Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
The insanity defense has been one of the most hotly debated issues in criminal law for centuries. Jurors are generally hostile to the insanity defense and people with psychological disorders and often fail to find defendants insane even when an insanity verdict is warranted. The current study attempted to determine why jurors are hostile to the insanity defense and people with psychological disorders. Participants read one of two case vignettes depicting a defendant suffering from paranoid schizophrenia who committed murder. The vignettes differed in how sympathetic the defendant is in the vignettes, and how dangerous the defendant is to society. The participants rendered a verdict in the case and indicated how confident they were in their verdict. Next, participants were presented with several commonly used insanity tests in the U.S. Lastly, they completed various assessment instruments and provided demographic information to assess whether lack of knowledge about psychological disorders and the insanity defense, attitudes toward psychological disorders and the insanity defense, different views of morality, authoritarianism, Type I thinking, and various demographic variables would affect their verdicts.
Runions, Destinye, "Factors That Influence Decision-Making In Insanity Cases" (2023). Theses and Dissertations. 5335.