Previous research suggests that stigma towards individuals with a mental illness can also affect a jury’s decision process regarding sentence outcome (Casper, 1964; Poulson, Wuensch, Brown, and Braithwaite, 1997). Undergraduate participants (N = 113) in this mock jury trial study read vignettes describing fictional murder cases in which either no mental disorder, schizophrenia, or bipolar disorder was involved. Participants chose the sentence outcome that reflected their attitudes best (type of consequence and length of consequence) and also answered questions about their perceptions of mental illness overall and their perceptions of the defendant. Findings showed that the slight levels of stigma toward mental illness had no effect on the length of punishment for the defendant. Without taking stigma into consideration, participants were less likely to recommend a longer punishment to defendants with a mental illness, compared to those with no mental disorder. Participants who had a higher level of stigma toward mental illness were more likely to recommend prison as the location of punishment instead of an inpatient psychiatric facility. Moreover, findings indicated that there is a slight level of stigma toward mental illness, but it only had occasional implications on the recommendations made by the mock jury members of this study.
|Commitee:||Dirks-Linhorst, Ann, Ro, Eunyoe|
|School:||Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville|
|School Location:||United States -- Illinois|
|Source:||MAI 55/05M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Clinical psychology, Criminology|
|Keywords:||Mental illness, Mock jury, Stigma|
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