Title

MYOPIC JUSTICE: THE EFFECT OF EXPECTANCY VIOLATIONS IN CASES OF MEDICAL NEGLECT

Presentation Type

Presentation

Abstract

The basic assumption of the American judicial system is that justice is blind to the physical qualities of individuals who are prosecuted and defended. However, recent research suggests that extralegal factors (i.e. gender, race, age, etc…) account for more decisions in jury cases than previously anticipated (Wayne, Riordon, & Thomas, 2001). In this proposed study, investigators seek to further examine the role that gender may play in the sentencing of defendants in cases of child abuse. Using Burgoon & Hale’s (1988) Expectancy Violation Theory (EVT) as a medium for explanation, this study seeks to experimentally examine the application of socially accepted norms (i.e. women as caretakers) to the outcome of jury-trial sentencing. A scenario containing argument summaries for the prosecution and defense will be assigned a male or female perpetrator. The participant will then be asked to recommend a verdict and punishment for this act. It is hypothesized because women are socially expected to be caregivers that they will be awarded sentences more severe than men, who do not traditionally occupy the role of caregiver. The implications of this potential discovery are discussed.

Category

Social Sciences

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Apr 15th, 4:40 PM Apr 15th, 5:00 PM

MYOPIC JUSTICE: THE EFFECT OF EXPECTANCY VIOLATIONS IN CASES OF MEDICAL NEGLECT

UC 331

The basic assumption of the American judicial system is that justice is blind to the physical qualities of individuals who are prosecuted and defended. However, recent research suggests that extralegal factors (i.e. gender, race, age, etc…) account for more decisions in jury cases than previously anticipated (Wayne, Riordon, & Thomas, 2001). In this proposed study, investigators seek to further examine the role that gender may play in the sentencing of defendants in cases of child abuse. Using Burgoon & Hale’s (1988) Expectancy Violation Theory (EVT) as a medium for explanation, this study seeks to experimentally examine the application of socially accepted norms (i.e. women as caretakers) to the outcome of jury-trial sentencing. A scenario containing argument summaries for the prosecution and defense will be assigned a male or female perpetrator. The participant will then be asked to recommend a verdict and punishment for this act. It is hypothesized because women are socially expected to be caregivers that they will be awarded sentences more severe than men, who do not traditionally occupy the role of caregiver. The implications of this potential discovery are discussed.