M.A. in Mental Health Counseling and Applied Psychology
College of Science & Mathematics
Jury instructions; Sexual harassment--Law and legislation
Legal Studies | Psychology
This study compares the effect of reasonable standards on the jury's verdict in a sexual harassment lawsuit. One hundred and fifty seven participants (82 males, 74 females and 1 unidentified), ages ranging from 16 to 90, (M= 22.74) were randomly divided into juries (7 reasonable woman, 8 reasonable person, and 9 reasonable worker). Participants were given a written sexual harassment case, judge's instructions, and a survey to complete before and after the group had reached a unanimous verdict.
It was hypothesized that participants who applied the reasonable woman standard would be more likely to take the complainant's perspective. This hypothesis was found to be supported by a significant difference between worker and woman juries' use of the terms of hostile work environment. There were significant interactions between those who did and did not experience sexual harassment in the workplace and their judgments of both, hostile work environment and severity.
Matsinger, Karen Leigh, "Sexual harassment jury instructions' effects on jury decisions" (2008). Theses and Dissertations. 740.