Press articles and influence processes: the different effects of incriminating information and crime story information on judgments of guilt

Abstract : The present study examines how potential jury members' judgments are affected by two types of information provided by the media: (1) information that is directly incriminating for the accused and (2) crime story information, that is, information about the events of the crime but not directly pertaining to the defendant's innocence or guilt. Although the influence of directly incriminating information has been widely researched, the effect of crime story information has never been studied. Our objective was to test the hypothesis that incriminating information affects judgments directly, whereas crime story information affects judgments indirectly via the arousal of negative emotions. We did this by coding the two types of information in 78 press articles about a criminal trial heard in France. Participants (N = 312) were asked to read the articles and then indicate their anger arousal and give their judgment about the accused. The results support our hypothesis. We conclude by discussing the contribution of our findings to research into the media's influence on legal cases.
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Journal articles
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https://hal.univ-rennes2.fr/hal-01729374
Contributor : Laurence Leroux <>
Submitted on : Monday, March 12, 2018 - 3:47:27 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, October 1, 2019 - 3:54:02 PM

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Rafaele Dumas, Nadia Lepastourel, Benoît Testé. Press articles and influence processes: the different effects of incriminating information and crime story information on judgments of guilt. Psychology, Crime & Law, 2013, 20 (7), pp.659 - 672. ⟨10.1080/1068316X.2013.854790⟩. ⟨hal-01729374⟩

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