A Trust In Legal Professionals Scale Implications For Jury Functioning


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Ken Rotenberg - University of Keele

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A Trust In Legal Professionals Scale Implications For Jury Functioning

  1. 1. A Trust in Legal Professionals Scale: Implications for Jury Functioning Professor Ken J. Rotenberg
  2. 2. <ul><li>Trust in the legal system is critical to its functioning and, in a broad context, to the maintenance of social order (Tyler & Hou 2002). </li></ul><ul><li>Trust in the legal system, including juries, may be on the decline in contemporary society. Tony Blair expressed those sentiments (Telegraph, 2006). </li></ul><ul><li>According to the Common Good (2005) report, only 16 percent of American adults trust the legal system to defend them against baseless claims and 55 percent do not “trust” the legal system </li></ul><ul><li>The jury process has been frequently criticised and may be the vulnerable to mistrust by the public. </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>Researchers have not developed a psychometrically viable trust in legal professionals scale (TLPS). The current study was designed to redress that oversight. </li></ul><ul><li>The TLPS would permit: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>the examination of historical changes in trust in legal professionals, including juries. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>the causes, correlates and consequences of individual differences in trust in legal professionals, including juries. </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>Should assess persons’ expectations about the likelihood of specific legal behaviour in given categories of legal professionals: judges, lawyers, and juries. </li></ul><ul><li>Rotenberg's (2010) 3 (bases) x 3 (domains) x 2 (target dimensions) framework. The three bases of trust are: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>reliability: fulfilment of word or promise. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>emotional: reliance on others to refrain from causing emotional harm, such as being receptive to disclosures, maintaining confidentiality of them, refraining from criticism and avoiding acts that elicit embarrassment. </li></ul></ul></ul>Conceptual Framework
  5. 5. <ul><ul><li>honesty: telling the truth and engaging in behaviours that are guided by benign rather than malicious intent and by genuine rather than manipulative strategies. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The three domains are: cognitive/affective and behaviour dependent and behaviour enacting. </li></ul><ul><li>The dimensions of the target of trust are specificity and familiarity. </li></ul><ul><li>The TLPS similarly was designed to be a three-factor scale (honesty, reliability, and emotional) to assess trust beliefs (cognitive/affective) in three moderately general and familiar targets: judges, lawyers, and juries. </li></ul>
  6. 7. <ul><li>It has been found that trust beliefs are associated with behaviour dependency trust ( e. g., depending on others to fulfil promises, maintain confidentiality, and be honest (Rotenberg, 1994, 2001). </li></ul><ul><li>It was expected that trust beliefs in legal professionals would be associated with cooperating with legal professionals because that involves behaviour dependency trust. </li></ul><ul><li>It was expected that that association would be greater than the association between Generalized Trust Beliefs and cooperating with legal professionals. </li></ul><ul><li>As evidence for TLPS validity, it was expected that the scale would be associated with Generalized Trust Beliefs </li></ul>Study 1: Rationale
  7. 8. <ul><li>Designed to examine the role that trust in legal professionals (TLPS) plays in jury functioning. </li></ul><ul><li>The TLPS may also bear on jury functioning but the relation may not be simple because trust beliefs are manifested in both active behaviours (seek out lawyers) and passive (obey judges or juries) behaviours. </li></ul><ul><li>How would these competing behavioural orientations of trust become manifested in jury deliberations? </li></ul>Study 2: Rationale
  8. 9. <ul><li>One answer to preceding question resides in gender role based differences in jury functioning. Strodtbeck, and Mann (1956) found that there was gender role differentiation in jury deliberations. Men adopted an active social agency leadership role whereas women adopted a more passive social-emotional role. </li></ul><ul><li>Trust in juries may be positively associated with social agency during deliberations for males (e.g., dominating jury deliberations). </li></ul><ul><li>Trust in juries should be associated with passivity during deliberations for females (e.g., not dominating deliberations). </li></ul>
  9. 10. <ul><li>Participants </li></ul><ul><li>Sample 1 : One hundred and 36 university students (80 females and 56 males) were drawn from a modest size university in the United Kingdom. The mean age was 20 years-6 months with a standard deviation of 1 year- 4 months. </li></ul><ul><li>Sample 2 : One hundred and 99 (34 females and 165 males) British citizens in Recruit Training Squadron (RTS) Section from a Royal Air Force (RAF) base station at Halton, Aylesbury. The participants had a mean age of 20 years -9 months with a standard deviation of 2 years– 8 months. RAF recruits are drawn from a broad range of socioeconomic backgrounds. </li></ul>Study 1
  10. 11. Study 1: Materials <ul><li>Initially the TLPS was composed of 2 reliability, 2 emotional, and 2 honesty items for each of three target categories: juries, judges, and lawyers. This resulted in 6 items for juries, 6 items for judges, and 6 items for lawyers. </li></ul><ul><li>Examples of Items: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ As a member of jury, an individual promises that s/he will faithfully try the defendant and give a true verdict according to the evidence. How likely is it that they will keep to this promise? (reliability for juries). </li></ul></ul>
  11. 12. Study 1: Materials (Continued) <ul><ul><li>In a domestic violence case a client has to disclose information that may evoke upsetting memories. How likely is it that the lawyer will treat conversations with their client in an understanding and non-critical manner?” (emotional for lawyers). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ A judge overhears jury members outside the court discussing their opinions about the individual standing trial. How likely is it that the judge will consider these opinions in their own decision?” (honesty for judges). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The items were judged on 5-point likert scales ranging from 1 – very likely to 5 – very unlikely. The items were reversed such that higher scores denoted greater trust. </li></ul></ul>
  12. 13. Study 1: Materials <ul><li>Generalized Trust Beliefs: Rotter’s Interpersonal Trust Scale – RITS (Rotter, 1967) composed of 35 trust items (13 negatively worded and 12 positively worded) and 15 filler items and judged on 5-point Likert scales. </li></ul><ul><li>The Cooperating with Legal Professionals Scale (CLPS) was composed of three items including “If you were called upon to partake in jury service, how willing would you be to accept this?” The items were judged on 5-point likert scales (1 – very unlikely to 5 – very likely .) Higher scores on the denoted greater co-operation with legal professionals. The CLPS demonstrated acceptable internal consistency,  = .71 and .69, for the undergraduate and RAF samples, respectively. </li></ul>
  13. 15. <ul><li>______________________________________________________________________________________________________ </li></ul><ul><li>Measure Mean SD TLPSHon TLPSEmot TLPSRel RITS CLP </li></ul><ul><li>______________________________________________________________________________________________________ </li></ul><ul><li>Undergraduate Sample 1 </li></ul><ul><li>TLPS </li></ul><ul><li>Total 29.22 7.53 .92*** .89*** .88*** .78*** .81*** </li></ul><ul><li>Honesty (TLPSHon) 9.69 2.91 .74*** .71*** .73*** .77*** </li></ul><ul><li>Emotional (TLPSEmot) 9.13 2.75 .65*** .71*** .67*** </li></ul><ul><li>Reliability (TLPSRel) 10.40 2.76 .66*** .73*** </li></ul><ul><li>RITS 71.11 19.38 .63*** </li></ul><ul><li>CLP 4.57 1.23 </li></ul><ul><li>______________________________________________________________________________________________________ </li></ul><ul><li>RAF Sample 2 </li></ul><ul><li>TLPS </li></ul><ul><li>Total 30.13 4.99 .68*** .79*** .77*** .45 *** .27*** </li></ul><ul><li>Honesty (TLPSHon) 9.71 2.23 .23*** .29*** .24*** .15* </li></ul><ul><li>Emotional (TLPSEmot) 9.72 2.42 .49*** .38*** .25*** </li></ul><ul><li>Reliabilityl (TLPSRel) 10.70 2.03 .38*** .20** </li></ul><ul><li>RITS 67.34 8.58 .07 </li></ul><ul><li>CLP 11.94 1.80 </li></ul><ul><li>______________________________________________________________________________________________________ </li></ul><ul><li>Note: all p values < .001, 1 dfs = 134 and 2 dfs = 197 </li></ul>Table 1 Correlations Among the Measures with Means and Standard Deviations
  14. 16. Study 1: Results <ul><li>The 2 (Gender)  3 (Target of Trust) ANOVA with repeated analyses on the latter factor. The analyses yielded a main effect of Target of Trust for the undergraduate sample F (2,133) =15.03, p < .001, η2 = .15 and for the RAF sample. The target of trust scores for the undergraduate sample was in the following in descending order: ( M = 10.30 ( SD = .25) for the lawyer target, M = 9.70 ( SD = .26) for the judge target and M =9.24, ( SD = .24) for the jury target. The trust scores for the RAF sample were the following in descending order: M = 10.96 ( SD = .19) for the lawyer target, M = 9.59 ( SD = .22) for the judge target and M = 8.8 ( SD = .22) for the jury target. The differences between the targets of trust all attained significance at p < .05. No appreciable gender differences. </li></ul>
  15. 17. Study 2 <ul><li>Participants </li></ul><ul><li>Seventy-two undergraduate student participants (25 males and 48 females) from mid-sized university in the UK served as participants with mean age 20.78 ( SD = .76). The participants took part in juries composed of 10 persons on average that ranged between 6 and 12. The majority of the juries were each composed of numbers of males and females (6 males and 6 females in jury 1, 5 males and 6 females in jury 2; 4 males and 7 females in jury 3; 5 males and 8 females in jury 5). Three juries were female dominated (2 males and 8 females in jury 4; 3 males and 6 females in jury 6; and 7 females in jury 7). </li></ul>
  16. 18. The Trial <ul><li>The defendant (Mr. Bell) was charged with attempted-armed robbery. The Lawyer questioned a police officer and then questioned a Social Worker. As testimony, the police officer stated the following. “A man entered a local convenience store wearing a ski mask and attempted to rob a store using a knife. However, before the robber could take the money he was forced to run off. Mr. Bell, was apprehended by police in the streets near the convenience store as he appeared to be fleeing the scene of the crime and had £475 on his person. Neither the ski mask nor knife could be found. However, Mr. Bell, generally fit the description of the robber provided by the store clerk who had earlier worked at the convenience store on the day of the attempted robbery. Under questioning, Mr. Bell stated that he had won £450 and hadn’t had a chance to deposit the money” </li></ul>
  17. 19. Measures <ul><li>Dominance Each jury member completed the three ratings of each other jury member on 5-point scales ranging from 1 – not al all to 5 – very, very, much. The ratings were of how much the jury member: (1) dominated the discussions, (2) identified legal points during discussions, and (3) influenced the jury decisions. There were substantive correlations among these rating: dominated was correlated with identified, r (23) = .85, p < .001 and with influenced, r (23) = .82, p < .001. Also, identified was correlated with influenced, r (23) = .73, p < .001. The three ratings were summed to yield a dominance of jury deliberation scale: higher scores denoted greater dominance. </li></ul>
  18. 20. Results <ul><li>The hierarchical regression analyses (HRAs) are shown in Table 3. In these HRAs, TLPS was entered in Step 1, gender (the potential moderator) was entered in Step 2, and gender  TLPS (the interaction) as was entered in Step 3. The predictors were centred as recommended by Cohen, Cohen, West and Aiken (2003). The dominance over the jury deliberations served as the dependent measure. </li></ul><ul><li>The HRA yielded a TLPS * Gender interaction,  = -.81, p < .05 </li></ul><ul><li>The slopes of the relation between the TLPS and dominance over the jury deliberations by gender are shown in Figure 1. </li></ul>
  19. 21. Figure 1: The Slopes of the Relationship Between TLPS and Dominance By Gender -0.8 -0.6 -0.4 -0.2 0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1 2 Dominance Males Females -7 0 7 TLPS Scores
  20. 22. Discussion <ul><li>The current research (Study 1) was effective in developing a scale of trust in legal professionals – the TLPS -- that showed reliability (i.e., internal consistency), concurrent validity, and criterion validity. This complements a growing number of scales to assess trust beliefs (e.g., Randall, Rotenberg & Carlo, 2010) that are based on Rotenberg’s (1994, 2001) interpersonal trust framework and yields further support for the utility of that framework. </li></ul><ul><li>Of particular interest was the finding that the TLPS was associated with cooperating with legal professionals as self-reported. </li></ul>
  21. 23. Discussion (continued) <ul><li>Study 1 showed that individuals held greater trust beliefs in lawyers than judges and greater trust beliefs in judges than in juries. Unfortunately, the content of the items varied by target but the findings may be interpreted as suggesting the public has the least trust beliefs in juries. This warrants further investigation. </li></ul><ul><li>Study 2 confirmed that the TLPS has implications for jury functioning. The findings confirmed that the TLPS was positively associated for males and negatively associated for females with dominance over jury deliberations. </li></ul>