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Similarity Leniency in Mens Rea Determinations and the Mediating Role of Causal Attributions

Description: Jurors are tasked with determining if the defendant's alleged transgression is the result of the defendant's guilty mind or other mitigating situational factors. The extant research, though, suggests that jurors tend to err in making these mens rea judgments. Jurors may have particular difficulty in judging mens rea when the defendant is a different race than the juror (i.e., harsher treatment of cross-raced defendants and less harsh treatment of same raced defendants, what are known as similarity leniency effects; Mitchell et al., 2005). The present research examined jurors' mens rea judgments of cross-raced defendants, whether there is any relation between similarity leniency effects and implicit racial biases, and whether causal attributions (i.e., emphasizing dispositional vs. situational causal attributions) mediate the relation between juror race and cross-race judgments of a defendant’s mens rea (i.e., similarity leniency effects).

Suggested Citation:
Jay, A.C.V., Stone, C.B., Fondacaro, M.R., Yoon, J, Zuraw, K. (2022). Similarity Leniency in Mens Rea Determinations and the Mediating Role of Causal Attributions [Electronic Version]. Applied Psychology in Criminal Justice, 16(2), 129-155.

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Date: Feb 07, 2022 | File Size: 495.28 Kb | Downloads: 104

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