On measuring quantitative interpretations of reasonable doubt

Dhami, Mandeep K. (2008) On measuring quantitative interpretations of reasonable doubt. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 14 (4). pp. 353-363. ISSN 1076-898X

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Abstract

Beyond reasonable doubt represents a probability value that acts as the criterion for conviction in criminal trials. I introduce the membership function (MF) method as a new tool for measuring quantitative interpretations of reasonable doubt. Experiment 1 demonstrated that three different methods (i.e., direct rating, decision theory based, and MF) provided significantly different and uncorrelated interpretations of reasonable doubt, although all methods predicted verdicts equally well, and showed inter-individual variability in interpretations. In Experiment 2 only the direct rating method demonstrated a significant effect of judicial instructions on reasonable doubt. In both experiments, the MF method showed intra-individual variability in interpretations of reasonable doubt. The methods may be capturing different aspects of the concept of reasonable doubt. These findings have implications for the validity of past research findings on reasonable doubt and for the utility of triangulation of methods in future research.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > School of Science and Technology > Psychology > Forensic Psychology Research Group
A. > School of Science and Technology > Psychology
Item ID: 12194
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Depositing User: Users 3197 not found.
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2013 10:12
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2016 14:29
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/12194

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