Social Psychology

The Effect of Jury Deliberation on Juvenile Offender Stereotypes

Although jurors are instructed to focus on the evidence presented and to remain open-minded, pre-existing stereotypes may influence jurors’ attention, encoding and recall of evidence, and ultimately their judgments about the case. Haegerich and colleagues (2012) investigated the impact of pre-existing and experimentally activated juvenile offender stereotypes on the decisions of mock jurors who heard [...]

The Denial of Mind to Animals Used for Human Consumption

Bastian and colleagues (2012) identified a form of cognitive dissonance they termed the “meat paradox” in which people’s concern for animal welfare conflicts with their meat-eating behavior. They proposed that individuals reconcile this conflict by mentally separating meat from animals and by denying that animals possess the mental qualities (such as the capacity for fear [...]

Why Are So Few Women Attracted to STEM Careers?

Women are entering such male-dominated fields as law, medicine, and business in record numbers. Yet the gender imbalance in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) careers has been slow to change. Diekman and colleagues (2011) proposed that the answer lies in women’s communal goals and beliefs about how to achieve those goals. The authors cited [...]

Determinants of Low-Cost and High-Cost Recycling

Recycling has become an important strategy in addressing both environmental and economic concerns. Previous research has examined factors influencing recycling behavior, such as beliefs about environmental consequences of recycling, procedural knowledge about when, where, and how to recycle, and both personal and social norms favoring pro-environmental behavior. Yet, these studies have not differentiated between determinants [...]

Stereotype Threat in Criminal Investigations

Research on racial disparities in law enforcement indicates that African Americans are disproportionately targeted as suspects, interrogated, and wrongfully convicted. Evidence also suggests that people of color are more likely than Whites to have falsely confessed to crimes. Najdowski (2011) reviewed literature related to the potential role of stereotype threat in these false confessions. In [...]

Message Framing and Visual Aids Increase Condom Use and STD Screening

Research has indicated that the way in which health messages are framed has a significant impact on the degree to which they influence attitudes and behavior. One important dimension of framing is gain vs. loss. Gain-framed messages focus on the benefits of adopting specific health practices, whereas loss-framed messages focus on the dangers of failing [...]

Facebook Users’ Political Participation

Social media outlets, such as Facebook and YouTube, played an important role in the 2008 presidential election. These sites allowed candidates to communicate with potential voters and potential voters to communicate with each other. Vitak and colleagues (2011) cited information from the Pew Internet and American Life Project indicating that 65% of social network site [...]

Prejudiced Behavior Toward Lesbians and Gay Men: A Field Experiment

Psychological studies based on self-report have generally shown that men express higher levels of sexual prejudice than women.  Hendren and Blank conducted a field study in order to determine whether these expressed attitudes would correspond with actual behaviors.  Confederates approached 240 individuals at the parking lot of a shopping center in Southern England and asked [...]

Effects of Manifest Ethnic Identification on Discrimination

Laboratory studies conducted with fictitious targets have found higher levels of discrimination toward individuals who show signs of strong identification with an ethnic group. Barron, Hebl, and King (2011) tested these findings using a field study with actual interpersonal interactions.  The hypothesized that in a real world employment situation, employers would be concerned about impression [...]

Do Defense Attorney Referrals for Competence to Stand Trial Evaluations Depend on Whether the Client Speaks English or Spanish?

According to Varela, Boccaccini, Gonzalez, Gharagozloo, and Johnson (2011), approximately 60,000 competency to stand trial (CST) evaluations are held each year in the United States, making it the most common forensic mental health evaluation conducted. This evaluation determines whether the defendant has a degree of rational and factual understanding sufficient to consult with a lawyer [...]