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Mock Juror Judgment and the Insanity Plea: Effects of Incrimination and Sanity information1
Article first published online: 31 JUL 2006
Journal of Applied Social Psychology
Volume 11, Issue 2, pages 166–180, April 1981
How to Cite
McGlynn, R. P. and Dreilinger, E. A. (1981), Mock Juror Judgment and the Insanity Plea: Effects of Incrimination and Sanity information. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 11: 166–180. doi: 10.1111/j.1559-1816.1981.tb00736.x
Portions of this study were presented at the annual meeting of the Midwestern Psychological Association, Chicago, May, 1979. The authors are grateful to Martin F. Kaplan, Clay E. George, and an anonymous reviewer for their helpful comments on earlier versions of this study. Thanks are also due to Robert P. Davidow and Daniel H. Benson of the Texas Tech School of Law for their advice concerning the criminal trial contexts.
- Issue published online: 31 JUL 2006
- Article first published online: 31 JUL 2006
Mock jurors were given information about a stabbing incident which varied in incrimination value (high or low) and a psychological profile of the perpetrator which varied in the degree of indicated insanity (high, medium, or low) in four replications of a 2 × 3 design. In one replication, the information was presented in the context of a sanity hearing where guilt was not an issue. In three other replications, the context was a criminal trial in which the defendant pleaded not guilty on the facts, not guilty by reason of insanity (NGI), or both. Judgments in the insanity plea replication were significantly affected by incrimination information even though sanity is legally the only issue. Insanity information predictably affected judgments in the sanity hearing but had only weak effects in the insanity plea context. It was concluded that the judgment dimension which equates insanity with not guilty results in a conflict which subjects resolved by viewing the dimension as more of a guilt dimension.