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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1860/160

Title: Effect of judicial instructions on jury consideration of defendant’s refusal to testify (The)
Authors: Zdrok, Victoria A.
Keywords: Instructions to juries;Self-incrimination;Privileges and immunities;Failure to testify;Directed forgetting;Jury decision-making
Issue Date: 26-Jun-2003
Abstract: This study investigated the effects of judicial instructions to disregard the defendant’s failure to testify on juridical consideration of the defendant’s silence. One hundred seventy nine actual jurors from the unused jury panels at the Philadelphia and Delaware courts watched one of the three versions of a two hour long condensed version of the actual trial. Trial versions differed in the strength of judicial instruction to disregard the defendant’s silence. As predicted, instructing the jurors to disregard the defendant’s silence resulted in greater conviction rate, consistent with the thought suppression and reactance literature. However, the conviction rate was not linearly related to the strength of the judicial instruction. It is hypothesized that other psychological factors, such as cognitive dissonance, may have contributed to this outcome. Jurors who rated defendant’s silence as an important factor in their verdict outcome were more likely to find the defendant guilty. Results are discussed in light of the applicability of directed forgetting, thought suppression, belief perseverance and psychological reactance paradigms to the research on jury decision-making.
URI: http://dspace.library.drexel.edu/handle/1860/160
Appears in Collections:Drexel Theses and Dissertations

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