The following paper summarizes the implications, processes, and preliminary findings from a research study conducted by an undergraduate psychology student at Lindenwood University. The study experimentally investigated the relationship between a juror’s socioeconomic status (SES) and the likelihood that they would choose to convict a randomly selected defendant. It was hypothesized that a participant of a higher SES would be more likely to convict a defendant than would a participant of a lower SES. To investigate the validity of this hypothesis, participants (N=13) posing as jurors completed an online survey in which they were tasked with evaluating the details of 5 different court cases that had been erased of any identifiable and/or demographic information about the defendant (and victim(s), if applicable) before being asked to submit their final verdict on the case (guilty or not guilty). Data collected from this activity was inputted into the statistical analysis software program IBM SPSS Statistics (Version 28), alongside the jurors’ measures of SES, which had been totaled based on participants’ responses to a series of demographic questions, in order to calculate the Pearson’s r correlation statistic for the two variables. SES scores and frequency of jury conviction were found to be positively correlated (r(11) = .04, p = .44), but the findings were not of any statistical significance. Explanations for the study’s lacking statistical power and recommendations for improving the statistical power of future research is discussed.
"Guilty by Reason of Vanity?: The Relationship Between Jurors’ Socioeconomic Status and Trial Outcome,"
Undergraduate Psychology Research Methods Journal: Vol. 2:
1, Article 8.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.lindenwood.edu/psych_journals/vol2/iss1/8
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