Skip to main content

ASU Electronic Theses and Dissertations


This collection includes most of the ASU Theses and Dissertations from 2011 to present. ASU Theses and Dissertations are available in downloadable PDF format; however, a small percentage of items are under embargo. Information about the dissertations/theses includes degree information, committee members, an abstract, supporting data or media.

In addition to the electronic theses found in the ASU Digital Repository, ASU Theses and Dissertations can be found in the ASU Library Catalog.

Dissertations and Theses granted by Arizona State University are archived and made available through a joint effort of the ASU Graduate College and the ASU Libraries. For more information or questions about this collection contact or visit the Digital Repository ETD Library Guide or contact the ASU Graduate College at gradformat@asu.edu.




This study investigates the presence of a dual identity defendant, and how sharing an in-group can create a judgment bias. A sample of 256 participants was used to test whether there was a relationship between judgment punitiveness, perceptions of shared identity, hypocrisy and the social identities (religion and sexual orientation) of the participants and a defendant charges with a sexual offence. Results suggest that Christian participants selected more punitive outcomes for the defendant compared to non-Christian participants. Further, participants were more punitive when the defendant was gay compared to when the defendant was heterosexual. Also, when the defendant was straight …

Contributors
Altholz, Rachel Leah, Salerno, Jessica, Hall, Deborah, et al.
Created Date
2014

Recent advances in hierarchical or multilevel statistical models and causal inference using the potential outcomes framework hold tremendous promise for mock and real jury research. These advances enable researchers to explore how individual jurors can exert a bottom-up effect on the jury’s verdict and how case-level features can exert a top-down effect on a juror’s perception of the parties at trial. This dissertation explains and then applies these technical advances to a pre-existing mock jury dataset to provide worked examples in an effort to spur the adoption of these techniques. In particular, the paper introduces two new cross-level mediated effects …

Contributors
Lovis-McMahon, David, Schweitzer, Nicholas, Saks, Michael, et al.
Created Date
2015

Life History Theory suggests that, in order to maximize reproductive fitness, individuals make trade-offs between allocating resources to mating and parenting. These trade-offs are influenced by an individual's sex, life history strategy, and environment. Here, I explored the usefulness of a Life History Theory framework for understanding endorsement of child support laws. This study experimentally manipulated sex ratio, and gathered information about participants' endorsement of child support, sexual restrictedness, and mate value. As predicted, women endorsed child support more than men, whereas men favored greater restriction of child support in the form of required paternity testing. However, in general, results …

Contributors
Williams, Keelah Elizabeth Grace, Neuberg, Steven L, Saks, Michael, et al.
Created Date
2013

There is conflicting evidence regarding whether a biasing effect of neuroscientific evidence exists. Early research warned of such bias, but more recent papers dispute such claims, with some suggesting a bias only occurs in situations of relative judgment, but not in situations of absolute judgment. The current studies examined the neuroimage bias within both criminal and civil court case contexts, specifically exploring if a bias is dependent on the context in which the neuroimage evidence is presented (i.e. a single expert vs. opposing experts). In the first experiment 408 participants read a criminal court case summary in which either one …

Contributors
Hafdahl, Riquel J., Schweitzer, Nicholas, Salerno, Jessica, et al.
Created Date
2016

Research at the intersection of psychology and law has demonstrated that juror decision-making is subject to many cognitive biases, however, it fails to consider the influence of culturally derived cognitive biases. As jurors become increasingly demographically and culturally diverse it is possible—and even likely—that their attributions might vary because of their cultural background. I predict that cultural and demographic group affiliation affects attributional tendencies such that, compared to situationally focused individuals (those from East Asian cultures, women, those from lower socioeconomic status groups, and older individuals), dispositionally focused individuals (those from Western cultures, men, those from higher socioeconomic status groups, …

Contributors
Votruba, Ashley, Kwan, Sau, Saks, Michael, et al.
Created Date
2017

A substantial amount of research has been dedicated to understanding how and why innocent people confess to crimes that they did not commit. Unfortunately, false confessions occur even with the best possible interrogation practices. This study aimed to examine how different types of false confession (voluntary, compliance, and internalization) and the use of jury instructions specific to confessions influences jurors’ verdicts. A sample of 414 participants read a criminal trial case summary that presented one of four reasons why the defendant falsely confessed followed by either the standard jury instruction for confessions or a clarified version. Afterwards, participants completed several …

Contributors
Pollack, Andrew Christian, Schweitzer, Nicholas, Salerno, Jessica, et al.
Created Date
2017

This experiment uses the Community of Knowledge framework to better understand how jurors interpret new information (Sloman & Rabb, 2016). Participants learned of an ostensibly new scientific finding that was claimed to either be well-understood or not understood by experts. Despite including no additional information, expert understanding led participants to believe that they personally understood the phenomenon, with expert understanding acting as a cue for trustworthiness and believability. This effect was particularly pronounced with low-quality sources. These results are discussed in the context of how information is used by jurors in court, and the implications of the “Community of Knowledge” …

Contributors
Jones, Ashley C. T., Schweitzer, Nicholas J., Neal, Tess M.S., et al.
Created Date
2018