Juries differing in dogmatism assessed the culpability of a demographically similar or dissimilar defendant who had suffered pretrial injuries that were either relevant or irrelevant to the criminal incident in question. Although jury dogmatism had no effect on verdicts rendered, dogmatic juries sentenced more severely than did less dogmatic aggregations. However, this severity of sentencing effect was qualified by an interaction between jury dogmatism and relevance of suffering. Nondogmatic juries assigned shorter sentences to defendants whose suffering was crime relevant rather than crime irrelevant, apparently treating crime-relevant suffering as a partial restoration of equity for harmdoing. By contrast, dogmatic juries appeared to adopt a just-world orientation toward crime-relevant suffering by assigning longer sentences to defendants whose injuries were crime relevant as opposed to crime irrelevant. An information-utilization model was proposed to explain these results, and several implications for future research were discussed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science