Political Correctness in Deliberations

Political Correctness in Deliberations

An article written by Dr. Linda Foley and Dr. Melissa Pigott reports findings from a study on self presentation in jury deliberations. The article, titled “Race, Self Presentation and Reverse Discrimination in Jury Decisions,” was published in the American Journal of Forensic Psychology. Self presentation theory proposes that people are concerned about how others evaluate them and that, as a result, people want others to think they are unprejudiced. The study involved a civil case presented to mock jurors, who were asked to determine liability of a plaintiff and defendant. When the jury foreperson was black, jurors assigned less responsibility to a black defendant than a white defendant. There were no differences in responsibility attributed to a black defendant or a white defendant when the foreperson was white. The results were interpreted as a reverse discrimination effect, in which jurors adopted a politically correct view when the foreperson was black.