Effects of the ease in story construction on judicial decisions concerning a criminal case
- Other Title
- モノガタリ ノ コウチクシヤスサ ガ ケイジ ジケン ニ カンスル ハンダン ニ アタエル エイキョウ
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The present study investigated the impact of the narrative representation of trial information on judicial decisions and judgments about the victim among Japanese lay people. In an experiment, participants read 20 testimonies of a stabbing case. The implications of the testimonies leaned either toward a murder or toward a self-defense case. To manipulate the difficulty of story construction, we presented the testimonies either in a temporal or in a mixed order. The results showed that more extreme sentence decisions were made (i.e., longer imprisonment for the murder case and shorter for the self-defense case) when the testimonies were presented in an organized order. Consistent with this, estimations about the victim's likelihood of avoiding such incidents were polarized in the organized-order condition. Although the presentation order did not clearly affect some judgments, the results of our study strongly suggest that the story construction process has a substantial impact on judicial judgments. Cognitive processes underlying judicial judgments were discussed.
- Japanese Journal of Social Psychology
Japanese Journal of Social Psychology 28 (3), 137-146, 2013
The Japanese Society of Social Psychology