voir dire in the trial of the Harrisburg Five. They

used extensive surveys (via telephone and in person) of attitudes, demo-

graphic information, etc. before the trial to help in choosing the jurors

and then followed this up with in-depth interviews of seven of the jury

after the trial. One of the problems they found was in knowing how much

weight to give the survey data and how much to give their impressions

from the questioning of the jury panel. They found that the main use of

the data was to sort out types of people and not to select individuals.

it is their feeling that "There are no equations precise enough to pre-

dict the behavior of individuals from group characteristics, especially

in a situation as ambiguous as the unfolding of a trial." (p. 83).

However, using what they termed a complex combination of subjective

impression, hearsay, objective information, and survey data, the defense

attorneys were able to select a jury that voted ten to two in favor of

acquittal in a trial which was quite affect arousing and which was being

held in an area of the country known to be conservative, a characteristic

which was felt to be unfavorable for the defendants. The authors did

conclude that ". the psychological and interpersonal processes

involved in reaching a verdict were much more complex than anything we

could have predicted." (p. 83).

Judging from the article, using the background and attitude data

exclusively would probably have resulted in a different verdict. On the

other hand, it was that data which provided the defense attorneys with

the key questions to be asked during the voir dire. Whether the infor-

mation gleaned from those questions can be formalized and used in a pre-

liminary survey-type manner also, or whether the subjective cues obtained

during the verbal interchange of the voir dire are indispensable (as

perhaps they were in the present research), is an issue to be studied.

Perhaps those questions submitted to the procedures and statistical

analysis used in this research would result in a significant contribution

to the understanding of differences between jurors who see the defendant

as guilty and those who view him as not guilty. Two other variables which

need examination, one suggested by this research and one by the Harrisburg

study, are those of "open-mindedness," or willingness to change one's

mind, on the part of jurors and, secondly, the juror's conception of just

what his role is in rendering a decision.

The present study, then, has raised more questions than it has

answered. But then this, too, is one of the functions of research,

especially in such a virgin field as the law in general and jury selec-

tion and behavior in particular. Although none of the variables was

found to be significantly related to juror decision-making, the work of

Crossen (1970), the Chicago Jury Project, and now Schulman and his

associates (1973), as well as the apparent opinion of trial lawyers,

leads one to believe that such relationships do in fact exist, although

perhaps as part of an interaction. It is only for those whose interest

is piqued by the excitement of research to ferret them out.

The jury is by definition an exciting experiment in the
conduct of serious human affairs, and it is not surprising
that, virtually from its inception, it has been the subject
of deep controversy. (Kalven and Zeisel, The American Jury).



Initial Instructions

What we will be doing today is part of a research project in which

various aspects of the trial process are being examined. I will be

asking you to listen to a tape-recording of an actual trial held a few

years ago in Chicago, Illinois, of a thirty-five year old white (black)

male. At various points, I will also be asking you to answer some

questions on the forms which I will pass out shortly. When you receive

the form, please fill out the first five pages--please stope at the end

of page five without turning to page six.

After Subjects have filled out first five pages, immediately before
beginning the recording

I would ask that you be as attentive as if the trial were occurring

in front of you.

At the end of the State's Case

At this point, I am going to interrupt in order to play for you the

judge's instructions which are given at the end of a trial, just prior

to the jury retiring to consider their decision.

Following the Judge's recorded instructions to the Jury

Please fill out pages six and seven. Stop at the end of page seven

without turning to page eight. Page six asks you to rate the defendant

by the same technique as you rated yourself on page two.


At the end of the Defense's Case

Please fill out page eight which asks you to rate the defendant

again as you did on page six--by the same technique. Then read pages

nine to eleven which repeat that part of the judge's instructions that

you heard before dealing with insanity. And, finally, please anser the

questions on page twelve.

Biographical Questionnaire


Sex Highest grade completed

Race Occupation

Age Annual Income

Number of brothers and sisters Marital Status

Number who are older than you Religion

Active Inactive

Have you been questioned during the impaneling of any of the juries
this week?

If you were, why were you excused?

Attitude Questionnaire

On the following page, you will be asked to rate yourself using

several sets of words. There is, of course, no right or wrong answer.

All we are interested in is your own opinion. Between each set of words,

there will be seven spaces. You are to mark one of these spaces to show

how you would rate yourself on that particular set of words. Look at the

example below:


Russia kind : : : : : X : cruel

Here Russia is the thing to be rated. The set of words describing

Russia are "kind" and "cruel." You are to decide whether you would rate

Russia as kind or cruel and then place an "X" in one of the spaces to show

how strongly you feel about your rating. If you place an "X" in the

space farthest to the right, it would mean that you think Russia is very

cruel. If you think Russia is very kind, you would use the space at the

extreme left hand side. If you think Russia is neither kind nor cruel,

you would place the "X" in the middle.

The person filling out the above rating placed his "X" in the

position shown because he thinks Russia is cruel, but not extremely so.

Go ahead no and check the words according to how you feel or think

about them. Remember! Work quickly! Give the first impression that

comest to your mind. Do not spend much time on any one rating.


happy _:: : : : : sad

large : : : : : : small

emotional : : : : : : unemotional

clean : : : : : : dirty

fast : : : : : : slow

introverted : : : : : : extroverted

honest : : : : : : dishonest

strong : : : : : : weak

valuable : : : : : : worthless

active : ;: : : : :___passive

good : : : : : bad

impulsive : : : : : : cautious

healthy_ : : : : : : sick

free : : : : : : controlled

Situational Stories

Joe's supervisor promised him an extra week's vacation if he would

work overtime several days during the next month to help with some impor-

tant "rush" jobs. Joe did the extra work but when the time came for his

vacation, his supervisor changed his mind and said that Joe couldn't have

the extra week. Joe took his vacation and when it was over, he called

his supervisor and told him that he was sick. He knew that the company

gave its employees paid sick leave. However, he was not sick at all but

was simply taking an extra week of vacation. One of the men Joe worked

with knew what he was doing and that he had lied about being sick. Do

you think that man should tell the supervisor? Please give the

reason for your answer.

In Europe, a woman was near death from cancer. One drug might save

her, a form of radium that a druggist in the same town had recently dis-

covered. The druggist was charging $500.00, ten times what the drug cost

him to make. TCe sick woman's husband, Heinz, went to everyone he knew

to borrow the money, but he could only get together about half of what it

cost. He told the druggist that his wife was dying and asked him to sell

it cheaper or let him pay later. But the druggist said, "No." The hus-

band got desperate and broke into the man's store to steal the drug for

his wife. Should the husband have done that? Please give the

reason for your answer.

The Semantic Differential

own personal experience determine your answer. Do not spend much time
on any item. If in doubt, underline the phrase which seems most nearly
to express your present feeling about the statement. WORK RAPIDLY. Be
sure to answer every item.

1. The law protects property rights at the expense of human rights.
Strongly Agree Agree Undecided Disagree Strongly Disagree

2. A person should obey only those laws that seem reasonable.
Strongly Agree Agree Undecided Disagree Strongly Disagree

3. It is all right to evade the law if you do not actually violate it.
Strongly Agree Agree Undecided Disagree Strongly Disagree

4. The sentences of judges in court are determined by their prejudices.
Strongly Agree Agree Undecided Disagree Strongly Disagree

5. On the whole, judges are honest.
Strongly Agree Agree Undecided Disagree Strongly Disagree

6. The Supreme Court was right in abolishing capital punishment.
Strongly Agree Agree Undecided Disagree Strongly Disagree

7. Juries seldom understand a case well enough to make a really just
Strongly Agree Agree Undecided Disagree Strongly Disagree

8. On the whole, policement are honest.
Strongly Agree Agree Undecided Disagree Strongly Disagree

9. A man should obey the laws no matter how much they interfere with
his personal ambitions.
Strongly Agree Agree Undecided Disagree Strongly Disagree

10. Court decisions are almost always just.
Strongly Agree Agree Undecided Disagree Strongly Disagree

11. In the courts a poor man will receive as fair treatment as a
Strongly Agree Agree Undecided Disagree Strongly Disagree

12. Prisons are worse than state mental hospitals.
Strongly Agree Agree Undecided Disagree Strongly Disagree

13. Personal circumstances should never be considered as an excuse for
Strongly Agree Agree Undecided Disagree Strongly Disagree

14. A man should tell the truth in court, regardless of consequences.
Strongly Agree Agree Undecided Disagree Strongly Disagree

15. A person who reports minor law violations is only a trouble-maker.
Strongly Agree Agree Undecided Disagree Strongly Disagree

16. A person is justified in giving false testimony to protect a friend
on trial.
Strongly Agree Agree Undecided Disagree Strongly Disagree

17. A hungry man has a right to steal.
Strongly Agree Agree Undecided Disagree Strongly Disagree

18. Criminals are simply the products of their environments.
Strongly Agree Agree Undecided Disagree Strongly Disagree

19. All laws should be strictly obeyed because they are laws.
Strongly Agree Agree Undecided Disagree Strongly Disagree

20. Laws are so often made for the benefit of small selfish groups that
a man cannot respect the law.
Strongly Agree Agree Undecided Disagree Strongly Disagree

21. Almost anything can be fixed up in the courts if you have enough
Strongly Agree Agree Undecided Disagree Strongly Disagree

22. It is difficult to break the law and keep one's self-respect.
Strongly Agree Agree Undecided Disagree Strongly Disagree

23. On the whole, lawyers are honest.
Strongly Agree Agree Undecided Disagree Strongly Disagree

24. It iw worse to be labeled "criminal" than to be labeled "insane."
Strongly Agree Agree Undecided Disagree Strongly Disagree

25. Violators of the law are nearly always detected and punished.
Strongly Agree Agree Undecided Disagree Strongly Disagree

26. It is all right for a person to break the law if he doesn't get
Strongly Agree Agree Undecided Disagree Strongly Disagree

Attitude Questionnaire


happy : : : : : sad

large : : : : : : small

emotional_ : : : : : : unemotional

clean : : : : : : dirty

fast : : : : : : slow

introverted : : : : : : extroverted

honest : : : : : dishonest

strong : : : : weak

valuable : : : : worthless

active : : : : : : massive

good : : : bad

impulsive __:: : : : : : cautious

healthy : : : : : : sick

free : : : : : : controlled


At this point in the proceedings, what verdict would you return for this



Not guilty by reason of insanity

If you could recommend the disposition of the defendant in this case, which

of the following would you suggest:




State mental hospital

Outpatient psychiatric treatment

Pr, ion

Pro i:ion with outpatient psychiatric treatment


Please give the reason for your decision.

Attitude Questionnaire


happy : : : : : : sad

large_ : : : : : : small

emotional : : : : : : unemotional

clean : : : : : : dirty

fast : : : : : : slow

introverted : : : : : : extroverted

honest : : : : : : dishonest

strong : : : : : : weak

valuable : : : : : : worthless

active : : : : : : massive

good : : : : : : bad

impulsive : : : : : : cautious

healthy : : : : : : sick

free : : : : : : controlled

Instructions to Jury

Gentlemen, every man is presumed to be sane until the contrary is

proven, and when insanity is set up by the defense, the burden of proof

lies upon him to prove it.

Crimes can only be committed by human beings who are in a condition

to be responsible for their acts. Sanity being the normal and usual con-

dition of mankind, the law presumes that every individual is in that

state; hence, the State may rest upon the presumption without other

proof. Whoever denies this, or interposes a defense based upon its

untruth, must prove it.

If insanity of a permanent type or continuing nature, or charac-

terized by a habitual and confirmed disorder of the mind, and not tempo-

rary or occasional, is shown to have existed prior to the commission of

the act, it would be presumed to continue up to the commission of the

act, unless the presumption can be overcome by competent evidence. If,

however, you find that insanity was not of this type but of a temporary

or occasional nature only, prior to the commission of the act, then this

presumption of the continuance of such insanity does not exist. It is

not sufficient as a defense to show that the defendant was insane before

or after, or before and after the time of the alleged act, although such

evidence is admitted to enable you to better decide on the probable con-

dition of the mind at the time of the act. If the defendant had the

capacity to appreciate the character and to comprehend the probable or

possible consequences of the act at the time of the alleged offense, the

defendant was sane under the law, and is responsible and accountable to

the law.

The true test of criminal responsibility, when the defense of

insanity is interposed, is whether the accused had sufficient use of

his reason to understand:

FIRST: The nature and consequences of the act with which he is

charged; and

SECOND: to understand that it was wrong for him to commit it.

If such were the facts, he was criminally responsible for it,

whatever peculiarity may be shown about him in other respects. Whereas,

if his reason was so defective, in consequence of mental disorder that he

could not understand what he was doing, or that what he was doing was

wrong, he should be treated as an irresponsible person and acquitted.

Or, if you find from the evidence that the defendant has committed

the acts alleged at the time and place alleged and are satisfied of

those facts beyond and to the exclusion of every reasonable doubt, but

you have a reasonable doubt in your mind from the evidence in this case

as to whether or not the defendant was sane or insane at the time of the

commission of the offense, then you may find the defendant not guilty by

reason of insanity.

If you should find the defendant not guilty by reason of insanity,

this does not mean that the defendant will be fully discharged and left

to go at large. This is a matter to be considered and determined by the

Court. In this respect, the law by Illinois Statutes provides as follows:

"When a person tried for an offense shall be acquitted by a jury for the

cause of insanity, the jury, in giving their verdict of not guilty, shall

state that it was given for such cause, and thereupon, if the discharge

or going-at-large of such insane person shall be considered by the Court

manifestedly dangerous to the peace and safety of the people, the Court

shall order him to be committed to jail or otherwise to be cared for as

an insane person, or may give him into the care of his friends, on their

giving satisfactory security for the proper care and protection of such

person; otherwise he shall be discharged."

You are not to be concerned with the disposition of this defendant

after your verdict is rendered, in the event you find him not guilty by

reason of insanity.

With this instruction, gentlemen, you may retire and consider your



At this point in the proceedings, what verdict would you return for this



Not guilty by reason of insanity

If you could recommend the disposition of the defendant in this case,

which of the following would you suggest:



State mental hospital

___Outpatient psychiatric treatment


Probation with outpatient psychiatric treatment


Please give the reason for your decision.

Did the psychiatric testimony contribute to your understanding of the

defendant? If so, in what way?

What new information about the defendant did the psychiatric testimony give


Did the psychiatric testimony change your view of the defendant?

If so, in what way?


Table Bl.--Means and Standard Deviations for the Two Groups Whose
Verdicts were Guilty and Not Guilty at the Liability Phase (Subproblem I).




Marital Status




Law Scale


Prison vs.
State Hospital

Determinism vs.
Free Will

Criminal vs.


Activity Factor

Potency Factor

Differences on
Semantic Differ-

Guilty (N=42)

53.00 15.63

12.55 2.13

1.81 0.40

42.62 22.67

2.26 0.88










Not Guilty (N=30)

53.57 14.89

12.57 2.82

1.91 0.30

38.30 23.56

2.73 1.46











Table B2.--Means and Standard Deviations for the Two Groups Whose
Verdicts were Guilty and Not Guilty at the Responsibility Phase
(Subproblem II).




Marital Status


Judgment (1)


Law Scale


Prison vs.
State Hospital

Determinism vs.
Free Will

Criminal vs.


Activity Factor

Potency Factor

on Semantic

on Semantic

Guilty (N=26)

52.27 15.24

12.42 1.98

1.81 0.40

41.81 21.79

2.27 0.92























Not Guilty (N=46)

53.78 15.30

12.63 2.66

1.87 0.34

40.26 23.85

2.56 1.29























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Elizabeth Ann McMahon was born in Washington, D.C. on May 10, 1937.

She was reared in Kensington, Maryland, and attended local schools,

graduating from Holy Cross Academy, Washington, D.C. in June, 1955.

The author received her B.A. in Psychology from the University of

Florida in June, 1960. She worked for a year as a Counselor at the

Florida School for Girls in Ocala, Florida. She entered the graduate

program at Purdue University, Lafayette, Indiana and received an M.S.

in Psychology in June, 1964. For the next two years, she managed a con-

tracting firm in Maryland, followed by a position as Public Health

Analyst with the United States Public Health Service for a period of

one year.

Returning to school in 1969, she entered the doctoral program at the

University of Florida. Upon completion of a one year internship at

Henderson Clinic in Fort Lauderdale, Florida the author is currently

employed there as a staff psychologist and coordinator of the Emergency


I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it
conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully
adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of
Doctor of Philosophy.

Paul Satz, Chairman
Professor of Psychology

I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it
conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully
adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of
Doctor of Philosophy.

Louis D. Cohen
Professor and Chairman of Clinical

I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it
conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully
adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of
Doctor of Philosophy.

-JAcq lin R. Goldman
Associate Professor of Clinical

I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it
conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully
adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of
Doctor of Philosophy.

Wilse B. Webb
Graduate Research Professor of


I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it
conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully
adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of
Doctor of Philosophy.

Betty Siegel

This dissertation was submitted to the Department of Psychology in
the College of Arts and Sciences and to the Graduate Council, and was
accepted as partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of
Doctor of Philosophy.

March, 1974

Dean, Graduate School

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