Advertisement

Confirmatory Information Processing in Legal Decision: Effect of Intimate Conviction

  • Rafaele Dumas
  • Catherine EsnardEmail author
Article

Abstract

A large body of research has focused on legal decision-making in mixed courts of lay and professional judges. However, few studies have been conducted to test the impact on evidence processing of the intimate conviction instruction (ICI), a decision rule based on impression formation used in civil law systems. The influence of the two facets of the ICI (the decision rule and the motivation requirement) on confirmatory information processing (CIP) was studied in a harm-to-person case. Using a methodology combining the simulated juror and CIP paradigms, the decision rule (based on impression vs. rationality) and the motivation requirement (required vs. not required) were manipulated to observe their impact on assimilation and selective exposure biases. Results showed significant interactions of the two facets of the ICI but only on the assimilation bias. These results are discussed in the light of the evidence processes in the context of legal decision-making in criminal courts.

Keywords

Cognitive distortions Juror decision making Mock-juries Processing strategy Social cognition 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This research was supported by a grant from La Mission de Recherche Droit et Justice (France).

Funding

This research was funded by a grant (research agreement no 213.03.20.15) from La Mission de Recherche Droit et Justice (France).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The Center for Research on Cognition and Learning (CeRCA), the laboratory whose Catherine Esnard is membership, has received a grant from La Mission de Recherche Droit et Justice (France).

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

References

  1. Bornstein BH (1999) The ecological validity of jury simulations: is the jury still out? Law Hum Behav 23:75–91CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Canon LK (1964) Self-confidence and selective exposure to information. Conflict, Decision, and Dissonance 1:83–95Google Scholar
  3. Chaffee SH, McLeod JM (1973) Individual vs. social predictors of information seeking. J Q 50:237−245Google Scholar
  4. Davies M, Rogers P (2009) Perceptions of blame and credibility toward victims of childhood sexual abuse: differences across victim age, victim-perpetrator relationship and respondent gender in a depicted case. J Child Sexual Abuse 18:78–92CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Englich B, Mussweiler T (2001) Sentencing under uncertainty: anchoring effects in the courtroom. J Appl Soc Psychol 31:1535–1551CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Englich B, Mussweiler T, Strack F (2005) The last word in court: a hidden disadvantage of the defense. Law Hum Behav 29:705−722CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Epstein S (1994) Integration of the cognitive and the psychodynamic unconscious. Am Psychol 49(8):709–724CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Esnard C, Dumas R, Bordel S (2013) Effects of the instruction of “intime conviction” on judicial information processing. Eur Rev Appl Psychol 63:121–128CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Farina F, Arce R, Novo M (2003) Anchoring in judicial decision making. Psychology in Spain 7:56–65Google Scholar
  10. Fischer P, Fischer J, Weisweiler S, Frey D (2010) Selective exposure to information: how different modes of decision making affect subsequent confirmatory information processing. Br J Soc Psychol 49:871–881CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Fischer P, Greitemeyer T (2010) A new look at selective-exposure effects: an integrative model. Curr Dir Psychol Sci 19:384−389CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Fischer P, Greitemeyer T, Frey D (2008) Self-regulation and selective exposure: the impact of depleted self-regulation resources on confirmatory information processing. J Pers Soc Psychol 94:382−395CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Fischer P, Jonas E, Frey D, Schulz-Hardt S (2005) Selective exposure to information: the impact of information limits. Eur J Soc Psychol 35:469–492CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Fischer P, Kastenmüller A, Greitemeyer T, Crelley D, Fischer J, Frey D (2011) Threat and selective exposure: The moderating role of threat and decision context on confirmatory information search after decisions. J Exp Psychol Gen 140:51–62Google Scholar
  15. Freedman JL (1965) Preference for dissonant information. J Pers Soc Psychol 2:287–289CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Frey D (1986) Recent research on selective exposure. Adv Exp Soc Psychol 19:41–80Google Scholar
  17. Greitemeyer T, Schulz-Hardt S (2003) Preference-consistent evaluation of information in the hidden profile paradigm: beyond group-level explanations for the dominance of shared information in group decisions. J Pers Soc Psychol 84:322−339CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Hart W, Albarracín D, Eagly AH, Brechan I, Lindberg MJ, Merrill L (2009) Feeling validated versus being correct: a meta-analysis of selective exposure to information. Psychol Bull 135:555–588CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Lavoie AL, Thompson SK (1972) Selective exposure in a field setting. Psychol Rep 31:433−434CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Olson JM, Zanna MP (1979) A new look at selective exposure. J Exp Soc Psychol 15:1–15CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Perrissol S, Somat A (2009) L’exposition sélective: Bilan et perspectives. L’Année Psychologique 109:551–581CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Rassin E, Eerland A, Kuijpers I (2010) Let's find the evidence: an analogue study of confirmation bias in criminal investigations. J Investig Psychol Offender Profiling 7:231–−246CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Rassin E (2010) Blindness to alternative scenarios in evidence evaluation. J Investig Psychol Offender Profiling 7:153–163Google Scholar
  24. Rassin E (2016) Rational thinking promotes suspect-friendly legal decision making. Appl Cogn Psychol 30:460–464CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Sandys M, Dillehay C (1995) First-ballot votes, predeliberation dispositions, and final verdicts in jury trials. Law Hum Behav 19(2):175–195Google Scholar
  26. Steblay N, Hosch HM, Culhane SE, McWethy A (2006) The impact on juror verdicts of judicial instruction to disregard inadmissible evidence: a meta-analysis. Law Hum Behav 30:469−492CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Schmittat SM, Englich B (2016) If you judge, investigate! Responsibility reduces confirmatory information processing in legal experts. Psychol Public Policy Law 22:386–400CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Society for Police and Criminal Psychology 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Psychological Sciences Research InstituteCatholic University of LouvainLouvainBelgium
  2. 2.Center for Research on Cognition and Learning (CeRCA)University of PoitiersPoitiersFrance

Personalised recommendations