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Group and individual sanctioning behavior as a function of attitude similarity-dissimilarity with the recipient of the punishment
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Thesis--University of Florida.
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Bibliography: leaves 82-88.
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by Lee Anderson Jackson
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GROUP AND INDIVIDUAL SANCTIONING BEHAVIOR AS A
FUNCTION OF ATTITUDE SI-TTLARITY-DISSZ1hLARITY WITH
THE RECIPIENT OF THE PUjISH-.EIIT



By


LEE A!DERSCU JACKSON, JR.


A 1iSSERTATIO PPESE!!TED TO THE GRADUATE
COUNCIL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL
FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY




UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
1972















ACKNOWLEDGMENTS


I wish to gratefully acknowledge the assistance in

the preparation of this dissertation provided by the

Chairman of my Supervisory Committee, Dr. G. F. Mascaro

and the other members of the Committee,Dr. M. E. Shaw,

Dr. J. C. Dixon, Dr. R. K. McGee, and Dr. J. L. Lister.

Appreciation is extended to T. R. Trembl, Jr. and G. G.

Wilkins for the aid which they gave in carrying out the

present investigation.















TArELE OF COIUTEIiTS


ACKITOYWLEDGMENTS .... ....... ..............


Page

ii


LIST OF TABLES .


LIST OF FIGURES . . . . . . . .

ABSTRACT . . . . . . . . . .

I. INTRODUCTION . . . . . . .

II. SIMILARITY AND SAIICTIOII1;G . . . .

Attitude Similarity and Attraction .

Early Studies on Similarity-
Attraction . . . . . .

Field Studies . . . . . .

Laboratory Experiments . . .

Generalizability of Laboratory
Results . . . . . . .

Different subject samples . .

Measures of attitudes employed .

Methods of presentation of the
strangersT attitudes . . .

Measures of attraction . . .

Attitude Similarity and Evaluative
Responses . . .. . . . ..

Theoretical models s of Attitude
Similarity and Evaluative
Responses . . . . . . .
Behavioral Tendencies and Attitude
Similarity . . . ... . ..

iii


vii

* viii
1

S 5

S 5


0 5

. 6

8


9

S 9

* 10


* 10

* 12


* 14



* 14


. 0 0 *


@









Page

23


Attitude Similarity and Sanctioning .


III. GROUP POLARIZATION EFFECTS . .

Extremity Shifts . . . .

Polarization and Interpersonal
Evaluative Response . . .

IV. HYPOTHESES . . . . . .

V. METHOD . . . . . . .

Subjects . . . . . .

Procedure . . . . . .

Materials . . . . . .

Stimulus tape recordings .

Response measures . . .

Experimental Design . . .

Similarity and sanctioning .


Group versus individual decisions

VI. RESULTS . . . . . . . .

Individual Decisions on Similarity
and Sanctions . . .. . ..

Group Polarization Effects . .

VII. DISCUSSION . . . . . . ..

Similarity and Sanctioning . .

Group Polarization Effects . .

Appendix A: Pilot Study Questionnaire . .

Appendix B: Frequency of Response to Pilot
Questionnaire . . . . .

Appendix C: Script for the Experimental
Interviews . . . . ..


S. . 29

* . . 29


.. . 36
. . 38

. . . 39

. 39

. . 39


. . . 42
. . 42

S. .. . 45

. . * 46

. 46


* 47

. 49


* *









Page
Appendix D: Response Questionnaire . . . . 77

Appendix E: Instructions for Group
Discussion . . . . . . 79

Appendix F: Instructions for Second
Individual Decisions of
Control Group Members . . . . 81
REFERENCES . . . . . . . . . 82

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH . . . . . . . . 89















LIST OF TABLES


Page


Table 1:

Table 2:


Table 3:



Table 4:



Table 5:



Table 6:


Initial Decisions on Sanctioning .

Initial Decisions on Certainty
of Guilt . . . . . .

Experimental Group: Group Versus
Individual Sanctioning Recommenda-
tions . . . . . . .

Control Group: Group Versus
Individual Sanctioning Recommenda-
tions . . . . . . .

Experimental Group: Group Versus
Individual Certainty of Guilt
Scores . . . . .. . ..

Control Group: Group Versus
Individual Certainty of Guilt
Scores . . . . . .. ..


. . 50


* . 51



54



* . 55



. . 56



. 57














LIST OF FIGURES


Page

Figure 1: Predicted Polarization Effects of
Group Discussion . . . . . . 65

Figure 2: Combined Polarization and Leniency
Effects . . . . . . . . 66


vii















Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate Council
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirenernts for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy


GROUP A!ID INDIVIDUAL SANCTIONING BEHAVIOR AS A
FUI]CTION OF ATTITUDE SIILARITY-DISSLIILARITY WITH
THE RECIPIENT OF THE PUtJISFHEJIT


By

Lee Anderson Jackson, Jr.

August, 1972


Chairman: G. F. Mascaro
Major Department: Psychology


The purpose of the present investigation was to

assess the effects of attitude similarity-dissimilarity

between a bogus defendant and subjects acting as judges

or jurors on the administration of sanctions in both

individual and group decision making situations. It was

hypothesized that when the subjects and a defendant

accused of a crime were similar in attitudes,lighter

negative sanctions would be recommended and less cer-

tainty of the defendant's guilt would be exhibited than

when they were dissimilar in attitude. Furthermore, it

was hypothesized that when groups reached a consensus on

their sanctioning decisions an extremity shift in sanc-

tions would occur. Specifically, groups holding similar


viii









opinions to those of the defendant were predicted to

recommend lighter negative sanctions and show less cer-

tainty concerning the defendant's guilt than the average

of the group members' prediscussion positions, and groups

which held dissimilar opinions to those of the defendant

were predicted to recommend heavier negative sanctions

and to display more certainty of the defendant's guilt

than the average of the group members' prediscussion

positions.

The subjects were presented a tape recorded inter-

view with an individual accused of a crime. The content

of the interview was designed to reflect attitudes held

by the interviewee which previous testing revealed were

in agreement or disagreement with those of the members of

the population from which the subject sample was drawn.

After the subjects listened to the tape recording they

were asked to recommend the sanctions which should be

applied to the defendant and to state their certainty of

the defendant's guilt. The subjects in a given experi-

mental session were divided into an experimental group

which was asked to come to a consensus about its recom-

mendation of sanctions and certainty of guilt and a con-

trol (statisticized) "group" in which each subject indi-

vidually performed an irrelevant task and then answered

the certainty and sanctioning questions for a second time.

The results confirmed the similarity-sanctioning

hypothesis. Lighter sanctions were given to the similar

ix









than to the dissimilar defendants. However, no differ-

ences between the similar and dissimilar defendant con-

ditions were found on the certainty of guilt measure.

In the two-group decision making conditions (i.e.,

groups judging a similar and judging a dissimilar defend-

ant) the group sanctions were significantly lower than

the sanctions given by the group members before group

discussion. Certainty of guilt, on the other hand, was

greater for the group consensus than for the initial

decision of the group members for both the similar and

dissimilar defendant conditions. However, contrary to the

group polarization predictions, there were no interactions

observed between defendant similarity-dissimilarity and

group versus individual decisions on sanctions or cer-

tainty of guilt.















I. INTRODUCTION


One of the factors necessary to the functioning of

an organization is the adherence of its members to a

certain minimal set of norms. In order to maintain this

necessary level of conformity among their constituents,

various societies have developed a complex system whereby

certain individuals and groups are authorized to adminis-

ter sanctions to those persons who violate given rules.

A recurrent question in assessing such sanctioning systems

is whether or not they are "fair," i.e., whether the pun-

ishments which are meted out are based on the occurrence

of proscribed behavior or are the result of factors extra-

neous to the cases at hand.

Two problems may arise in the examination of bias in

such sanctioning apparatus. Firstly, there may be some

disagreement as to which variables are germane to the con-

sideration of appropriate punishment. Secondly, questions

may be raised as to whether factors which are generally

considered to bring about unfairness in administering

punishment exist within a given sanctioning system. The

concern of the present study is with two problems of the

second type.

In democratic organizations it has traditionally been

1






2

considered inappropriate for the political attitudes of

an accused to be taken into account in assigning sanc-

tions. In the case where a group renders decisions, if

the biases of group members were accentuated in the pro-

cess of reaching consensus, this would be another factor

introducing "unfairness" into the system. For the present

investigation, the effect on sanctioning behavior of atti-

tude similarity-dissimilarity between a defendant and

simulated jurors and the operation of any shifts in group

as compared to individual sanctioning will be of interest.

There is a good deal of research evidence demonstra-

ting that when a stranger exhibits similar attitudes to a

subject, he is positively evaluated by the subject and when

dissimilar attitudes are shown by the stranger, the sub-

ject provides a negative evaluation (Byrne, 1971). If one

assumes that there is an evaluative element in sanctioning

behavior, it could be hypothesized that the presentation

by a defendant of attitudes which are similar to those of

the judge or jury will result in lighter punishment than

would be the case if dissimilar attitudes were expressed.

Furthermore, the results of recent experiments have

suggested that when groups are asked to reach a consensus

concerning a question on which there is a dominant atti-

tude, the consensus represents a more extreme position

than that taken by the individual members (e.g., Moscovici

and Zavalloni, 1969; Myers-and Bishop, 1971). It might be

hypothesized that where groups hold homogeneous negative









or positive attitudes concerning an individual defendant,

their sanctioning tendencies towards the defendant would

be accentuated when a group consensus is employed as a

means of determining punishment.

Research evidence concerning factors affecting sanc-

tioning behavior should provide interesting implications

for the assessment of the present judicial system in the

United States. Arguments could be advanced that defendants

who held political beliefs which are at odds with the

judge or jury could not receive a fair trial. Although

the present study is directed to general psychological

questions about sanctioning behavior, the results obtained

will present data particularly relevant to the operation

of judicial decision making systems. Thus, the research

approach used in this study is aimed at expanding our

knowledge about a psychological phenomenon in a situational

context that is relevant to current social issues.

Meehl (1971) notes that judges and legislators have

relied on "fireside inductions" or common sense logic

about human behavior in making determinations about the

proper structure of the legal system. When the behavioral

sciences conflict with or provide no information concerning

"fireside inductions," there is a need for systematic sci-

entific examination of the law. Meehl (1971) points out,

however, that psychology as well as common observations

can be in error. He particularly stresses a tendency for

social scientists to overgeneralize results from









investigations which are not valid ar.alogues of the legal

setting. Thle Meehl (1971) article was not a condemnation

of laboratory studies, but an attempt to provide a caveat

in the use of results, especially those generated by

studies employing infrah-z.an subjects. The present study

of sanctioning behavior, while directed to general theo-

retical questions, should provide a partial answer to

Meehl's (1971) call for empirical investigation of the

juridical decision making process.

In the following pages, the bases for the hypotheses

of the present study concerning attitude similarity and

sanctioning'behavior of individuals and groups will be

discussed, the experimental method will be described, the

results of the study will be presented, and conclusions

about their meaning will be drawn.














II. SEITILARITY AND SAIICTIONING


Attitude Similarity and Attraction

Although similarity-dissimilarity between individuals

along a number of dimensions (e.g., race, personality) has

been shown to influence not only interpersonal attraction

but other evaluative responses (cf., Byrne, 1971), the

present study will be concerned with the effects of

attitude similarity on the evaluative response of sanc-

tioning behavior. The basis for hypotheses about attitude

similarity and sanctioning behavior can be derived from

the evidence contained in the extensive literature on

attitude similarity and interpersonal attraction. The

proposition that the greater the similarity of attitudes

expressed by a stranger, the greater will be the level of

attraction toward the stranger has been demonstrated in

both field studies (Newcomb, 1961; Curry and Emerson,

1970) and laboratory investigations (cf., Byrne, 1971).

Early Studies on Similarity-Attraction

Early work aimed at the question of whether similarity

of attitudes leads to liking tended to be represented by

studies which examined already existing friendship dyads

or marriage pairs and correlated the opinions of the dyad









or pair members to determine if they were similar. For

example, Winslow (1937) correlated attitudes of friends on

a number of topics, such as religion and politics, and

concluded that friendship is related to attitude similarity

especially for long-standing (six to twenty years) inter-

actions. The obvious difficulty with this type of investi-

gation is that since the measures of attitude similarity

and friendship were taken after acquaintance, it is difficult

to draw causal inferences from the results. Recent experi-

mental investigations have controlled more precisely the

variables involved in the similarity-attraction (S-A)

relationship, and have provided better evidence as to the

direction of causality.


Field Studies

The major field study on the attitude similarity-
attraction relationship was conducted by Newcomb and

reported in a series of articles and books (Newcomb, 1956,

1961, 1963). Newcomb (1961) investigated attraction pat-

terns of students whose attitudinal positions on a variety

of topics had been assessed prior to their being brought
together to live in a specially set aside dormitory. The

results showed that at first there was not a strong rela-
tionship between friendship choices and attitude similarity
but the similarity-attraction relationship strengthened as
time passed. The data indicated that the friendship
choices as measured at the conclusion of the study bore a
striking similarity to those which would be predicted









from a knowledge of the attitudes held by the subjects

before their participation in the experiment. Newcomb

(1961) concluded that a certain amount of time was needed

for the subjects to obtain enough information to accu-

rately assess the others' attitudes. As time passes, the

likelihood of any significant new information concerning

the attitudes of the other subjects decreases and friend-

ship choices between those of similar attitudes tend to

become stabilized.

Unlike the earlier correlational studies, Newcomb's

(1961) field experiment allows for the experimental con-

trol of the effects of prior acquaintance among subjects

and also selection factors which alter the probability of

the interaction of given individuals. The fact that the

similarity attraction relationship was demonstrated with

subjects who were brought together by chance, tended to

strengthen the notion that it was attitude similarity

between friends, and not selection factors, which was

responsible for the attraction patterns observed. Infor-

mation could also be obtained on the effects of ecological

variables (i.e., propinquity) on attraction. Furthermore,

the fact that attitudes were measured before the subjects

interacted, allowed for the examination of question of

whether attitude similarity among friends was the result

of congruence among their initial opinions or was brought

about by attitude change during the course of their

acquaintance. As subject attitudes were stable during









the period of the experiment, an explanation of the results

based on any attitude change among friends could be elimi-

nated.

Recently, Curry and Emerson (1970) essentially repli-

cated Newcomb's (1961) study and obtained similar results.

However, the use of nine groups in the Curry and Emerson

(1970) field experiment permitted the investigation of a

variety of parameters (e.g., sex differences) affecting

the experimental situation. Specifically, the frequency

of testing was not found to affect the S-A relationship.

There was an exception to Newcomb's (1961) results for

female subjects who displayed such a high level of agree-

ment on the attitude measures employed that there was not

enough variation in their attitudes for these differences

to produce any differential attraction.

Laboratory Experiments

One of the first laboratory experiments examining
the effects of attitude similarity on attraction was con-

ducted by Byrne (1961). In the "Byrne Paradigm" subjects

were asked to complete a questionnaire and then presented

with a copy of the same questionnaire which was supposedly

filled out by another subject. In actuality, the question-

naires were completed by an experimenter in such a way as

to reflect a predetermined level of agreement with the

opinions of the subject. The subjects were then told

that they were participating in a study of "interpersonal

prediction" and were then asked to rate the stranger on









an Interpersonal Judimernt Scale. Byrne's (1961) Inter-

personal Judgment Scale (IJS) included a measure of inter-

personal attraction as well as evaluative measures of the

stranger's morality, personal adjustment, intelligence

and knowledge of current events. The results of this

study clearly confirmed the hypothesized relationship

between attitude similarity and attraction. The stranger

who agreed with 100 per cent of the items was liked better

than the stranger who disagreed on 100 per cent of the

items.

In a subsequent experiment, Byrne and Nelson (1965)

separated the effects of number and proportion of similar

attitudes on attraction. The results showed a significant

linear relationship between the proportion of similar

attitudes and attraction and showed no significant rela-

tionship between the absolute number of similar attitudes

and attraction. Thus, the crucial variable of the simi-

larity-attraction relationship is not the absolute number

of attitude objects on which the stranger expresses agree-

ment, but, rather, it is the ratio of these agreeing atti-

tudes (or attitude items) to those attitudes (or attitude

items) on which disagreement is expressed.

Generalizability of Laboratory Results

Different subject samples. -- The ubiquity of simi-

larity-attraction relationship has been demonstrated by

the use of the Byrne Paradigm with subject samples drawn









from a wide variety of pF..p lations including .:.bers of

the Job Corps and hospitalized mental patients (v.,

Bond and Di:m-.)nd, 1969). Byrne and Griffitt (1966) and

CGaynor, Lamberth and J'.::Cullers (1972) found that the

similarity-attraction relationship can be obtained with

children as young as five years old, although the typical

linear function ;.s not present with the younger children

who could only distinguish between general agr-:,c-nt or

disagreement. The S-A relationship has also been shown

cross culturally with subjects from Hawaii, India, Japan,

.';xico, and Texas (Byrne, Gouaux, Griffitt, Lamberth,

Murakawa, Prasad, Prasad, and Ramirez, 1971). Unpublished

data obtained by G.F. 713caro, Ofelia Puig, .. the present

author indicated that the S-A relationship also holds for

Cuban-born subjects attending a Florida university.

%.. __-:..'A._ _, -_-..._-_. ,.. ,- ,. -- Although the survey

of attitudes developed by Byrne (1961) is the instru-'..-:t

most commonly employed as a means of manipulating stranger

agrcc;r.2.erit, many other types of attitude measures have been

used for this purpose including a Hammond "error choice"

measure ('7ascaro, 1971), a semantic differential question-

naire (I:tLcaro and Lopez, 1970), and a liberalism conserva-

tism scale (Jackson and T...caro, 1971a,b; '.'..Icaro and

Graves, in press). In all of these studies the predicted

S-A relationship was obtained.

LTe-thods of presentation of the strangerst atti-

tudes. -- >.thods of presentation of the stranger other than









manipulated questio:-;-,airLes have recently come into use.

These include confederates who pose as other subjects

(Brewer and Brewer, 1968) and videotaped presentations of

conversations wherein the views of the stranger who is to

be rated are expressed (-Iendrick, Bixenstein and Ii..kirij,

1971). Again investigations using these r-lethods produced

results confirming the hypothesized S-A relationship.

Byrne and Clore (1966) found no significant effect on

attraction scores as a result of the use of different

modes of stimulus presentation (i.e., mimeographed ques-

tionnaires, sound films, and tape recordings).

The mr-:iipulation of the presentation of the stran-

gers' attitudes r-,y be directed towards the expression of

a specific level of agr>-:-::cr:.t for each subject or it may

be centered on presenting strangers -...o represent "pro"

or "tcon" positions to groups of subjects who hold favor-

able or unfavorable attitudes on the topic in question.

The "standard stranger design" (Griffitt and Byrne, 1970)

where general agre:crnt or dis:aree:r'nt with the subject

is emphasized has a distinct practical advantage- when the

stranger's position is presented in modes other than the

manipulated questionnaire. For example, it is difficult

to make up a videotape for each subject so that the stran-

ger can express attitudes which agree or disagree with

the specific positions of that subject. The results

of studies using this method (e.g., Byrne, Baskett and

Hodges, 1971) parallel those reported in other laboratory









studies confirming the S-A relationship.

...5 't :-N-ition. -- Interpersonal attraction

has been ri.asured in a number of .v,-s in laboratory

experiments dealing with attitude similarity and attrac-

tion. The Byrne (1961) Interpersonal Jud:m.er t Scale

which re-preseLnts the most commonly e-::.p1oyed scales of

liking, correlates well with other paper and pencil

measures of attraction (Gormly, Gormly a.', Johnson, 1971).

The fact that similar results tend to be obtained with

these measures provides a type of "quasi cco;versent"

validity for them.

Behavioral measures of attraction have recently come

into use in studies concerned with the S-A relationship.

Byrne, Ervin snd Lamberth (1970) found that pe-rsons matched

in a "computer dating" experiment who believed that they

were similar in attitudes to their dates rated their dates

more positively and stood closer to them while talking to

the experimenter than did those subjects who believed that

they were dissimilar in attitudes to their dates. A follow

up indicated that the subjects who thought themselves to

be more similar remembered their partner's nar:es better,

talked more with their dates during the interim since the

experiment, and had a greater desire to date their part-

ners. Differences in the actual frequency of dating did

not reach si'nificance, but the only dates reported were

among subjects in the high'similarity condition. The

incidence of actual dating behavior may be the result of









the conditions under which the subjects met.

Another measure of the level of friendship has been

the seating patterns of subjects exposed to strangers

expressing similar or disi,:ill-n attitudes. Although

Clore (1969) found no significant relationship between

stranger agreement and distance in seating, he attributed

his results to the fact that the subject seated hi:;slf

while the stranger (confederate) sat at the same spot

and in settii:n the distance the subject may have become

hyperaware of his distance from the confederate. Byrne,

Baskett and Hodges (1971) obtained data which indicated

that attitude similarity affected seating behavior;

although the exact nature of the relationship ils

unclear.

Generally, the above findings point to the ubiquity

and reliability of the similarity-attraction relationship

as e:.-lr.d by laboratory and field studies. Since attrac-

tion towards an individual can be thought of as a genc-al

positive orientation tc'.m.vo1ds that person, the greater

attraction generated by the presentation of similar atti-

tudes may result in greater positive behavior towards the

person expressing similar attitudes. Theoretical con-

siderations and empirical evidence, .h:'.ch will be pre-

sented subsequently, s., >st that such a relationship

between attitude s.:I'.Iil:'ity and evaluative responses

exists.










t :.- . .. ', '"-" .. . -," !,'- .'..! ..'., -'.-e _. _. '::..,:-, ?3


In their attempts to explain the similarity attrac-

tion relationship, some investigators :'.a.' conceptualized

interpersonal attraction as one of a more general class of

responses which are elicited upon the presentation by a

stra.. r of similar or dissimilar attitudes to those of

the evaluator. Research evidence addressed to the ques-

tion of an attitude si;..1rity-evaluative response rela-

tionship bears on the possible effects of attitude simi-

larity-dissimil.lnrity on the assignment of sanctions.


Theoretical ?'.dels of Attitude Similarity


Byrne and Clore (1970) have presented a model in

which evaluative responses are a function of the amount

of positive or ":.:tive affect which is generated in a

given situation. The expression of similar or dissi!nillr

attitudes elicits such affect.

Growing out of conditioning models of attitude forma-

tion (e.g., those of Lott and Lott, 1969 and Staats and

Staats, 1969), the Byrne-Clore model postulated that attrac-

tion was generated by Pavlovian conditioning where the UCS

is the reinforcing stimuli of attitude statements, the CS

is the stranger, and the UCR is an "i.-iplicit affective

response" which is translated into the response of attrac-

tion. It should be noted that because of the past experi-

ence of ...,w. subjects the UCS which is examined in the

experiments is often a CS, the response to which is learned








prior to visiting the psychological laboratory. Thus,

higher order conditioning is presxnatly represented in

most attraction situations (Byrne, 1971).

In his discussion of the Byrne-Clore model, Murstein

(1971) pointed out that the references to a classical
conditioning model by Byrne and Clore (1970) may be

inexact in that the UCR should follow rapidly and inevi-

tably as a result of the onset of the UCS (i.e., similar

or dissimilar attitudes). This temporal relationship is

not commonly observed with the attraction situation; how-

ever, empirical evidence to be presented later points out

the usefulness of the classical-conditioning notions as a

framework for conceptualizing the operation of the S-A

relationship.

Byrne and Clore (1970) tested the existence of the
conditioned affective response of attraction by simply

asking subjects who had listened to tapes of agreeing or

disagreeing statements to indicate their general feelings

at the time on six evaluative scales of the semantic dif-

ferential. Agreement engendered higher evaluative scores

(i.e., a more positive affect) than did disagreement. In

a second experiment, Byrne and Clore (1970) obtained simi-
lar results when the subjects provided semantic differ-

ential ratings of pictures of same sex individuals who had

been paired with a series of tape recorded agreeing or
disagreeing statements. Thus, positive affect was elicited

towards an object which was paired with the expression of









agreement. A question might be raised as to whether the

results of the Byrne and Clore (1970) study could be

explained by the fact that the subjects attributed the

given attitudes to the stranger and not by the temporal

contiguity of picture and statement as postulated by the

simple Byrne-Clore model. To deal with this problem Sachs

and Byrne (1970) paired a nonhuman or an opposite-sex

human picture with a recorded voice expressing varying

levels of agreement. Semantic differential ratings of

both types of pictures paralleled those in the Byrne and

Clore (1970) experiment. A specially designed picture-

judgment scale patterned after the Interpersonal Judgment

Scale showed a more positive attraction to pictures paired

with agreeing statements than to those paired with dis-

agreeing opinions. Such evidence seems to support the

validity of Byrne and Clorets (1970) Pavlovian model of

the S-A relationship. However, necessary aspects of

classical conditioning other than stimulus response con-

tiguity (e.g., extinction) have not been experimentally

demonstrated.

The postulate of the Byrne-Clore model that there is

a general affect aroused in an individual upon the pre-

sentation of agreeing or disagreeing statements has been

examined in several studies. Gouaux (1971) demonstrated

that the general affective state (i.e., depressed or

elated) of the subject had'an effect on the S-A relation-

ship. Films designed to either depress or elate the









subject were shown in conjunction with the typical Byrne

Paradigm. The data revealed two parallel linear functions

for similarity-attraction with the elated subjects showing

more positive attraction.

Although not designed to test the same question,

studies by Griffitt (1970) and Griffitt and Veitch (1971)
provide support for the findings of Gouaux (1971). Griffitt

(1970) employed two conditions of room temperature (i.e.,
normal and hot) and Griffitt and Veitch (1971) used two

conditions of population density (i.e., normal and crowded)

in their studies of attitude similarity and attraction. The

results of these two investigations revealed that the more

positive environmentally conditions produced more attraction.

These findings can be taken to indicate that the affective

state of the subject alters his conditionability in an

analogous manner to the way that varying amounts of food
deprivation affects conditioning experiments using the

salivary responses.

In a series of experiments, Lamberth, Gouaux- and Padd

(1971) investigated further the affect eliciting and reduc-
ing properties of agreement-disagreement. Basically it was

found that dissimilar attitudes elicited negative affect

while similar attitudes did not elicit positive affect as
measured by evaluative scales on the semantic differential.
In a second experiment using a stimulus of a positive or
negative evaluation of the subject by the stranger, posi-

tive affect was elicited for positive evaluation and









negative affect appeared with a negative evaluation.

Lamberth et al. also employed a control group of subjects

who did not evaluate the stranger on the Interpersonal

Judgment Scale while the experimental group completed the

UIJS. The results revealed that the act of filling out IJS

tended to reduce affect (i.e., pretest and posttest measures

of affect were not significantly different). This finding

illustrates the effectiveness of the evaluations of the IJS

as a CR. Of course, the fact that the UCS was the personal

evaluation of the subject by the stranger instead of the

presentation of attitude similarity-dissimilarity limits

the strength of the evidence in dealing with the S-A rela-

tionship, but the results provide powerful suggestions as

to the validity of the Pyrr.n-3Clore model. Thus, there is

some empirical support for a concept of a general evalua-

tive response which occurs with the presentation of similar-

dissimilar attitudes.

Behavioral Tendencies and Attitude Similarity

The early interest of investigators in the relation-

ship between attitude similarity and interpersonal attrac-

tion has broadened to include a concern about the general

evaluative tendencies towards an individual elicited by the

presentation of attitude similarity-dissimilarity. Items

on Byrne's (1961) Interpersonal Judgment Scale provide some

information on these evaluative tendencies. In Byrne's(1961)

earliest study, it was found that the presentation of agree-

ing attitudes by a stranger resulted in a more positive








rating of the stranger's intelligence, knowledge of cur-

rent events, morality, and adjustment than when disagree-

ment was shown. Further, in other studies ratings of a

stranger's desirability as a date (Byrne, Ervin and

Lamberth, 1970) and his desirability as a political candi-

date (Byrne, Bond and Diamond, 1969) were found to be

higher when he expressed similar attitudes.

Recent studies also indicate that more positive
behavior is exhibited to a stranger who expresses similar

attitudes than to one who presents dissimilar opinions.

Baron (1971) manipulated attraction to a confederate by

varying attitude similarity and personal evaluation. The

confederate then asked subjects to comply with either a

small, moderate, or large request. There was more compli-

ance when attraction was high (i.e., when similar attitudes

and a positive evaluation were expressed), than when it was

low, in the moderate and large requests conditions; but

the relationship failed to appear when trivial favors were

requested. Apparently the situational constraints in the

experiment made people feel compelled to grant a small

request no matter what the level of attraction that they

held for the requestor, but the evidence from the study

still seems to suggest that similarity affects the behavior

of granting requests.
Griffitt and Jackson (1970) presented data which indi-
cated that similarity-dissimilarity affected hiring recom-

mendations in a simulated personnel selection procedure.









However, it was also found that the recommended salary bore

no relationship to attitude similarity; although the appli-

cant's ability affected the level of suggested compensa-

tion. After initial selection took place, the norm of

distributive justice (Homans, 1961) seemed to take over.

Since it is unlikely that attitude similarity is a valid

or generally accepted predictor of job success, the

Griffitt and Jackson (1971) study indicates that there is

an affective "bias" influencing the personnel selection

process.

Golightly, Huffman and Byrne (in press) examined the

relationship between attitude similarity and the granting

of loan applications in a simulated banking situation

employing graduate students in finance as subjects.

Golightly et al. (in press) found that the magnitude of

loans approved was related to the level of attitude simi-

larity of the subject and "loan applicant." Again it might

be noted that attitude similarity between customer and loan

officer would not be considered a relevant factor in deter-

mining the credit risk involved in the loan application.

In fact "bias" in this area might cause the bank to lose a

valuable loan client. The type of "bias" indicated in this

study might be considered likely to appear in the sanction-

ing situation.

A series of field experiments has been conducted in

which reactions of individuals to persons dressed in a

"hippie" or "straight" manner were examined. Although









these studies did not deal with the question of attitude

similarity per se, they did provide suggestive evidence

on the topic because many subjects presumably assumed that

being dressed as a "hippie" or "straight" implies that an

individual holds certain attitudes. Emswiller, Deaux and

Willits (1971) found that individuals acquiesced to

requests for a dime to make an important phone call more

often when the person requesting the coin was dressed

similarly.

In a similar study of the effects of similarity on the

behavior of others Suedfeld, Bochner and Wnek (1972) studied

the willingness of participants in a peace demonstration to

cooperate on a series of requests from a person in
"straight" or "hip" clothing who carried either a "Dump

Nixon" or "Support Nixon" placard. After the demonstration

had become intense, there was more help for individuals

displaying the "Dump Nixon" sign. There was no effect for

different styles of dress representing "implicit attitudinal

similarity or dissimilarity." Perhaps, the fact that a

"hippie" was carrying a "Support Nixon" sign caused anti-

war demonstrators to conclude the "hippie" dress was not

representative of the wearer's attitudes, thus making the

dress manipulation meaningless. The notion that assumed

similarity of attitudes, and not the dress of the indi-

vidual requesting a favor, determined the behavior of others

towards the requestor finds' support in a study by Samuel








(1972). He found that "hippie" or "straight" dress made no

difference in willingness to approve a copy of the bill of

rights, indicating that statements of actual belief tend to

outweigh dress factors. These findings have been confirmed

in field investigations of voter behavior. Darley and

Cooper (1972) studied the "clean for Gene" phenomenon where

supporters of Sen. McCarthy who were campaigning tried to

appear similar to the voting public to gain their approval.

Voters tended to ascribe more radical stances to candidates

represented by deviantly dressed individuals. Thus, voters

might tend to be "turned off" to these candidates. It was

also found that shoppers in a suburban mall were less likely

to take a leaflet from a "hippie" and,even if they took it,

they were more likely to throw it away without looking at

it. Thus, evidence from these studies is congruent with

that from other investigations in pointing towards a gener-

alized evaluative response directed to an individual who

presents either similar or dissimilar attitudes.

As the results cited above suggest, there are a whole

series of behaviors which occur in response to attitude

similarity-dissimilarity. As the level of sanctioning can

be considered to be a type of evaluative response, it seems

reasonable to hypothesize that the presentation of similar

attitudes by the person being considered for punishment will

result in lower negative sanctions than the presentation of

dissimilar opinions. In the next section the evidence which

speaks directly to this question will be examined.









Attitude Similarity and Sanctioning

Although the nature of punishment has been exten-

sively examined by psychologists, comparatively little
work has dealt with the effect of attitude similarity-

dissimilarity on the assignment of sanctions. One line of

indirect evidence is contained in two studies where sub-

jects were asked to assume that the person being judged

was similar or dissimilar. Lackey (1968) found that the
"perceived similar other" was assigned less responsibility

for his acts than the "perceived dissimilar other." Shaver

(1970) in a simulated jury study asked subjects to assume

that they were similar or dissimilar to the defendant and

found that assignment of responsibility and perceived neg-

ligence were negatively related to similarity. Even though

different factors may influence the level of assignment of

sanctions (AS) and the attribution of responsibility (AR),
Shaw and Reitan (1967) found that AR is the basis for AS.

Thus, the evidence from the Lackey (1968) and Shaver (1970)

studies provides some indirect support for the notion that

similarity affects sanctioning.

Other indirect evidence on the attitude similarity-

sanctioning problem can be drawn from studies assessing
the role of racial or ethnic similarity between punisher

and punished in determining sanctioning behavior. Stokes

and Prestholdt (1972) asked white and black college students
in the deep South to examine statements about crimes and

recommend proper penalties. Both black and white subjects









exhibited significantly more punitiveness to defendants

who were not members of their own racial group. In their

exhaustive field study of the operation of the American

jury, Kalven and Zeisel (1966) found that juries tend to

be more lenient than judges except where the defendant was

black. When the defendant was black the trend was reversed

(i.e., judges were more lenient than jurors). As juries

tended to be predominantly made up of whites, this finding

indicated that juries tended to behave differently (i.e.,

were more harsh) towards an individual who was a member

of a different racial group. Barreto (1972) compared the

sanctioning tendencies of Cuban and "American" high school

students in Miami who were presented with simulated depo-

sitions describing the facts of a civil litigation where

the defendant was either Cuban or American. The results

indicated that when the defendant was similar in national

origin to the juror he was seen as less negligent and

lower damages were assessed against him than when the

defendant was dissimilar in nationality. Although impor-

tant factors of group identification and assumed similarity

or dissimilarity along a number of dimensions may have

played a part in the results of the investigations cited

above, their findings provide some suggestions with regard

to sanctioning tendencies in the face of varying levels of

attitude similarity. As the work of Rokeach (e.g., Rokeach

and Mezei, 1966) has pointed out, assumed dissimilarity of

belief exists between a subject and members of other racial









groups and this assumption is an important component of

racial prejudice. The assumed dissimilarity of attitude

of nonmembers of the subject's racial group may affect

his sanctioning tendencies.

In another study where assumed similarity or dissimi-
larity between juror and defendant may have affected sanc-

tioning tendencies, Landy and Aronson (1969) presented

subjects with a description of a simulated case where the

defendant was assumed to be "attractive," "unattractive,"

or "neutral" to the subject. It was found that "attrac-

tive" and "neutral" defendants received significantly

lighter sentences than did the "unattractive" defendants.

However, there was no effect for defendant attractiveness

when subjects were asked about certainty of the defendant's

guilt. Since the attractiveness of the defendant was

defined in terms of the defendant's similarity in values

to those represented by persons of middle class socio-

economic status in terms of occupational role and moral

conduct, there might have been a tendency for the college

student subjects to perceive the "unattractive" defendant

as being dissimilar to themselves while they might have

identified with the attractive defendant.

If one assumes that an individual's occupational

group will indicate to others that he holds attitudes

characteristic of certain social classes, then occupational

group membership might be hypothesized to influence sanc-

tioning. However, Hogarth (1971) in an intensive study of









the sentencing behavior of Canadian judges found that there

was no significant relationship between the occupation of

the defendant and the penalty which he received. However,

the professional role of the judge may cause him to be

more aware of factors which might bias his decisions.

Thus, the possible biasing effect of using occupation as a

determinant of sentence may have been more apparent to

judges than the nonprofessionals who make up many groups

which administer sanctions.

Mitchell and Byrne (1971) provided a more direct test

of the proposition that defendants similar in attitude to

judges or jurors will receive lower levels of negative

sanctions than defendants who hold dissimilar opinions.

Subjects were presented with information concerning a stu-

dent from another university who had allegedly stolen some

examination papers. Included in the packet of data on the

student was information on the accused's attitudes (about

such topics as drinking, fraternities, etc.) designed to

reflect either 0 or 100 per cent agreement with the atti-

tudes of the subject. There was no significant main effect

for similarity when the subjects were asked to estimate

their certainty of the defendant's guilt. However, there

was a significant main effect for similarity on a measure

of recommendation of the appropriate severity of punish-

ment. Lighter sanctions were recommended for the hypothet-

ical individual who agreed with the subject than for the

person who expressed disagreement. Furthermore, a









comparison of the responses of subjects who held a more

common position on the attitude topics used in the experi-

ment with those who held less common beliefs revealed no

differences. This result tends to rule out the contention

that subjects with whom the defendant disagreed were

merely responding to the presentation of viewpoints which

deviated from commonly held positions rather than the

effects of varying levels of attitude similarity.

Two aspects of the method used in the MJitchell and

Byrne (1971) study detract from the generalizability of

its results. Firstly, the information concerning the

attitudinal position of the accused was presented to the

subject as a separate piece of information from the data

on the alleged crime, and the attitude topics on which

agreement or disagreement was expressed concerned the same

issues included in a preexperimental questionnaire which

was administered to the subjects. Thus, the attitude

manipulation was made salient to the subject and the like-

lihood of demandd awareness" was probably increased by such

procedures. Secondly, in many situations where sanctions

are determined (e.g., law courts), information about a

defendant's attitudes on topics unrelated to the case

would not be brought to the attention of the individuals

imposing sanctions. The attitude items in the Mitchell and

Byrne (1971) study- would probably fall into this category.

The evidence from the literature on attitude simi-
larity and evaluative responses including interpersonal









attraction and sanctioning behavior leads to the hypothe-

sis that persons will recommend heavier sanctions against

those who are dissimilar in attitude than for those

expressing similar opinions. The present study undertakes

to examine the attitude similarity sanctioning relation-

ship in the context of a common sanctioning situation

(i.e., the commission of a crime) where the expression of

attitudes is incorporated into the presentation of the

situation being judged.

Since many groups in our society (e.g., juries and

court martial panels) make sanctioning decisions by arriv-

ing at a consensus about the appropriate level of punish-

ment to be administered, the possible effects of group

decision on sanctioning is particularly relevant to the

American system of trials by jury. Although many argu-

ments have been offered in favor of the jury system, no

research has been made to demonstrate the "greater imparti-

ality" so commonly attributed to juries. The second part

of this study will present a theoretical examination and

an empirical test of the sanctioning behavior of groups.















III. GROUP POLARIZATION EFFECTS


Extremity Shifts


The sanctions imposed by groups can be thought of as

the result of the effect of group discussion on the atti-

tudes of the group members towards the appropriate penalty

to be administered in the given situation. The result of

the discussion could be a group opinion which is more

neutral, more extreme, or the same as the average of the

opinions which were held by the members prior to their

interaction. Evidence has recently come to light that

when groups reach a consensus on a topic on which there

is a dominant attitude held by the members, that consensus

is more extreme than the average of the individual opinions

of the members before the discussion. Thus, perhaps any
F
"bias" among group members before sanctions are determined

should be reflected in an extremity shift in the group's

assignment of punishments.

The reports of group polarization of attitudes origi-

nated with studies of the effect of group discussion on

attitudes involving risk taking behavior. Wallach, Kogan

and Bem (1962) obtained results which indicated that when

groups discussed problems involving risk, they reached

a consensus which recommended greater risk than was

29









- represented by the individual positions of the members.

The general publication of the findings on the "risky

shift" by Wallach et al. (1962) caused a great deal of
interest because the results ran counter to previously

held concepts which emphasized an "averaging" effect of

group discussion (e.g., Schachter, 1951).
As Pruitt's comprehensive review of the literature

on the risky shift pointed out, the concept of the risky

shift is too narrow to define the phenomenon involved. A

number of workers (e.g., Rabow, Fowler, Bradford, Hofeller

and Shibuya, 1966; Stoner, 1968) have observed a conserva-

tive shift (i.e., the group's consensus was less risky than

the individual decisions) for some problems. As Cartwright

(1971) noted, even two of the items on the Choice Dilemmas
Questionnaire, which has been used to demonstrate the risky

shift, have repeatedly produced cautious shifts. Thus, the

topic involved in group discussion seems to determine the

nature of attitude shifts.
The work of :.Toscovici and Zavalloni (1969), Doise

(1969) and others has shown that extremity shifts occur

with attitude choices which are in areas other than ques-
tions involving risk. Thus, Pruitt (1971) recommended the
term "choice shifts" to describe the extremity shifts

(group polarization effects) which result from group con-

sensus concerning topics where a dominant attitude is held

by members of the group. The results of experiments which
have extended the concept of choice shifts to attitude









domains other than risk taking behavior form the basis for

the hypotheses in the present experiment which concern the

effect of group decisions on the sanctions imposed in a

group setting.

In order to demonstrate the existence of an extremity

shift on nonrisk attitude items, Moscovici and Zavalloni

(1969) asked groups of French high school students to come

to a group consensus about their attitudes towards deGaulle

and towards Americans. These were issues of high involve-

ment for the subjects. It was found that when the mean

initial individual decisions of a nominal group were com-

pared with the consensus of the group on the same ques-

tions, there was a shift to the extreme in the same direc-

tion of favorability or unfavorability as the initial

response. Doise (1969) confirmed Moscovici and Zavalloni

(1969) results when he asked art school students' opinions

about the art schools in Paris. Although he found a sig-

nificant extremity shift in all conditions, there was a

greater shift when the subjects were confronted with pre-

sumed opinions of a rival group. Thus, the fact that the

increased cohesiveness of the group, in the face of the

threat increased the extremity, emphasizes the importance

of the group influence.

The lack of a control group in the Moscovici and

Zavalloni (1969) and Doise (1969) studies left undetermined

the possible effect of the initial administration of the

attitude questionnaire on the subsequent responses of the








subjects. However, Tyers and Bishop (1970) obtained a

polarization effect with an experimental group and no effect

with a control group. Johnson (1972) found that there was

no difference in ratings when individual decisions were made

before or after group discussions which produced extremity

shifts. Finally, a study of the effect of the pretest in

the risky shift by McCauley, Kogan and Teger (1971) showed

that there is a minimal influence of the pretest. These

results tend to reduce the probability that the results of

the studies can be attributed to instrument effects.

Although a number of theoretical themes have been

advanced to explain the polarization effects, they seem to

revolve around what Pruitt (1971) terms "value theory"

explanations of choice shifts. Developed by Brown (1965)

to explicate the risky shift, these theoretical positions

are based on the notion that the members of the group are
predisposed to hold favorable or unfavorable attitudes to

the topic discussed and the group interaction in one way or

another brings out these values.
Support for the risk as value hypothesis has been

obtained from studies which have demonstrated that greater

choice shifts occurred when the subjects originally held

more extreme positions (i.e., subjects possessed more

strongly held values) on a given topic. A positive rela-

tionship has been noted between the initial level of risk

and the extent of the risky shift (Teger and Pruitt, 1967).

Further, it was found that a risky shift occurred when only









information about the subject's earlier position (and hence

the values which he held) was revealed. Thus, the group-

held values of risk seemed to be important factors in

determining risky shifts.

One explanation of the value hypothesis has been based

on an information exchange notion which postulates that the

group discussion allows for the exchange of data among the

subjects about the true nature of the values which they

hold. Levinger and Schneider (1969) asked subjects to state

what position on the Choice Dilemmas Questionnaire they felt

their fellow students would take and what choices they most

admired. For the items where risky shifts have tradition-

ally been found, subjects estimated that their fellow stu-

dents' choices would be more conservative than their own

but placed their most admired choice in a more risky cate-

gory. These data might be taken as support for a notion

that subjects value risk but feel constrained in expressing

such sentiments because of a pluralistic ignorance of

others' values. The group discussion results in a risky

shift because it provides the subject with information about

the norms held by the other members. Such notions have been

generalized to cover choice shifts on nonrisk attitude ques-

tions on which dominant attitudes are held by the group mem-

bers.

Myers and Bishop (1970) examined an information

exchange approach to the explanation of extremity shifts

on riskk neutral" items. As in the Levinger and Schneider







34

(1969) study, the subjects in the T.Tyers and Bishop (1970)

study tended to see the other subjects as holding a more

neutral position than their own. However, when subjects

did not participate in group discussion but only provided

information about their initial positions to the other par-

ticipants, no extremity shift occurred. Extremity shifts

were obtained in the typical group discussion condition.

A content analysis of the tape recordings of the group

discussions did reveal that the extent to which the argu-

ments presented by the participants favored the dominant

alternative significantly predicted the group shift scores.

Thus, there is support for a docriinarit value hypothesis to

explain extremity shifts, but the validity of the hypothe-

sized mechanism of reduction of pluralistic ignorance

remains questionable.

If the values of the group operate on the individual

to cause a group choice shift after discussion, then it

might be hypothesized that the individual's attitudes would

be more extreme after he had engaged in the group discus-

sion.

When McCauley (1972) employed a topic on which there

was wide disagreement among group members, the predicted

extremity shift was not found in individual decisions made

after group discussion, when individual extremity scores

were compared, even though the average of ("statisticized

group") decisions after group discussion was more extreme

than the average of the initial decision of the members.









This result occurred because of shifts towards neutrality

by persons holding opinions in the opposite direction from

the dominant position. This finding suggests that "extrem-

ity shifts" should not be attributed to a shift in attitude

on the part of individual group members resulting solely

from group discussion. However, there are several factors

which limit the interpretability of these results.

Firstly, McCauley (1972) stated that he purposely selected

items for discussion where there would be disagreement

among the subjects. The lack of a discussion of a topic

about which there is a dominant attitude reduces the prob-

ability of a group value being present, as is the case with

most extremity shift situations. The group was also not

asked to reach consensus on their position in the McCauley

(1972) study. Although risky shifts have been noted in

average group decisions without consensus being reached

(Wallach and Kogan, 1965), the effect of failure to reach

consensus on nonrisk choice shifts is uncertain. In terms

of the interest of the present study, the average indi-

vidual opinion is not the crucial factor because many types

of sanctioning groups require consensus rather than aver-

aging of individual opinions in making decisions. It is
not the individual positions after group discussion but

the group decisions which determine the level of punishment

administered in group sanctioning situations.

In summary, although there is still some uncertainty

as to the mechanism involved, there is some recent evidence








supporting the notion that group discussion to consensus

concerning topics where a dominant position is held by

group members will lead to polarization of the group atti-

tude. The question remains as to whether extremity shifts

occur for interpersonal evaluations. Research evidence

directed to this point will be examined in the next sec-

tion.

Polarization and Interpersonal Evaluative Response


Recent studies have indicated that there are extrem-

ity shifts for evaluative responses towards other persons.

Myers and Bishop (1970) divided high school students into

groups which were high or low in racial prejudice.

Although the absolute magnitude of the shift was not great,

group discussion caused the gap between the high and low

prejudiced group to increase (i.e., a statistically sig-

nificant extremity shift occurred).

Andrews and Johnson (1971) provided students with

favorable or unfavorable information about a hypothetical

professor and then asked the subjects to rate the teacher.

The judgments of the groups were more extreme than the

individual in the predicted direction (i.e., favorable

groups were more favorable while unfavorable groups were

more unfavorable). It might be noted, however, that there

were greater numbers of cues (i.e., favorable or unfavor-

able statements) required for a shift in the favorable

direction to occur at a statistically significant level.








Johnson (1972) had students rate a real professor under

whom they were studying. He found that group discussion

led to lower ratings of the professor in the group con-

sensus. The subjects only rated one professor and the

fact that most items produced a negative shift may be the

result of a dominant negative attitude towards the indi-

vidual being rated.

In sum, the evidence points towards extremity shifts

in interpersonal evaluations. Since sanctioning might be

affected by such evaluation, an extremity shift for groups

making sanctioning decisions might be hypothesized where

there is a dominant sanctioning tendency. Thus, the groups

whose members tend to be lenient might impose lighter sanc-

tions than would be given in individual decisions, and the

groups whose members tend to be harsh would impose heavier

sanctions. The biasing tendencies of attitude similarity-

dissimilarity might result in such choice shifts when

group members were similar or dissimilar to the person

being sanctioned. When the person being punished was

similar to the group members, it would prescribe lighter

sanctions than would be recommended by its individual

members, and, when the group members were dissimilar in

attitude to the accused, heavier sanctions would be imposed

by the group consensus.















IV. HYPOTHESES


1. When subjects are asked to judge an accused who

holds deviant attitudes, the negative sanctions imposed

will be greater than when they judge an accused holding

similar attitudes.

2. When subjects are asked to judge an accused who

holds deviant attitudes, the certainty of the defendant's

guilt will be greater than when they judge an accused

holding similar attitudes.

3. When groups are asked to reach consensus on nega-

tive sanctions, these negative sanctions will be greater

for an accused who holds dissimilar attitudes, and less

for an accused who holdssimilar positions, than the mean

of the individual negative sanctions of the group members.

4. When groups are asked to reach consensus on cer-

tainty of a defendant's guilt, the certainty will be

greater for an accused who holds dissimilar attitudes, and

less for an accused who holdssimilar positions, than the

mean of the individual certainty of guilt of the individual

members.















V. METHOD


Subjects

Subjects were 160 male and female students from

introductory psychology courses at the University of

Florida. Participation in the experiment allowed the

subjects to fulfill course requirements. In addition,

groups of 42 and 49 male and female undergraduate psy-

chology students participated in pilot studies involved

in the investigation.


Procedure

The subjects were told that they were participating

in a study of decision making processes and the law and

then presented with a tape recorded interview on which

the interviewee stated viewpoints which a pilot study

demonstrated to be generally similar or dissimilar to

those held by persons in the population from which the

subject sample was drawn. The presentation of these

attitudes was in the context of a discussion of an alleged

crime of aggravated assault with which the interviewee

had been charged. The content of the interview script

(see Appendix C) was designed to be equivalent except for









the expression of the attitudes for which the similarity-

dissimilarity manipulation was to be directed. For these

statements opposite viewpoints were presented in the simi-

lar and dissimilar conditions.

Although the use of the "standard stranger design" in

the present study manipulated agreement or disagreement

along attitude dimensions which are more normative in

character than those employed in many studies on the

effects of attitude similarity, experiments by Byrne (1962)

and Mitchell and Byrne (1971) indicate that the same pro-

cesses are in operation in situations both where attitudes

are held in common by most of the people in a given popu-

lation and where these attitudes are idiosyncratic to a

few individuals. The design of the present study elimi-

nated the necessity for a protesting of the subjects and

should consequently lower the probability of subjects per-

ceiving the experiment as an examination of their attitude

similarity-dissimilarity with the person judged.

After the subjects concluded listening to the tape

recording they were asked to state an opinion on the proper

sanctions which should be imposed on the interviewee under

the assumption that the accused was guilty. The item on

which the subject rated the sanctions represented a ten-

point scale (see Appendix D) of possible punishments from

0 to 36 months in prison. These values reflect possible

sentences normally given for aggravated assault. Next the

subject was asked to rate on a seven-point scale (see









Appendix D) his certainty of the defendant's guilt in terms

of the definition of the crime provided in the law. The

order of the presentation of the questions on sanctioning

and certainty was counterbalanced.

Upon completion of their individual ratings, the sub-

jects in a given session were randomly divided into two

groups. The four subjects in the experimental group were

asked to come to a consensus as to the groups opinions

concerning the questions outlined above (see Appendix E).

The groups were asked to render their decision on the first

time within a time limit of ten minutes and then to provide

a consensus on the second question before another time

limit of ten minutes had elapsed. A clock was provided

for the group's guidance. Following the procedure of past

studies on group polarization effects, no instructions

were provided as to the methods the groups were to use in

reaching their positions (see Appendix E). The experi-

mental session was completed after the groups reached their

decisions.

During the time that the experimental group was

engaged in discussion, a control "group" of subjects was

asked to work as individuals on an irrelevant task (i.e.,

adding up a series of numbers). At the end of a period of

time equivalent to that expended by the experimental group

in the session, the individual subjects were asked to

answer the questionnaire on sanctioning and certainty for

a second time. The instructions preceding the second









administration of the questionnaire emphasized that people

often change their mind when they reconsider a decision

and that no test of memory was intended in the experiment.

The task was presented as one of reconsidering the earlier

decisions of the subject (see Appendix F). As in the pro-

cedure of Wallach, Kogan and Bem (1962), these instruc-

tions were designed to dissuade the subject from assuming

that the experimenters were looking for the same decision

on the second questionnaire. Thus, a response opposite

to that hypothesized was, if anything, encouraged rather

than discouraged. After the second decision was rendered,

the experiment was concluded.


Materials

Stimulus tape recordings. -- The interview script was

designed to provide content on which virtually all subjects

from the college student population sampled in the experi-

ment would agree or disagree with the attitudes expressed

by the interviewee. Further, a crime was picked which

would be severe enough to allow for variation in the sanc-

tions recommended (see Appendix C). Statements which

carried the extreme racist sentiments of certain far right

wing organizations were used for this purpose. These

statements were based on quotations from a book of the

writings of former American Nazi Party commander George

Lincoln Rockwell (1963). In order to compile the scripts

for the two conditions (similar and dissimilar), each









statement was paired with one expressing the opposite

position.

A questionnaire was made up to include the topics

which were covered in the two scripts (see Appendix A).

As it can be noted in the table in Appendix B, a pilot

study with 42 psychology students as subjects indicated a

good general degree of agreement among these subjects as

to their positions on these topics. Except for two items,

agreement of subjects in terms of the direction of their

responses ranged from 91 to 100 per cent. It will also

be noted that on eight of the ten questions the majority

of the responses were in the most extreme position, indi-

cating a strong feeling (i.e., high involvement) on the

part of a large number of subjects. Further, an examina-

tion of the response patterns of the individual subjects

shows that those who disagree with the group on a small

number of given items generally agree on most other ques-

tions. All in all, the pilot data indicated that the

script met the condition of providing statements which

would be perceived by the subjects as agreeing or dis-

agreeing with their own position.

The tape recording was made to appear genuine by using

as interviewer and interviewee graduate students who were

experienced in interviewing prison inmates and clinical

patients. In addition, in order to assess the possible

effect of differential levels of suspiciousness concerning

the two different scripts presented in the tape recordings,









49 students recruited from the experimental subject pool

were presented with the tape recordings (23 in the similar

and 26 in the dissimilar condition) and asked in an open-

ended questionnaire to comment on their feelings about

them. These responses were collected after the subjects

in the pilot heard the tape and received the same intro-

duction as did the persons who participated in the actual

experiment.

The questionnaires were given to two independent

judges who were asked to determine which responses indi-

cated that the subjects expressed suspicion as to the

validity of the tape recording or its content. The judges

were "blind" as to which of the two tapes were listened to

by a given subject. The judges attained 94 per cent agree-

ment as to whether the questionnaires indicated suspicious-

ness on the part of the subject. The reliability of the

judgments falls well within the acceptable range. The

second judge agreed with the first judge on all of the
i
responses which judge number one felt showed suspicious-

ness and added three responses to the suspicious group.

The judgments indicated that there was no significant

difference in the level of suspiciousness for the similar

or dissimilar conditions. The two judges agreed on

responses which indicated 15 per cent suspiciousness for

the dissimilar group and 22 per cent for the similar

group. A chi square revealed no significant differences

between the groups (X2=0.23; d.f.=l; p> .50) in terms of









suspiciousness. If one examines the suspiciousness rates

identified by the second judge, again there is no signi-

ficant difference between the two percentages (26 per cent

for the similar group and 23 per cent for the dissimilar).

The chi square comparing the frequencies of suspiciousness

failed to reach significance (X20.04; d.f.=l; p> .70).

It is difficult to assess the absolute level of suspicious-

ness because of the problem of determining whether it is

the act of questioning the subject about the experiment

or the experimental procedure itself that arouses sus-

picion (see Page and Scheidt, 1971 and Berkowitz, 1971

for an examination of the controversy), and because some

subjects are reluctant to express suspicions because of

the fear of ruining the experiment (Orne, 1969). Notwith-

standing this problem, the data from the pilot study indi-

cate that the percentages of suspicion do not differ

between the groups, if one assumes that the measuring

instrument itself had the same effect on subjects in both

conditions. Thus, whatever effect suspiciousness about

the validity of the tape recording has on the results it

should not be systematically distributed across conditions.

Response measures. -- As was noted above, the response

measure included a question on recommended sanctioning and

another on certainty of guilt. The sanctioning scale con-

sisted of a ten-point scale of recommended prison sen-

tences. The certainty of guilt question was a seven-point

scale with responses ranging from extremely certain to









extremely uncertain. These measures followed procedures
used in a number of "simulated jury" studies including
those of Landy and Aronson (1969), Mitchell and Byrne

(1971), and Stokes and Prestholdt (1972). Because of the

failure of Landy and Aronson (1969) and Mitchell and Byrne

(1971) to obtain differences along the certainty dimension,

a legalistic definition of the crime in question taken
from Black's Law Dictionary (1968) was added. The ambi-

guity of the definition was thought to provide the possi-

bility for the subject biased towards innocence to ration-
alize his position by appealing to technicalities in the
definition. It might be noted that jury instructions often

contain such possibilities of rationalization.

The order of presentation of the questions was
counterbalanced. "t" tests revealed no significant dif-
ferences due to order in the initial decisions of the dis-

similar condition for certainty (t=0.067; d.f.=78; p > .50)

or sanctioning responses (t=1.509; d.f.=78; p>.lO), and,

no significant order effects in the initial decisions of
the similar condition for certainty (t=0.498; d.f.=78;

p> .50) or sanctioning (t=1.491; d.f.=78; p> .10). Thus,
order of presentation of questions had no significant

effect on the results.

Experimental Design

Similarity and sanctioning. -- In order to test for
the effect of attitude similarity between the subject and









interviewee on sanctioning behavior and to test for any

prediscussion differences in sanctioning tendencies of

subjects assigned to experimental or control groups, the

initial questionnaire answers of all 160 subjects were

examined in two 2X2 completely randomized factorial ANOVAS

(one for certainty and one for sanctioning scores). There

were two levels of similarity (i.e., similar and dissimi-

lar) and two levels of eventual group membership (i.e.,

experimental or control group). The only significant

finding predicted was a main effect for similarity-dis-

similarity with subjects in the similar condition recom-

mending lighter sanctions and being less certain of guilt

than those in the dissimilar condition.

Group versus individual decisions. -- To test for

the group polarization effect a series of 2X2 mixed design

with repeated measures on the second factor was employed.

The first factor had two levels of similarity (i.e., simi-

lar and dissimilar) and the second factor two levels of

decision condition (individual and "group" decisions).

Initial decision "group" scores were computed by deter-

mining the mean of the scores of the individual subjects

who made up the experimental or control group. A group

consensus score was obtained from the experimental group

for the group decision situation. A "statisticized" con-

trol group was used where the group decision score was

obtained by computing the mean of the four individual

decisions made when subjects of the control condition









reconsidered their initial responses.

Four AjiOVAS were run, with two examining the question-

naire answers of the control group subjects for certainty

and sanctioning scores respectively and two examining the

questionnaire answers of the experimental group subjects

for certainty and sanctioning scores respectively. For

the control group subjects, it was predicted that there

would be a main effect of similarity on sanctions and cer-

tainty, no main effect for the first versus second deci-

sions, and no interaction effects between the two levels

of similarity and the two statisticized group decisions

(i.e., first and second decisions). For the experimental

group, an interaction between similarity-dissimilarity and

group versus individual decisions was predicted. It was

hypothesized that the group decisions would represent

heavier sanctioning and greater certainty of guilt for sub-

jects in the dissimilar condition and lighter sanctions and

lesser certainty of guilt than was represented by the indi-

vidual decisions of the subjects'in the similar condition.















VI. RESULTS


Individual Decisions on Similarity and Sanctions

A 2X2 ANOVA was performed examining sanctioning

scores as a function of two levels of similarity between

subjects and interviewees (i.e., similar and dissimilar)

and two levels of subject condition (i.e., membership in

experimental or control groups). A highly significant

main effect for similarity (F=11.80; d.f.=1/156; p < .01)

was observed. An examination of Table 1 reveals that

the means fell in the predicted direction with greater

sanctions being recommended for the dissimilar than for

the similar defendant. No other significant or main

effects were observed. The fact that there was no main

effect for the experimental versus control subject dimen-

sion indicated that the sanctioning tendencies of the

subjects was not different before the group decision

phase of the experiment.

Another 2X2 ANOVA was performed to examine certainty

of guilt scores as a function of two levels of similarity

between subjects and interviewees (i.e., similar and dis-

similar) and two levels of subject condition (i.e., mem-

bership in experimental or control groups). As Table 2

indicates,no significant main effects or interactions were















Table 1

Initial Decisions On Sanctioning
Analysis of Variance


Source SS DF MS F

Similarity-Dissimilarity (A) 50.625 1 50.625 11.803*
Control-Experimental (B) 0.025 1 0.025 0.006

AXB 1.225 1 1.225 0.286.

Error 669.1 156 4.289


* p < .01


Similar

Dissimilar


Cell Means

Control

2.00

3.30


Experimental

2.15

3.10














Table 2

Initial Decisions On Certainty of &iilt
Analysis of Variance


Source

Similarity-Dissimilarity (A)

Control-Experimental (B)
AXB

Error


ss

1.806
2.256

1.056

406.875


DF MS F

1 1.806 0.693

1 2.256 0.865

1 1.056 0.405

156 2.608


Similar

Dissimilar


Cell Means

Control

4.20

4.575


Experimental

1.60

11.65









observed (F< 1.00 in all cases). Thus, the hypothesis

concerning similarity and certainty of guilt was not con-

firmed.

Group Polarization Effects


A 2X2 ANOVA with repeated measures on the second

factor was performed examining sanctioning scores of the

experimental group as a function of two levels of subject-

interviewee similarity (i.e., similar and dissimilar) and

with the repeated measures on individual and group deci-

sions. A within-subject main effect for group versus

individual decisions (F=8.69, d.f.=l/18; p< .01) was

observed. No other significant main effects or inter-

actions were found. An examination of the mean in Table

3 indicates that there was a "leniency" effect in the

group consensus scores with lighter sanctions being recom-

mended as a result of group discussion. The predicted

interaction was not found.

Another 2X2 ANOVA with repeated measures on the

second factor was performed examining sanctioning scores

of the control group as a function of two levels of sub-

ject-interviewee similarity (i.e., similar and dissimilar)

and the repeated measures on individual and group deci-

sions. A between-subjects main effect for similarity-

dissimilarity (F=4.91; d.f.=l/l8; .05) was observed.

No other main effects or interactions were found. As

Table 4 indicates, the means for similarity-dissimilarity









fell in the predicted direction with greater sanctions

being reccrumended when the interviewee expressed dis-

similar attitudes than when he expressed similar atti-

tudes. The fact that there was no significant main effect

for the within-subject factor indicates that the lack of

group discussion results in no shift in opinion. This

finding points to the conclusion that decisions rendered

by a group on the same type of question are the result of

the group's arrival at a consensus through discussion.

A third 2X2 ANOVA with repeated measures on the

second factor was performed examining certainty of guilt

scores of the experimental group as a function of two

levels of subject-interviewee similarity (i.e., similar

and dissimilar) and the repeated measures on the indi-

vidual and group decision factor. A significant within-

subjects main effect for individual versus group decisions

was observed (F=9.28; d.f.=l/18; p ( .01). No other inter-

actions or main effects were found. The cell means (see

Table 5) indicate that the group consensus showed a

greater certainty of the defendant's guilt than did the

individual positions taken by the group members. The

hypothesized interaction between similarity-dissimilarity

and group versus individual decisions was not confirmed.

Finally, a 2X2 ANOVA with repeated measures on the

second factor was performed examining certainty of guilt

scores of the control group as a function of two levels

of subject-interviewee similarity (i.e., similar and














Table 3


Experimental Group
Group Versus Individual Sanctioning
Analysis of Variance


Recommendations


Source SS DF MS F

Between Subjects
Similar-Dissimilar (A) 5.26 1 5.26 1.96

Error 48.18 18 2.68

Within Subjects
Individual Versus Group (B) 2.26 1 2.26 8.69*

AXB 0.51 1 0.51 1.95

Error 4.68 18 0.26


Sp< .01


Cell Means


Individual Decision


Group Consensus


Similar


Dissimilar


2.15

3.10


1.90

2.40














Table 4

Control Group
Group Versus Individual Sanctioning Recommendations
Analysis of Variance


Source SS DF .IS F
Between Subjects
Similar-Dissimilar (A) 16.90 1 16.90 4.91*

Error 61.91 18 3.44

Within Subjects
Individual Versus Group (B) 0.03 1 0.03 0.49

AXB -0.00 1 -0.00 -0.00

Error 0.91 18 0.05


* p < .05


Cell Means


First Decision


Second Decision


Similar


Dissimilar


2.00

3.30


1.95
3.25














Table 5

Experimental Group
Group Versus Individual Certainty of Guilt Scores
Analysis of Variance


Source SS DF MS F
Between Subjects
Similar-Dissimilar (A) 5.26 1 5.26 1.96

Error 27.68 18 1.54

Within Subjects
Individual Versus Group (B) 2.26 1 2.26 9.28*

AXB 0.31 1 0.31 1.26

Error 4.38 18 0.24


p: p : .01


Cell Means


Individual Decision


Group Consensus


Similar


Dissimilar


4.60

4.65


4.90
5.30














Table 6

Control Group
Group Versus Individual Certainty of Guilt Scores
Analysis of Variance


Source SS DF MS F
Between Subjects
Similar-Dissimilar (A) 0.98 1 0.98 0.58

Error 30.17 18 1.68

Within Subjects
Individual Versus Groups (B) 0.00 1 0.00 0.12

AXB 0.04 1 0.04

Error 0.30 18 0.02


Cell Means


First Decision


Second Decision


Similar


Dissimilar


4.20

4.58


4.28

4.58









dissimilar) and the repeated measures on the first versus

second individual decision factor. As one can note in

Table 6, no significant main effects or interactions were

found. As with the analysis of the sanctioning scores,

the failure to find a main effect for the within-subjects

factor in the control (statisticized) group indicates

that the decisions rendered by the interacting groups

with the same type of question are the result of the

group's arrival at a consensus through group discussion.














VII. DISCUSSION


Similarity and Sanctioning

The data strongly confirmed the hypothesis that atti-

tude similarity between subject and interviewee is related

to the recommendation of prison sentences. Heavier nega-

tive sanctions were approved for those interviewees who

expressed dissimilar attitudes to those of the subject than

for those interviewees who expressed similar attitudes. It

seems that the expression of similar or dissimilar atti-

tudes produces an evaluative response which results in the

recommendation of lighter or heavier sanctions as a func-

tion of that evaluative response.

This finding is interesting in that there is a more

positive evaluative response (i.e., lighter sanctions) with

higher attitude similarity even in the face of the fact that

the similar person admitted to the commission of a deviate

act (i.e., the crime of aggravated assault). McGuire (1969)

points out that one may expect more of a person who is simi-

lar in attitudes because of the subjects feeling that

because he is a good person, similar persons should like-

wise behave properly. Contrary to these assumptions, the

results of this study suggest that people may be more

lenient toward similar than toward dissimilar defendants.









In the area of similarity-attraction there is also

some empirical support for the notion that similarity can

breed dislike when the similar person commits deviant acts.

Novak and Lerner (1968) found that when a stranger was

presented as being emotionally disturbed that stranger was

liked less when he expressed similar than when he expressed

dissimilar attitudes. When Taylor and Mettee (1971) had a

confederate behave obnoxiously towards the subject, the

subject liked the confederate more when he was dissimilar

in attitudes. As Byrne and Lamherth (1971) demonstrated,

the effect of deviancy on the stranger's personality is

one factor which is used by an individual in determining

how much he likes another. In the present study the posi-

tive evaluative response to attitude similarity apparently

outweighed the negative affect which might result from the

observation of a similar person committing a deviant act.

The failure to find any relationship between attitude

similarity-dissimilarity and the evaluative response of

certainty of guilt parallels the results of other studies

including those of Landy and Aronson (1969) and Mitchell

and Byrne (1971). The lack of differences found with the

use of this measure may be the result of its insensitivity

as an indicator of certainty of guilt because of an absence

in the subject of a personal definition of what the various

points on the scale mean.

A more plausible alternative explanation, however,

is that the role demands of the experimental situation









required the subject to be "objective" about assessing

certainty of guilt. The statements of the interviewee

about the fact that he committed the crime in question

may have carried equal weight with the subjects in both

of the two conditions and had greater impact than other

sources of influence. It will be recalled that Griffitt

and Jackson (1970) obtained similar findings in examining

the question of the effect of attitude similarity on per-

sonnel selection. Their data showed that attitude simi-

larity did affect the reccrT.mendation of whether or not to

hire an individual but did not relate to the compensation

which was considered appropriate for the person if he got

the job. Griffitt and Jackson (1970) explained these

findings in terms of the norms of fair distribution of

rewards outweighing any negative or positive evaluative

responses resulting from attitude similarity or dissimi-

larity. Further study is necessary to clear up this prob-

lem. One possibility of resolving the question would be

to present a defendant who has been charged with a crime

but who does not admit to having committed it. In this

instance, the guilt of the defendant would be more ambigu-

ous, thus reducing the role demands to be certain,if

one's bias were to be uncertain. If attitude similarity

had an effect on certainty of guilt, it might be more

likely to show up in the context of such a situation.

The results of the present investigation seem to

point to a possible "bias" in the imposition of sanctions









by persons charged with enforcing laws or other rules in

our society. The finding of a relationship between atti-

tude similarity and sanctioning suggests that those per-

sons presently in the public eye because of their deviant

political beliefs might face heavier sentences than that

awarded to the average person when he is convicted of

a crime. Of course, many jurists and other persons charged

with the assignment of sanctions might recognize the poten-

tial for bias in such situations and "bend over backwards"

to be fair in order to meet the role demands of their job.

The lack of a finding of a significant relationship

between certainty of guilt and attitude similarity sug-

gests the need for further study to determine if the posi-

tive or negative evaluative response elicited by the pre-

sentation of similar or dissimilar attitudes affects the

imposition of a guilty verdict. An understanding of these

factors through scientific investigations will add a

further basis which the society can depend on to ration-

ally structure its system of justice.

Group Polarization Effects


The evidence from the present study concerning sanc-

tioning scores indicated that group discussion to consen-

sus produces recommendations by the group for lighter

punishment than is represented by the average of the indi-

vidual decisions of its members. Instead of increased

sanctions assigned by groups in the dissimilar condition









and decreased sanctions recommended by groups in the simi-

lar condition as predicted by the hypothesis, a "leniency

shift" was found across conditions. One possible explana-

tion of this finding is that there existed a norm of leni-

ency among group members. In a situation analogous to that

found with the risky shift, a "leniency value" may have

become dominant in the group discussion causing a "leni-

ency shift" to occur. There is some experimental evidence

concerning the existence of a leniency norm among the popu-

lation in general. Kalven and Zeisel (1966) report data

from their national survey of the jury system that indi-

cate that there is a more lenient attitude in terms of

the verdict rendered shown by the jury as a group than by

the judge. Their results also indicated that this leni-

ency often resulted when the jury thought the defendant

had been already punished enough by the law. It might be

noted, however, that defendant's lawyer may have advised

him to waive his right to a jury trial in instances where

experience has shown that the judge would tend to be leni-

ent. Thus, a selection factor may have biased the sample

of cases heard by the jury.

Other evidence on a leniency norm comes from a

national survey of the public's opinions on the Galley

trial. KeLIan and Lawrence (1972) found that 75 per cent

of those interviewed felt that the life sentence given to

Lt. Galley was too harsh. Although the situation surround-

ing the Calley case represented an especially emotional










issue, there is some evidence here of a public reaction

towards leniency. WV.en one notes that the college student

subjects in the present investigation were almost daily

exposed to editorials and articles in their university

newspaper and other mass media which condemned the prison

system and the harsh sentences handed down by judges, it

seems likely that any leniency norm would be highly sali-

ent and strongly reinforced for the participants in the

present study. If such a leniency shift exists, further

research is required to determine if it applies to a wide

population, or is restricted to the comparatively liberal

college student population.

Although a pure polarization effect was not obtained,

one might have occurred in conjunction with the action of

a "leniency shift." As noted above, the hypothesized pure

polarization effect would have been reflected in an

increase in the group sanctioning score over that of the

average of the individuals for the dissimilar condition

and a reduction in the group sanctioning from the average

of the individuals for the similar condition. Such a find-

ing is diagrammatically illustrated in Figure 1. However,

in conjunction with the unexpected leniency effect, a

polarization effect would be shown in an interaction with

the lighter sanctions recommended by the groups in the

similar condition being less than that for the dissimilar

condition. This type of interaction is illustrated in

Figure 2. The vectors at the right hand of the page point











A.- DISSIMILAR ATTITUDES
"v ---SIMILAR ATTITUDES


INDIVIDUAL
DECISION


GROUP
DECISION


FIGURE I.
PREDICTED POLARIZATION EFFECTS
OF GROUP DISCUSSION

















A -A DISSIMILAR ATTITUDES
SIMILAR ATTITUDES








......... FL.O..O.R....


.......................................... .... F F


INDIVIDUAL
DECISION


GROUP
DECISION


FIGURE 2.
COMBINED POLARIZATION AND
LENIENCY EFFECTS


z
0


FE w
<0
00
(L JL


z w
Ztr
U.CO
lo
w 0
-JiW


crco

T-I- I
w'
a^




I co

x5 w
< a









out the process involved. If one assumes that there is a

force toward leniency of "X" units operating in the group

discussion situation and that a pure polarization effect

of "Y" units is generated by discussion to consensus, then

the total leniency effect would be represented by a force

of X+Y for the similar condition and X-Y for the dissimilar

condition.

Such an interaction was not found in the present

study, and, thus, this evidence does not support the

existence of a polarization effect in this situation. How-

ever, there is a possibility of a "floor effect" having

prevented the above mentioned interaction from being demon-

strated. The initial individual decisions tended to be

closer to the lower (more lenient) end of the scale. Thus,

the subjects in the similar condition may have been limited

in how far they could go in following the forces towards

leniency. The dotted line in Figure 2 represents such a
"floor" and it illustrates how such limits would prevent

an interaction between polarization effects and a leniency

shift from becoming apparent. Further study using a vari-

ety of scales might resolve the question of the existence

of a floor effect.

It was also found in the present study that there was

a group discussion shift towards more certainty of guilt.

Again the hypothesis of a polarization effect was not con-

firmed with increased certainty after group discussion

occurring across conditions. It may be that the information









and reinforcement provided by other members of the group

allowed the subject to resolve his uncertainties. An

explanation of the results in terms of a ceiling or floor

effect seems unlikely in this instance because the sub-

ject's responses tended to cluster around the neutral

point of the scale.

The evidence that group discussion results in a leni-

ency shift, and an increased certainty of guilt, has inter-

esting implications for the American jury system especially

in instances where juries recommend sentences as well as

determine guilt or innocence. Traditionally, thinkers on

the jury system have emphasized the concept that the his-

torical role of the jury is that of a fact-finding body

where a group of citizens comes together and applies com-

mon logic to arrive at a true conclusion (Kadish and

Kadish, 1971; Kalven and Zeisel, 1966). The fact that the

opinions of the group represent more extreme positions than

those of the average of the prediscussion attitudes of that

groups members, points to a need to re-think the notion

that juries represent a means by which a group can get

together and average out biases so as to arrive at an

accurate assessment of facts. If one considers that there

is a leniency norm extant in the group, then a leniency

shift represents an accentuation of a majority norm rather

than a conclusion based on input from all positions.

Of course, this bias may not represent an entirely

negative outcome. As Kadish and Kadish (1971) pointed out,










it might be well for the jury to represent a social change

agent in the society by acquitting individuals who are

guilty from a strictly legal point of view but whose

incarceration would represent a negative event from the

point of view of a concept of greater good. In any event,

the results of the present study emphasize the necessity

of taking into account the existence of this bias in con-

sidering what the optimal structure of the American legal

system ought to be.










Appendix A
Pilot Study Questionnaire

The following statements have been made by various persons.
The purpose of this questionnaire is to find out whether
people agree or disagree with them. Circle the symbol
which best represents your position on each statement.

AAA = Strongly Agree
AA = Agree
A = Slightly Agree
D = Slightly Disagree
DD = Disagree
DDD = Strongly Disagree




AAA AA A D DDD The Nazis' ideas might be a good thing
for America today.
AAA AA A D DDD The concept of white racial superior-
ity is not valid.
AAA AA A D DDD The white Anglo-Saxon race was mostly
responsible for building up the
country.

AAA AA A D DDD Inferior minority groups are trying to
take over the country by rearing more
children than majority racial groups.

AAA AA A D DDD There is no conspiracy of communist
aided groups of ethnic minorities to
take over the country.
AAA AA A D DDD Blacks should be returned to Africa.

AAA AA A D DDD Forced sterilizations should be
employed to limit overpopulation of
minority groups.
AAA AA A D DDD Nuclear bombs should be employed
against other countries which inter-
fere against U.S. policies.
AAA AA A D DDD The press is controlled by groups bent
on taking the country away from whites.
AAA AA A D DDD The press should not be controlled by
the government.















Appendix B
Frequency of Response to Pilot Questionnaire

Responses


Question #


AAA


0
27
0
0
7
0
1
2
1
24


AA A D DD DDD


0
1

91
5
8

2
0
2
2


10
0
9
8
8
8
7
5
10
1















Appendix C
Script for the Experimental Interviews


A. Similar Attitudes

I. The experiment in which you are participating is a
study of decision making processes and the law. You will
hear a taped interview with an individual who has been
charged with a felony. Please listen carefully to the
interview as you will be asked to make some judgments at
its conclusion. Your opinions are of great value in the
attempt to better understand our system of justice.

(PAUSE)
I. Hello, Wilbur, would you tell us the nature of the
crime with which you were charged.

S. Yes, it was aggravated assault.

I. Is this a felony?

S. Yes, it is.

I. What were the circumstances surrounding your arrest?

S. I became so mad at this fellow that I hit him over the
head with a bottle.

I. Was he hurt badly?

S. He was taken to the hospital. I am afraid he had a
rough time. He says he still has headaches which keep
him from working.

I. How did this confrontation occur?

S. Well, it was a Saturday afternoon and I needed to get
a few things at the store. I drove down to the shopping
center and bought the things I needed. Then I stopped by
a bar to have a drink. This place is one where a lot of
people from the neighborhood stop in for a drink and some
talk. A sort of local hang out. Anyway, there was a guy
sitting at the next table shooting off his mouth. Some
of the things he said got me so mad that I told him to










shut up. He said "do you want to make something of it?",
and I got so mad I don't even remember how it happened,
but I just went up and hit him with a bottle that was on
the table. Someone pulled me off of him and called the
police. They came and arrested me.

I. What did the man say to make you so angry?

S. Well, as I said there were a bunch of men sitting
around, and I could easily overhear part of their conver-
sation. One of them was saying what he thought about
various things going on today. '.Tlat he said made me mad.
He said that he thought that the brilliant ideas of Hitler
and the Nazis would be a good thing for America. Also he
claimed that the white Aryans alone made this country
great. He said that there has been a reversal of human
evolution because of unlimited breeding of the inferior
races, while the members of the superior white race limit
themselves to a few offspring or none. He said the solu-
tion to the problem was that the blacks should be returned
to Africa. He said that it all started because the Jews
and communists are conspiring to gain power by giving the
country to the coloreds and then controlling them. He
also said that the Jews and the communists control the
press which is out to destroy the country and the govern-
ment should control these people. He then said that Jews,
coloreds and all other such conmmie loving groups should
be run out of the goverrient and forced sterilization by
the goverrzner.t should be required of all nonwhites. His
final solution was that if other countries get in the way
of our policies, we should blow the hell out of them with
A-bombs. When he said all of these things, I became so
mad that I hit him.

I. Why do you think that what he said made you so mad?

S. I have always felt rather strongly about these ques-
tions. I believe that there is no such thing as a superior
race. I think that all racial groups have made contribu-
tions to the improvement of our country and should share
in its benefits. All groups of people have a right to be
in this country. The government should not force persons
to be sterilized in order to maintain a certain racial
balance. All groups must participate in the government,
if this country is to be successful. The press is not
conspiring to take over the country and the government
should not control it. Also I think that nuclear weapons
should not be used to attack countries which don't agree
with our policies. Since these things are so important
to me, I really got worked up, and that is why I got so
mad and hit him.


I. If you could undo what you did, would you?









S. I'm not saying I was right to hurt the guy, but I
think that I couldn't help myself. I think if it happened
again I would get so mad that I'd hit him.

I. Do you think you were treated fairly by the law?

S. Well, all in all, I guess so.

I. Thank you very much.


B. Dissimilar Attitudes

I. The experiment in which you are participating is a
study of decision making processes and the law. You will
hear a taped interview with an individual who has been
charged with a felony. Please listen carefully to the
interview as you will be asked to make some judgments at
its conclusion. Your opinions are of great value in the
attempt to better understand our system of justice.

(PAUSE)
I. Hello, Wilbur, would you tell us the nature of the
crime with which you were charged.

S. Yes, it was aggravated assault.

I. Is this a felony?

S. Yes, it is.

I. What were the circumstances surrounding your arrest?

S. I became so mad at this fellow that I hit him over
the head with a bottle.

I. Was he hurt badly?

S. He was taken to the hospital. I am afraid he had a
rough time. He says he still has headaches which keep
him from working.

I. How did this confrontation occur?

S. Well, it was a Saturday afternoon and I needed to get
a few things at the store. I drove down to the shopping
center and bought the things I needed. Then I stopped by
a bar to have a drink. This place is one where a lot of
people from the neighborhood stop in for a drink and some
talk. A sort of local hang out. Anyway, there was a guy
sitting at the next table shooting off his mcuth. Some









of the things he said got me so mad that I told him to shut
up. He said, "Do you want to make something of it?"', arnd
I got so mad I don't even remember how it happened, but I
just went up and hit him with a bottle that was on the
table. Someone pulled me off of him and called the police.
They came and arrested me.

I. What did the man say to make you so angry?

S. Well, as I said, there was a bunch of men sitting
around, and I could easily overhear part of their conver-
sation. One of them was saying what he thought about
various things going on today. 'Jh-at he said made me mad.
He said that as far as the stupid concepts of Hitler and
the Nazis were concerned, they would be a bad thing for
America. He said that all racial and ethnic groups have
contributed to the greatness of this country. He also
claimed that human evolution has not resulted in any
superior race and any evolutionary advantages man might
have are not because of any balance in the numbers of
people from a particular racial group. He said that
blacks have as much right to be in this country as any-
body. He claimed that there is no ccrr-mnunist or minority
conspiracy to take over the country by catering to the
blacks. He said that the press is not under the control
of conspirators bent on the destruction of the country
and that the government should not control the press. He
said that our government should have the participation of
all the people including members of minority groups. He
said forced sterilization by the government of minorities
should be prohibited. Also he said that nuclear weapons
should not be used to attack countries which dontt agree
with our policies. W'hen he said all of these things, I
became so mad that I hit him.

I. Why do you think that what he said made you so mad?

S. I have always felt rather strongly about these ques-
tions. I believe that the white race is the superior race.
Since the whites made this country what it is, they should
be the ones who share in its benefits. I think that the
blacks should be returned to Africa, and this overbreeding
of the inferior races should be stopped by the government
using forced sterilization of the blacks. Jews, coloreds
and all other such commie loving groups should be run out
of the government, and the Jew run communist press, which
is helping the enemy take over the country should be con-
trolled by the government. I also believe that if any
country objects to our policies, we should blow the hell
out of them with an A-bomb, Since these things are so
important to me, I really got worked up and that's why
I got so mad and hit him.







76

I. If you could undo what you did, would you?

S. I'm not saying I was right to hurt the g-uy, but I
think that I couldn't help myself. I think if it happened
again, I would get so mad that I'd hit him.
I. Do you think that you were treated fairly by the law?

S. Well, all in all, I guess so.

I. Thank you very much.









Appendix D
Response Questionnaire


Birthdate______

OPlT,' iT QUES'f'IOiH1iAIRE

Please write your birthdate in the upper right hand
corner of the page. In this part of the study you will be
asked to give your opinions about the taped interview to
which you have previously listened. Please answer your
own questionnaire and do not talk to others participating
in this project.

NOTE: The order of presentation for the questions was
reversed for one half of the subjects.

1. Assuming that the person in the interview is found
guilty, please circle in the space below the number of
months of prison sentence which you would recommend that
he receive.

0 4 8 12 16 20 24 28 32 36
mos. mos. mos. mos. mos. mos. mos. mos. mos. mos.

2. The statute defines aggravated assault as an assault
where the means or instrument used to accomplish the injury
is highly dangerous or where the assailant has some ulteri-
or motive in committing the assault with other than a mere
desire to punish the injured person or where the assault
was committed with a deadly weapon under circumstances not
related to an intent to do murder. Aggravated assault is
seen as different from simple assault where serious bodily
injury is inflicted.

Using the above definition of aggravated assault as a
guide, please indicate in the space below how certain you
feel about the guilt of the person interviewed by checking
the answer which is appropriate to your opinion.


Extremely Uncertain

Very Uncertain

________ Uncertain

________ Neither Certain or Uncertain
Certain










Very Certain

Extremely Certain















Appendix E
Instructions for Group Discussion

IISTRUCTIONS

In this part of the study you will be asked to agree

as a group on the questions presented on the ballot which

has been provided. Discuss among the four of you each

question separately and come to an agreement as to what

the group feels the best answer to be. It is important

that you reach a consensus. You have ten minutes to

decide on each question. There is a clock provided to

tell you how much time has elapsed in your discussion.

"Then the group has made their decision, each of you should

record it on his copy of the ballot.















GROUP DECISIOI1 BALLOT


110TE: The order of presentation of the questions was
reversed for one half of the subjects.

1. Assuming that the person in the interview is found
guilty, please circle in the space below thf number of
months of prison sentence which the group wculd recom-
mend that he receive.

0 4 8 12 16 20 24 25 32 36
mos. mos. mos. mos. mos. mos. mos. mo. mo. MS. mos.

2. The statute defines aj:ravated assault 'as an assault
where the means or instrument used to accomplish the
injury is highly dangerous or where the assailant has
some ulterior or malicious motive in committing the
assault with other than a mere desire to punish the
injured person or where the assault i-.as committed with a
deadly weapon under circumstances not related to an intent
to do murder. Aggravated assault is seen as different
from simple assault where serious bodily injury is
inflicted.

Using the above definition of aggravated assault as
a guide, please indicate in the space below how certain
the group feels about the guilt of the person interviewed
by checking the answer which is appropriate to the group's
opinion.
Extremely Uncertain

Very Uncertain

______ Uncertain

_______ Neither Certain or Tncertain
______ Certain

Very Certain


Extremely Certain














Appendix F
Instructions for Second Individual
Decisions of Control Group lerbers


At times people wish to reconsider their earlier

decisions. You have been provided with another opinion

questionnaire concerning the interview to which you

listened at the beginning of the session. This is not a

test of your r:ierrmcry. Think about your ans:erz's and mark

the questionnaire to reflect your opinions as they now

stand. Please do not discuss your answers with others.













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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH


Lee Arnderson Jackson, Jr. was born november 1, 1946,

at Washington, D.C. In June, 1965, he was graduated from

St. Stephen's Episcopal School for Boys, Alexandria,

Virginia. In June, 1969, he received the degree of

Bachelor of Arts, cum laude, with a major in Psychology

from Hampden-Sydney College, Hampden-Sydney, Virginia.

He was a member of Psi Chi and Delta Si!rma Rho, Tau Kappa

Alpha honorary societies. In 1969 he was enrolled in the

Graduate School of the University of Florida from which

he receive the degree of *aTster of Arts in 1970.















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.


i .' ,,. ", .1. j *,.. ; :*,,*; i . i -.,? : ~-i -* ., ;::.,i i ';h .-'!
Assistant 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.



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.
h

J0.;,, Dixon
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.



Associate Professor of P-1, 'hology