When and Where do Biases Emerge? Memory and Decision Making Across Legal Contexts
Burd, Kayla Ann
Children and adults may come in contact with the criminal justice system in a myriad of ways. Individuals may witness crimes and be called as witnesses; police officers often need to make assessments about whether they or those around them are in danger; and community members may serve as jurors in civil or criminal cases. In each of these contexts, biases in memory and decision making may lead to extreme consequences for the suspects and defendants involved. In this thesis, I present three studies exploring memory and decision making in diverse contexts. In my first paper, I demonstrate that children’s minimal group membership impacts their memories of actions committed by in- and out-group members across time. In the second paper, I explore two novel interventions aimed at reducing shooting decision inaccuracy in mock police officers. Last, I investigate mock juror decision making as a function of verdict procedure and find that jurors’ decisions are remarkably similar when jurors render a general verdict, or when asked to provide reasons for their decisions before or after rendering a general verdict; however, jurors’ decisions are dissimilar when rendering a special verdict. Implications for the criminal justice system are discussed.
Psychology; Memory; Biases; Law; Developmental psychology; decision making
Ceci, Stephen John
Hans, Valerie; Burrow, Anthony L.
Ph. D., Human Development
Doctor of Philosophy
dissertation or thesis