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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1860/1768

Title: The impact of differential forms of risk communication on judicial decision-making
Authors: Dolores, John Christian
Keywords: Clinical Psychology;Judicial process--Psychological aspects;Risk assessment
Issue Date: 4-Sep-2007
Abstract: This study examined the impact different forms of risk communication have upon judicial decision‐making. Risk communication is the way in which clinicians present the results of a violence risk assessment. Previous research has identified clinicians’ preferred forms of risk communication and described its numerous uses in legal cntexts. Judges were presented with hypothetical situations and asked to rate the form of risk communication in terms of its clarity ad value and to make a decision concerning release into the community. In addition, judges were surveyed regarding their attitudes toward social science evidence and violence risk assessment. The results suggest that judges who receive the risk factors/risk management form of risk communication are more likely to discharge a defendant than judges receiving the prediction form. On the other hand, the judges’ decision‐making was not affected by the type of consequence presented (i.e., mild v. severe). This study also replicated the finding that liberal judges are more likely to discharge than conservative judges. Concerning the reaction judges had to the psychologist’s opinion, judges who found the opinion clear and understandable tended to find the opinion valuable and helpful as well. Also, the data suggested a model demonstrating that judges’ attitudes toward both social science evidence and violence risk assessmet predict the usefulness a judge places on the psychologist’s opinion.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1860/1768
Appears in Collections:Drexel Theses and Dissertations

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