Psychopathy in Relation to Potentially Article Review

Excerpt from Article Review :

Instead, the mock jurors were most likely to sentence dangerous defendants to death, regardless of the PCL-R label attached to those defendants. In fact, defendants who were considered a high-risk of future violence but were not psychopaths were most likely to be sentenced to death.

This study was fascinating in many ways. First, like many studies, it suffered from a representation sample problem. The participants were first year psychology students, which means that they may already have been more educated than many jurors, particularly in the issue of psychopathy. However, the researchers address this issue by citing a study that indicates no difference in mock juror and real juror results. The study eliminated the jurors who were morally/ethically opposed to the death penalty, which reflects the reality of jury selection in capital cases. However, they also excluded a student for failing to answer some of the factual questions about the case correctly. This omission is actually troubling, because it assumes that jurors could always answer factual questions about a case correctly. That is not the case; in fact, jurors are never given a qualification test like that. Excluding someone who misunderstood the facts of the case, in any way, means that one is taking the research study further outside of the realm of actual jury trials. Sometimes jurors are confused, and mock jury experience should reflect that possibility.

There was another way that these study participants differed from an actual or even many mock juror scenarios that left this reviewer with questions about the validity of the study. The students were given online vignettes and asked to render the verdict based on those vignettes. There was no opportunity for interaction in those scenarios, and, this reviewer has always assumed that the possibility of interaction between jurors plays an important role in the decision-making process in a jury room. Perhaps that opinion is simply the result of too many viewings of Twelve Angry Men, but it certainly seems that eliminating that possibility means eliminating the potential that someone in the jury could introduce bias either linked to or separated from the idea of the PCL-R label. For example, would it make a difference if one or more members of the jury argued about the inherent dangerousness of someone who carried such a label and how that person would respond to potential attempts at rehabilitation? Those factors are unknown, and a study like this one, which did not create a potential for interaction between the mock jurors, simply did not have the ability to investigate that possibility.

References

Blonigen, D.M., Sullivan, E.A., Hicks, B.M., & Patrick, C.J. (2012, January 23). Facets of psychopathy in relation to potentially traumatic events and posttraumatic stress disorder among female prisoners: the mediating role of borderline personality disorder traits. Personality Disorders: Theory, Research, and Treatment. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1037/a0026184

Cox, J., DeMatteo, D., Foster, E. (2010). The effect of the Psychopathy Checklist- Revised in capital cases: Mock jurors' responses to the label of psychopahty. Behavioral Sciences and…

Sources Used in Document:

References

Blonigen, D.M., Sullivan, E.A., Hicks, B.M., & Patrick, C.J. (2012, January 23). Facets of psychopathy in relation to potentially traumatic events and posttraumatic stress disorder among female prisoners: the mediating role of borderline personality disorder traits. Personality Disorders: Theory, Research, and Treatment. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1037/a0026184

Cox, J., DeMatteo, D., Foster, E. (2010). The effect of the Psychopathy Checklist- Revised in capital cases: Mock jurors' responses to the label of psychopahty. Behavioral Sciences and the Law, 28, 878-891.

Cite This Article Review:

"Psychopathy In Relation To Potentially" (2012, January 30) Retrieved October 15, 2019, from
https://www.paperdue.com/essay/psychopathy-in-relation-to-potentially-53903

"Psychopathy In Relation To Potentially" 30 January 2012. Web.15 October. 2019. <
https://www.paperdue.com/essay/psychopathy-in-relation-to-potentially-53903>

"Psychopathy In Relation To Potentially", 30 January 2012, Accessed.15 October. 2019,
https://www.paperdue.com/essay/psychopathy-in-relation-to-potentially-53903