Disgust and Juror Decision-Making Essay

Disgust and Juror Decision-Making Essay

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Jurors’ decisions are affected by emotions and other unspoken thoughts/feelings. Previous research has shown that people make decisions on “quick gut feelings.” The goal of this study is to see if a disgusting stimulus will have an influence on juror decision-making. The research was concerned with the decision-making question of whether or not jurors’ disgust and gut-feeling judgment towards the defendant are key elements in legal settings. This decision will be due to a “quick gut feeling” of disgust either attributed or not attributed to the criminal (Schnall, Haidt, Clore & Jordan, 2008).
Haidt (1997) suggested that facial expressions used to reject physically disgusting things are also used to reject certain kinds of socially inappropriate people and behaviors. If the facial reactions are the same, then feelings towards rejecting a physically disgusting thing and a socially inappropriate person or behavior are related. The feeling that is elicited from physically disgusting things as well as socially inappropriate people can be attributed to the same source. Haidt’s research tied together how a disgusting stimulus can be connected and resonate the same cognitive processes that makes someone disgusted to a socially inappropriate person. If the same facial reactions are used then it is possible that a socially inappropriate person’s actions can come off as disgusting.
Along with this research Rozin, Haidt, &McCauley (2000) came up with the social disgust theory. They suggested that disgust is easily applied or extended to purely social violations. Disgust often leads to thoughts of contamination and generates a sense of offensiveness and revulsion (Rozin, Haidt, & Fincher, 2009). If disgust is elicited then the person will...


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...ilance: The influence of disgust sensitivity in the moral domain. Emotion, 8(5), 613-627.
Lieberman, J. D. (2002). Head over the heart or heart over the head? Cognitive experiential self-theory and extralegal heuristics in juror decision making. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 32(12), 2526-2553.
Pennington, N., & Hastie, R. (1981). Juror decision-making models: The generalization gap. Psychological Bulletin, 89 (2), 246-287.
Pennington, N., & Hastie, R. (1992). Explaining the evidence: tests of the story model for juror decision making. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 62 (2), 189-206.
Rozin, P., Haidt, J., & Fincher, K. (2009). From oral to moral. Science, 323(5918), 1179-1180.
Schnall, S., Haidt, J., Clore, G. L., & Jordan, A. H. (2008). Disgust as embodied moral judgment. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 34(8), 1096-1109.

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