Discretionary Justice: Influences of Social Role, Personality, and Social Situation

  • George J. McCall
Part of the Springer Series in Social Psychology book series (SSSOC)


One type of social behavior in which substantial efforts have been invested to isolate the influences of social role, personality, and social situation is discretionary decision making in the criminal justice system (Abt & Stuart, 1979; Shaver, Gilbert, & Williams, 1975). The first section of this chapter discusses the range and nature of criminal justice decision making. A conceptual framework for viewing the three types of influence as they operate in discretionary justice is developed in the second section. In the third section two major research paradigms for the study of these influences are examined and discussed. In a fourth section a number of empirical studies employing these paradigms are reviewed, and in the concluding section an attempt is made to resolve some of the conceptual and methodological difficulties confronting such efforts to identify the influences of role, personality, and social situation.


Criminal Justice Criminal Justice System Social Role Personality Variable Initial Situation 
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© Springer-Verlag New York, Inc. 1982

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  • George J. McCall

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