Running head: JUROR SUGGESTIBILITY 1
JUROR SUGGESTIBILITY 24
Juror Suggestibility Verdict
Matthew M. Rosario
University of the Rockies
Juror Suggestibility Verdict
There are many general conclusions on jury selection and the examination of information based on gender and individual biases due to developmental and environmental influences. There is very little research that examines the effect of personality inventories determination on juries’ selection. The perceptions of jury selection are based on the process of “Vior Dire” which gives the opportunity for lawyers to ask a question to the jury pool and dismiss the jury for cause if the lawyer feels that jury can hurt their case. Also, according to Eigenbery, McGuffe, Iles, and Garland (2011) during the process of vior dire counsel can excuse jurors in two manners which the council can remove for a cause which requires proof of potential jurors view are bias or challenge for cause which need no reason. While the judge has the right to deny counsel the right to remove for cause if the argument is not substantially the counsel can go around the judge and use one of their peremptory challenges. Peremptory challenges are not unlimited and are different from state to state. There have been some empirical studies which demonstrate the mechanism of counsel using these techniques in order to deny some group the right to serve on juries (Eigenbery et al., 2011). In selecting jurors, the process can be impartial to empaneled juries to reduce discrimination and biases within the court process. Potential jurors without reason can relate the court trial and information being delivered to past experiences and intuitions to assist them in their decision-making process which can allow a psychological perspective or lean towards a psychological approach during jury selection to benefit a counsel or client.
Surprisingly there is not much research on personality inventories about jury selection. In other words, the criminal justice systems have been using the same methods to select juries which can reduce biases and ensure a fair trial. What if counsel uses forensic psychologist who understands behavior about the personality and the effects of information or how information will be perceived based on an individual’s personality type during pre-trial selections. Some would argue whether or not this is ethical because counsel and psychologist could manipulate the jury pool to have a more favorable jury on their position. We already do this during the vior dire process during jury selection, all this is adding is an element of the psychological profile within juries to reduce biases and allow a counsel a better opportunity to win their cause. The downfall to this is there both counsels from each position has the opportunity to challenge for cause or use a peremptory challenge, which gives each counsel the opportunity to have their specific type of jurors they are looking for. Enhancing psychological within the criminal justice preceding will traditionally have jury service become more effective for both positions. According to Eigenbery et al. (2011) historically very little social science research has examined the process of jury selection and the influences of jury selection based on counsels position. Due to this, it is important to understand the literature review of the jury selection process to improve the selection theory of juries. More specifically, can personality inventories (Juries suggestibility theory) determine a jury’s verdict based on individual suggestibility and personality type? The purpose of this exploratory study is to address and determine whether or not jurors perceive information based on their suggestibility type (emotional or physical) or personality type (Myers-Byers Personality Test) based on gender role identity. During the process of jury selection, there was little to no research conducted on this topic. In order to understand the criminal justice system in relations to jury process and mata-analysis of the literature review was conducted on the common issue with jury selection such as biases, discrimination, and race-related issues with minorities and majorities. Finally, this study will address antagonistic attitudes towards forensic psychologist being used in the criminal justice system to advise counsel on jury selection strategies through mock trial and physical and emotional profiling of the information in each case being provided
How does a juror’s suggestibility state (Emotional or Physical) affect their verdict during a murder trial?
The criminal defendant to trial by an impartial jury is a part of the U.S. Constitution which entitles all rights. According to Rose (2008) during jury selection questioning (voir dire), trial judges are required to evaluate each juror on whether or not they can evaluate evidence and can make a decision with an open mind. This can be difficult because there has been evidence presented that prior beliefs and experience influence perceptions. The diversity of background is interchangeable depending on demographic and factors such as personal strength and ability to stay open. In contrast, this is not always the case due to attitudes and beliefs which are formed in the unconscious mind leading to unacceptable bias (Rose, 2008).
In many cases judge are obligate to excuse the prospective juror because of biases because of this, it is hard to say if a judge is trained to see this behavior. Also, judges ask jurors to report their assessment of their ability to stand a fair trial (Rose, 2008). Giving the ability to honest assessment early on can be beneficial, but it is hard to know whether or not a jury will have an honest self-assessment on their ability to stand a fair trial. Many individuals with biases are not always honest with themselves because of the environment they were raised and developed in. There has been much empirical literature which addresses the stages of jury selection and the attorney choice to remove jurors or keep jurors for the trial. To determine vior dire and self-assessment of fairness during selection procedures if juror’s background or attitudes raise any flags or relevant life experiences are associated with past crimes they will b,e removed from jury duty(Rose, 2008). The issue with this is that one of the contributing factors within the assessment stage is the juror’s report about their characteristics. Even with having some background from the juror is the only individuals who make these assessments on their behavior are judges and lawyers during voir dire.
There is no professional such as a forensic psychologist or clinical psychologist recommending the juror behavior or possible lack of opened mindfulness the case. It is the duty of the juror only to focus on the evidence, but it has been proven that being open minded can be hard for the average person because of associations within the world (Rose, 2008). Another part to this is the credibility of juror’s self-assessment and the judge coming with a conclusion on if the juror is being not modest about their capabilities nor claiming bias. The judge usually asked many follow up questions in order to feel conformable with the juror (Rose, 2008). A different type of credibility assessment is conduct with a juror who says they can be fair to determine if they are lying and will be impartial to the case. More specifically, many of this assessment are detailed with the possibility of using behavioral science to understand how to choose an unbiased juror properly. According to Rose (2008), voir dire provides several reasons to be concerned about the quality of juror claiming fairness because it relies on a self-assessment report of the jurors past and influential factors which can be unknown if the juror decides not to provide.
In contrast, the design of voir dire provides question often convey social desirability which may influence how the juror may answer the question (Rose, 2008). Therefore, the confidence and perceived juror competence suggest that even though judges have the discretion to overrule the juror’s self-assessment. Rose (2005) reported that 13 felony trials prospective juror who stated they would be fair was dismissed for cause, in contrast, 14 jurors in a death penalty trial found that the judge’s questions led them to express greater openness to applying the death penalty than their initial answers. Therefore, it can be concluded that judges can influence bias if the question leads to the factor lead to a suggestible state of agreeableness with the judging perspective.
The presumption of equal competence constitutes essential to serving as a juror. The capability of incompetence to presumed to be equal and the scoop of applicability for all jurors (Schwartzberg, 2018). The competence of judgment is part of a secured designed to enable juror to understand testimony and participate in deliberations but no means to have them be expert in the field or case being held. Moreover, juries must be able to follow the judge’s instructions and are deemed competent, though analyzing conflicting testimony but will surely vary depending on each case. Unfortunately, the liability of the presumptions of equal competences is implausible because equal competences cannot be proven and are subjective based on the information being interrupted by the jurors receiving the information. According to Schwartzberg (2008), it was believed that juries systematically empaneled the incompetent and rendered just verdicts by jurors are not just verdict because all competencies are equal and all verdicts should be held by judges or some alternative institution to replace them who are competent in the field of law.
In contrast, the Supreme Court examines the impact of errors in detecting bias during jury selection and the presentation of evidence in a jury trial.
Additionally, the social scientists have questioned the value of peremptory challenges because of the weak predictor of furor verdict preferences (Hafemeister, 2000). The verdict preferences are based on gender or ethnicity during voir dire which typically is argued that verdicts are undemocratic and sometimes inherently irrational based on abuse of jurors inappropriately biases attitudes or beliefs. In comparison, Hafemeister (2000), mentions that some jurisdictions are struggling to get sufficient numbers of the citizen to come to duty which worries the judge of dismissals of prospective jurors which can reverse a verdict on appeal if the judge’s do not properly dismiss prospective jurors. Understanding the process of juror selection about behavior can allow lawyers and judges to understand the possible outcome of a cause depending on the juror’s experiences and personality.
Judging bias in juror confidence can be challenging because of the lack of knowledge judges, and attorneys have on the jury pool. Rose (2008) investigated appellate cases through court observations studying the operationalization of problematic jurors in two studies. Both studies relied on the perspective of prosecutors and defense attorneys (Study 1) and judges (Study 2) to assess their ability to notice juror bias. Study 1 evaluated prosecutors and defense attorneys in urban regions and study to focusing on judges in different states (Rose, 2008). 282 questionnaires were distributed to a public defender and 297 prosecutors in the large urban county to maximize and measure the difference in response between both samples. The questionnaires were returned by their supervisor and returned to the collection state. Out of the 282 public defenders only 80 responded as well as only 107 out of 297 defense attorney (Rose, 2008). One person was omitted due to not having trail experience (Rose, 2008). Due to the population sample, the data was substantial using control vignettes and equivocal assessment to see if the participants could be fair. The methodology was used to measure the samples ability to identify and well-using voir dire assessment of fairness properly. Furthermore, the control vignettes checked to see in participants were the ability to measure bias in particular cases which emotions and experiences can affect a jury bias.
The effect of rehabilitative voir dire during decision making of juror eliminate venirepersons not meeting requirements. In order to rehabilitate having the understanding of social psychological perspective leading to bias on jurors. Crocker and Kovera (2010) investigated the legal assumption of vetting during voir dire using questions to indicate bias. It also evaluated the rehabilitate question during the voir dire process to see if it would reduce bias on verdict judgments. Experiment 1 focused on the questioning used and to see if jurors were able to ignore their knowledge or opinions about the cases presented. 124 eligible participants were measured by suitability and member of the New York area. Member was selected using an aid listed in Craiglist and was paid for their participation with 25 dollars. 72 were females, and 52 were males sampling with racial diversity (Corocker and Kovera, 2010). Crocker and Kovera (2010) noted that that factorial design of unbiased/biased condition would have a positive effect on the real world outside the courtroom. The methodology used was voir dire questions standard vs. rehabilitative factor assessing altered decision-making questionnaire favorably of defense irrespective of juror bias (Crocker and Kovera, 2010). The questionnaire intensively measures juror bias of the insanity defense leading to the categorized bias for or against insanity defense based on participant background. Furthermore, the categorized biased allowed the conceive of the responsibility of criminal action and pre-existing juror experiences.
Attempting to debias jury judgment can be a challenge because of the responsibility and consequences of negligent evaluations in the legal system in regards to jury selection and limitation of a qualified and unqualified juror in the United States. According to Smith and Greene (2005) evaluated the effectiveness of eliminating hindsight biases and suppressing evidence means of trial bifurcation. Smith and Greene (2005) investigated negligence case in the perspective of bias jurors by reacting the case. The participants applied to a local newspaper announcement and were 355 jury-eligible adults were accepted. There were four conditions used with the primary manipulating evidence and jury instruction. The methodology behind the investigation was designed to evaluate jury bias with manipulated evidence using questionnaires after the participants view the mock trial (Smith and Green 2005). To measure the methodology, six questions were asked in regards to negligent for all four conditions and the manipulated evidence given to suggest juror bias in multiple event experiences. Moreover, the bifurcated conditions controlled the consist conditions and question by allowing only 6-10 participant at a time. Therefore measuring groupthink and personality liable of jurors (Smith and Green, 2005).
Generalizations can merely contribute to stereotypes in a link demographic and personality variable (Ream, 2009). Ream (2009) conducted a meta-analysis of several researchers to focus on the sixth amendment right. Many researchers concluded that juror background demographic information and education and personality could influence a juror verdict. Ream (2009) investigated the effects of juror background and demographic history factor of bias verdict by jurors. Ream (2009) reenacted murder trial for a sample of 828 citizens from Massachusetts jury pools. Using the predictive power of background characteristic found associated bias within the demographic history which affected their verdict. By using a sample size of 828, the methodology of using questionnaires demonstrated inconsistent results. Therefore, the methodology used in a large sample appeared verdicts of inconsistent because of predicted background characteristics, and personality traits of jurors (Ream, 2009).
The research methodology that will be used to answer the research question is qualitative. The qualitative methodology allows the use of serval research and paradigm methods which will benefit the collection and interpretation of nonmathematical data (Whitley and Crawford, 2005). The methodology is comprised of three methods of in-depth interview, focused groups, and participant observation. Also, qualitative method documents the complexity and multiplicity of experience from the participant which are rarely known in other methodologies. Understanding the point of view of the participant during this study will allow us also to modify the mock trial. According to Whitley and Crawford (2005), the design and process of qualitative methods are to differ from the analogs procedure in quantitative research. Moreover, the orientation of the methodology will investigate the applicability of a juror suggestibility state (Emotional or Physical) affecting their verdict during a murder trial.
This methodology is appropriate because it will support the development of a formulation of an immutable design, data collection, and data analysis. Also, qualitative methodology is more flexible and iterative with design and data analysis. The methods of inquiry within this methodology encompass the isolation and conjunction with an in-depth interview, and participant observation within the modify mock trial that will be conducted to analyze the study. Furthermore, the related issues of sample size are needed for some validity nonetheless regarding the justification for the sample sizes needed which will allow future research to further understanding and investigate the study. According to (Whitley and Crawford (2005), the rules of the practice of qualitative research is to include the appropriate checks on validity and reliability to have a benchmark of equivalent and significant tests. In other words, validity and reliability are important during any qualitative methodology to control the integrity and honesty of the study. Therefore qualitative methodology is the appropriate method for this study.
At this time the site of the data collection is unknown until the research proposal is approved. The site will be very important because the setting must be controlled without any disturbance. Once the proposal has approved a request will be sent to the University of Hawaii to see if we will be able to rent or use a classroom to conduct the study, since we will be off the campus of the University of the Rockies. The classroom should be set up with a computer or television and should be able to fill up to 12 participants at a time. Before the start of the study, we must first get informed consent and have the participants signed a non-disclosure agreement until the study is completed to maintain its integrity. In order to get informed consent from the participants, we will draft an informed consent form with full disclosure and nature of the research and have the participants understand that this is a volunteer and that they can quit at any time. (sample informed consent form)
The participants in this research will be selected from a pool of students in graduate-level courses specifically the University of Hawaii or nearest University available. Prior approval must be granted by the university as some of their resources will be needed to conduct the study. Theoretical sampling will be used to select the participant for the study. Theoretical sampling is used in order to deliberately recruit induvial with requisite demographic and characteristics allowing the study to be grounded in the context being studied (Whitley and Crawford, 2005). The number of participants will be 108 students taking a graduate-level course that has never had jury duty. During the screening process, all participants will be screened for biases by using the vior dire questionnaire developed in Ijury Application. All questions will be composed of three lawyers’ beforehand and suggested answers leading to the implication of biases for phase 1and inputted in the Ijury application before being the study. Due to the modify mock trial, all participants will be aware that this study will be held in three sessions. Phase 1: Vior Dire process, phase 2: Suggestibility test: Phase 3 Mock trial. Phase 1 and Phase 2 will be conducted on the same day. After phase 1 any participant who has been noted as having biases implications for the trial will be removed before the start of phase 2. All participants will be notified after phase 1 if they have been selected to continue onto phase 2. The Ijury Application will start with the following questions but are not all inclusive until we interview with three lawyers’ on specific of the mock trial and what question should be asked to reduce biases juries. Listed below are some sample questions from Sample Voir Dire subjects covered by Judge Susan Oki Mollway (2015) in Civil Trials.
1. Does anyone have a medical reason or personal hardship that would make it difficult to serve as a juror in this case?
2. Does anyone have difficulty reading, hearing, or understanding the English language?
3. Does anyone know or has anyone dealt with the plaintiffs, the defendants, or their attorneys? If yes, please identify the person you know or have dealt with, the nature of your relationship, and whether that relationship would hinder or affect your ability to give a fair trial to all of the parties in this case.
4. Is anyone here a lawyer, married to a lawyer or in a substantial relationship with a lawyer? Has anyone here studied law or worked in a law office? Notwithstanding what you feel the law is or should be on a particular subject, will you apply the law as I give it to you at the end of this case?
5. Does anyone here, because of the nature of your employment, feel that you may not be able to judge this case impartially?
During phase 2 of the study, we will evaluate the participant’s suggestibility by using a suggestibility test in order to determine whether or not the participant is emotional or physical. All participants will take questionnaire 1 and 2 and turn them into the researchers for grading. We will be using the Emotional and Physical Suggestibility questionnaire 1 and 2. The Emotional and Physical Suggestibility will start with the following questions but are not all-inclusive. The Suggestibility Questionnaire 1 and 2 was created by Dr. Knapp from HMI Nationally Accredited School of Hypnotherapy in order to help treat client depending on their suggestibility state. Listed below are some sample questions from the suggestibility questionnaire 1 and 2.
1. Have you ever walked in your sleep during your adult life?
2. As a teenager, did you feel comfortable expressing your feeling to one or both of your parents?
3. Do you tend to look directly into a person’s eyes and more close to them when discussing an interesting subject?
4. Do you feel the most people, when you first meet them, are uncritical of your appearance?
5. Do you feel comfortable holding hands or hugging someone you are in a relationship with in front of other people?
Participants will not be notified of their suggestibility to maintain the integrity of the study. There is a chance that participant can score a 50/50 on the suggestibility test. If any participant scores a 50/50 on the suggestibility, the participant will be dismissed. A score of 50/50 means that the participant is in intellectual and our current study is not evaluating an intellectual suggestibility verdict. During the selection process, we will select 54 physical and 54 emotional suggestibility participants to participate in the study. The participants will not be notified of their suggestibility until the study is concluded. More important each participant will be separated into groups of 12 participants resulting in 6 emotional and 6 physical. The group members will not know who they are until the start of phase 3 mock trial which will start on the morning of day 2.
During phase 3, we will have 9 groups of 12 who will watch a trial being conducted via television which all would have been screened during phase 1 to determine if they have any background or information on the trial. It is understood that all 108 participants may not be selected in one time. It is encouraging moving forward if you have at least 12 participants for phase 3. Currently, phase 3 is still being developed as far as choosing the trial video being used. One of the participants views the trial all will be asked to make a confidential verdict one at a time using the Ijury verdict Application. We are doing this in order to reduce any influences from another participant after each participant induvial make their verdict we will allow the jurors to deliberate to give the final verdict. One this is completed we will interview with each member of the jury to determine how they come up with their verdict.
To collect the data for the study, we will use interviews, observations, and documentation from the participants. During phase 3 the participant will be viewing a trial via video. During that time they will be videoed taped in order to observe their body language during the trail. During the trial, we will be focusing on body language in order to analyze whether or not the participant agrees or disagree with the information being provided as well as nervousness. Body language such as leg movement up and down motion, biting of nails, and facial movement demonstrating agree or disagreeing with the information being presented. We will also focus on making sure the participants are not talking to each other. We will collect all verdicts from the participant before deliberation to analysis their verdict before the interview phase to determine if they changed their verdicts based on other jurors influences. The in-depth interview will take most of the time throughout the day as we will be able to observe the participant behavior later. Interviews can establish and generate more insightful responses and allows follow-up question to probe additional information. It allows us to identify highly valuable findings throughout the study that would not have been normal known. This will allow us to confirm our finding in relations to suggestibility within court verdicts. During the interview process, the interviewers will be allowed to answer a follow-up question if they feel more explanation is needed. In no way should the interviewer deviate from the interview sheet. Allowing us to interview the participant will give us the opportunity to tailor specific question for physical and emotional suggestibility. Some sample question we would ask is:
1. How did you enjoy the trial?
2. What influenced your decisions?
3. Why did you change your verdict after deliberation? If applicable.
4. Did your emotions play into your decision making?
5. What was the hardest part of the trial?
6. What lead you to your decision?
After the data is collected, it must be transcribed to textual using the computer-assisted qualitative data analysis software (CAQDAS). Using this software will effectively transcribe faster than trying to manually. After transcribing the data, there will be a large amount of information which will need to be organized before coding the data. Coding the data into the understandable concept is more efficient for the data analysis process. We will do this by categorizing the data into concepts, properties, and patterns. This will give us meaning to the collected data. We will use two type of coding descriptive and pattern coding which reference the central theme of the data and build on the theme to have a greater insight into the data being used. Validate data is an important pillar, and the validity and reliability will go through validation to make sure that there are no flaws.
Methods of Achieving Validity
To understand the validity of any research the internal, construct, and external validity must be understood early on. The internal validity applies to understanding the relationship between two variable and the inferences of the data being collected. Construct validity is related to operationalizing the process and claiming the inferences is accurate in a theoretical constructs. Lastly, external validity focuses on the conclusion and the generalization of the population. It is important to achieve and ensure validity for all research methodologies and results. In order to ensure validity it is beneficial to choose well-trained moderator who are skilled to check for personal bias and expectations early on to avoid any problem with bias towards to methodology and results. This will reduce errors early on which would affect the results in a positive or negative way. The moderator must be interested in learning from the research participant by being engaged and giving honest feedback necessary for the validity of the results which are neutral and candid. To ensure this we must make sure all moderator are not influencing the answer and make sure all answers are genuine. From a practical application all moderator will disclose all of their biases and perspective beforehand and report it in the data will full disclosure. Outside of the moderator it is key to have the sample group that is recruited and segmented early on during the study to reduce basis influence from the sampling group. Also ethical recruiting is important in qualitative research because the sampling population should not be represented based on the results beforehand. Moreover, using the triangulation strategy will promote validity from multiple perspective. Having several moderators in different locations and analyzing the same data is in essentially methodology to confirm the results from different angles. During this study we will use three geographical location for this study to improve the validity of the study. Secondly, using the respondent validation method involves testing the participant a second time to validate their initial response and answer to the question. Seeing whether or not the participant will stay true to their original answer will attest to the validity of the methodology and data collected. Although the results are already known to the moderator’s participant should be about the keep their original answer resulting in an authentic study. Randomization in studies is critical to ensure the validity of the research, because of the study this method will not be able to be used as randomization will not support the results. This will have minimal effects to the validity of this study because the selection of the population will be chosen based on the predispostional question established in the appendix. Finally, the sample size of the study will increase the validity of the study. During this study the sample size will be small and average 20 participants. Already this is a small sample size, this will not affect the validity of the study because qualitative research usually have small sample size. Therefore, several steps are in place to ensure the validity of the study.
Potential Ethical Problems
The participants is this research will not be harmed and there are no indicators that will harm the participants. There are ethical concern and problems in regards to the study affecting society once it is completed. Being able to create a study which demonstrates juror’s suggestibility and how it effect verdicts can concern many societal law enforcement and the criminal justice systems. The audiences for this research are lawyers and judges. This will allow them to have a better understanding of juror’s verdict beforehand and to allow the criminal justice system to create a better process during juror selection. This study will affect the way the criminal justice systems chooses their jurors. Affecting the criminal justice system and the process in which they use to choose jurors to reduce biases is important, but having a study proving a suggestibility affect jurors verdict can be harmful. This can be harmful to the criminal justice system because lawyers will use this to their advantage in order to have the upper hand over their opponents in court. This is a minor ethical concern because both sides have the opportunity to choose their juror, but the judge also has a say. Even with running through a case which as 12 jurors it is possible this can lead to a hang juror leading to a mistrial and a retrial. This can be costly to the population and cost the taxes payer more money. This can lead to an underline cycle for the criminal justice system causing ethical and legal concern. This will have objective concern for practical implications and policy recommendation for the criminal justice systems. As far as policy recommendation, this study will lead to further research and allow the criminal justice system to reevaluate their system which has been in place for many years and improve their system during juror’s selection. To reevaluate a policy which has been standing for many years can be hard, but this research will allow the criminal justice system to learn and see with time and science the criminal justice process will need to reevaluate their method throughout the years. Furthermore, all participants will sign an inform consent form acknowledging their participation in the study. All potential ethical problem have been addressed and have been reduced. Unfortunately, because there are not many studies published regarding this topic all ethical problems will be address as they come up.
No research covers everything and this research has obvious limitations. This research focus on the participant suggestibility and not the participant personality. The participant personality is not being consider for this research and it is recommended for further follow on research evaluating whether or not personalities affect jurors verdict. This study will not prove that person’s effect juror’s verdicts. It is difficult to conduct a study like this because we will not be able to use rule courtroom, lawyers, and a judge which all effect the outcome of a jurors verdicts because it is limited on the access we can have in a courtroom. Using a mock trial will allow us to gather enough evidence and data to conclude with the suggested problem statement. With the limitations or lack or resources provided outside of the court system, we will have to relieve on filmed trails to provide to the participant. This cause a limitation because many courts to not allowed video types or cell phones, so we will have to be subject with using only tapes that was recorded in a particular state not allows videotaping. This will not affect the validity of the test, but the limitation on resources needed. The research does not focus on the questions lawyers ask the witness in correlation to the view point of the jurors. This is limited because we are not able to predicate the questions lawyers would ask to witness or victim which can affect the outcome of the case. We are not here to prove that particular verbiage effect or impact the suggestibility of the participant and should be further research on a later time to find corresponding factor of suggestibility. There are always going to be limitation to research, being able to understand those limitation and work around the limitation providing feedback of the limitation unknown for further research to be conducted. Therefore, it is in important skill to have in order to identify the limitation to the research and work towards furthering science and research in a developing practice of forensic psychology.
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Suggestibility Question #1
It is important that you answer these questions truthfully, keeping in mind there are no “right” or“wrong” answers. Go with the first answer that comes to mind after you read the question. Try not to dwell on any question. Simply check “Yes” or “No” beside each question. Complete both suggestibility questionnaires 1&2. Follow instructions on score sheet below.
QUESTION YES NO
1 Have you ever walked in your sleep during your adult life?
2 As a teenager, did you feel comfortable expressing your feelings to one or both of your Maternal
and Paternal figures?
3 Do you have a tendency to look directly into people’s eyes and/or move close to them when
discussing an interesting subject?
4 Do you feel that most people you meet for the first time are uncritical of your appearance?
5 In a group situation with people you have just met, would you feel comfortable drawing attention
to yourself by initiating a conversation?
6 Do you feel comfortable holding hands or hugging someone you are in a relationship with while
other people are present?
7 When someone talks about feeling warm physically, do you begin to feel warm also?
8 Do you occasionally have a tendency to tune out when someone is talking to you, and at times
not even hear what the other person is saying, because you are anxious to come up with your
side of it?
9 Do you feel that you learn and comprehend better by seeing and/or reading than by hearing?
10 In a new class or lecture situation, do you usually feel comfortable asking questions in front of
11 When expressing your ideas, do you find it important to relate all the details leading up to the
subject so the other person can understand it completely?
12 Do you enjoy relating to children?
13 Do you find it easy to be at ease and comfortable with your body movements, even when faced
with unfamiliar people and circumstances?
14 Do you prefer reading fiction rather than non-fiction?
15 If you were to imagine sucking on a sour, juicy, yellow lemon, would your mouth water?
16 If you feel that you deserve to be complemented for something well done, do you feel
comfortable if the compliment is given to you in front of other people?
17 Do you feel that you are a good conversationalist?
18 Do you feel comfortable when complimentary attention is drawn to your physical body or
Suggestibility Question #2
It is important that you answer these questions truthfully, keeping in mind there are no “right” or“wrong” answers. Go with the first answer that comes to mind after you read the question. Try not to dwell on any question. Simply check “Yes” or “No” beside each question. Complete both suggestibility questionnaires 1&2. Follow instructions on score sheet below.
QUESTION YES NO
1 Have you ever awakened in the middle of the night and felt you could not move your body
and/or could not talk?
2 As a child, did you feel that you were more affected by the tone of voice of your Maternal and
Paternal figures than by what they actually said?
3 If someone you are associated with talks about a fear that you too have experienced, do you
have a tendency to have an apprehensive or fearful feeling also?
4 If you are involved in an argument with someone, after the argument is over do you have a
tendency to dwell on what you could or should have said?
5 Do you have a tendency to tune out occasionally when someone is talking to you, perhaps not
even hear what was said, because your mind has drifted to something totally unrelated?
6 Do you sometimes desire to be complemented for a job well done, but feel embarrassed or
uncomfortable when complemented?
7 Do you often have a fear or dread of not being able to carry on a conversation with someone
you have just met?
8 Do you feel self-conscious when attention is drawn to your physical body or appearance?
9 If you have your choice, would you rather avoid being around children most of the time?
10 Do you feel that you are not relaxed or loose in body movements, especially when faced with
unfamiliar people or circumstances?
11 Do you prefer reading non-fiction rather than fiction?
12 If someone describes a very bitter taste, do you have difficulty experiencing the physical feeling
13 Do you generally feel that you see yourself less favourably than others see you?
14 Do you tend to feel awkward or self-conscious initiating touch (holding hands, kissing, etc…)
with someone you are in a relationship with while other people are present?
15 In a new class or lecture situation, do you usually feel uncomfortable asking questions in front of
the group even though you may desire further explanation?
16 Do you feel uneasy if someone you have just met looks you directly in the eyes when talking to
you, especially if the conversation is about you?
17 In a group situation with people you have just met, would you feel uncomfortable drawing
attention to yourself by initiating a conversation?
18 If you are in a relationship or are very close to someone, do you find it difficult or embarrassing
to verbalize your love for him or her?
Sample Voir Dire subjects covered by Judge Susan Oki Mollway in Civil Trials1
1. Does anyone have a medical reason or personal hardship that would
make it difficult to serve as a juror in this case?
2. Does anyone have difficulty reading, hearing, or understanding the
3. Does anyone know or has anyone dealt with the plaintiffs, the defendants, or their attorneys? If yes, please identify the person you know or have dealt with, the nature of your relationship, and whether
that relationship would hinder or affect your ability to give a fair trial to
all of the parties in this case.
4. Does anyone know, or has anyone had any business dealings with, any of the witnesses who have just been identified by counsel? If yes, please identify the person you know or have dealt with, the nature of
your relationship, and whether that relationship would hinder or affect your ability to give a fair trial to all of the parties in this case.
5. Now that I have discussed the different burdens of proof in criminal and civil cases, does everyone understand those different burdens?
6. Has anyone here previously served as a juror either in a criminal or civil case? If yes, has your previous experience as a juror affected your ability to be fair to all sides in the case?
7. Has anyone here served as either a state or federal grand juror? If yes, has your previous experience as a grand juror affected your ability to be fair to all sides in the case?
8. In the eyes of the law, all parties, whether individuals or corporations, are to be treated alike. All parties are entitled to the same honest, fair and impartial treatment. If selected to serve as a juror in this case,
would everyone accept and apply this principle of law?
9. Does anyone know of any reason he or she may be prejudiced for or against the plaintiffs or defendants because of the nature of the case, or
10. Is anyone here a lawyer, married to a lawyer, or in a substantial relationship with a lawyer? Has anyone here studied law or worked in a law office? Notwithstanding what you feel the law is or should be on a particular subject, will you apply the law as I give it to you at the end
of this case?
11. Does anyone here, because of the nature of your employment, feel that you may not be able to judge this case impartially?
12. Have you read in the newspapers, read on the internet, seen on television, or heard on the radio anything about this case, or do you have any knowledge of the facts or events of this case?