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On measuring quantitative interpretations of reasonable doubt.

Dhami, MK (2008) On measuring quantitative interpretations of reasonable doubt. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 14 (4). pp. 353-363.

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Beyond reasonable doubt represents a probability value that acts as the criterion for conviction in criminal trials. I introduce the membership function (MF) method as a new tool for measuring quantitative interpretations of reasonable doubt. Experiment 1 demonstrated that three different methods (i.e., direct rating, decision theory based, and MF) provided significantly different and uncorrelated interpretations of reasonable doubt, although all methods predicted verdicts equally well, and showed inter-individual variability in interpretations. In Experiment 2 only the direct rating method demonstrated a significant effect of judicial instructions on reasonable doubt. In both experiments, the MF method showed intra-individual variability in interpretations of reasonable doubt. The methods may be capturing different aspects of the concept of reasonable doubt. These findings have implications for the validity of past research findings on reasonable doubt and for the utility of triangulation of methods in future research.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences > School of Psychology
Authors :
Dhami, MK
Date : December 2008
DOI : 10.1037/a0013344
Uncontrolled Keywords : Crime, Criminal Law, Culture, Decision Making, Female, Guilt, Humans, Individuality, Linguistics, Male, Probability Learning, Problem Solving, Set (Psychology), Young Adult
Related URLs :
Additional Information : This article may not exactly replicate the final version published in the APA journal. It is not the copy of record. This is an electronic version of an article published as Dhami MK (2009). On measuring quantitative interpretations of reasonable doubt. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied 14(4):353-363 Available online at:
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 31 Oct 2012 17:23
Last Modified : 31 Oct 2017 14:37

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