Most everyone has seen criminal trials (both fictitious and real) on TV. You know, then, that the trial starts with opening statements and ends with closing arguments by the prosecution and defense, respectively.
For this Discussion, you will examine the advantages and disadvantages of schemas.
Be sure to review the Learning Resources before completing this activity.
Click the weekly resources link to access the resources.
- Review the Learning Resources for this week and consider the advantages and disadvantages of schema.
- Imagine you are a juror. Exactly how do opening statements and closing arguments function as schemas? In particular, what impact would opening statements have on how you, as a juror, would interpret evidence proffered at trial?
BY DAY 3
Post how your preconceptions (i.e., your schema) might supersede the schema (i.e., theory) of the case as presented by attorneys for the state and for the defendant during opening statements. How might the strength of your preconceptions cause you to reject the attorneys’ attempt to provide a schema for the case?
BY DAY 5
Respond to at least one colleague in the following way:
During jury selection, attorneys for the prosecution and defense question prospective jurors to determine who may already have decided the defendant’s guilt or innocence before hearing the attorneys present the case. As an attorney, it is your job to expose and then counter juror preconceptions that may make them resistant to your schema for the case. Your class colleagues have described how their preconceptions might override the schema you, as attorney, would advance during opening statements. Describe the strategy you might use to persuade the resistant juror (i.e., the class colleague you are responding to) to set aside her or his preconceptions and consider what you have to say.
Be sure to support your postings and responses with specific references to the social psychology theory and research. In addition to the Learning Resources, search the Walden Library and/or Internet for peer-reviewed articles to support your post and responses. Use proper APA format and citations, including those in the Learning Resources.
- Aronson, E., Wilson, T. D., Akert, R. M., & Sommers, S. R. (Eds.). (2019). Social psychology (10th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson.
- Chapter 3, “Social Cognition: How We Think About the Social World”
- Note: Viewing media and interactives embedded in the electronic version of this course text is not required for this course.
- Stolle, D. P., & Slain, A. J. (1997). Standard form contracts and contract schemas: A preliminary investigation of the effects of exculpatory clauses on consumers’ propensity to sue. Behavioral Sciences and the LawLinks to an external site., 15(1), 83–94. doi:10.1002/(SICI)1099- 0798(199724)15:1<83::AID-BSL261>3.0.CO;2-F.
- Madon, S., Jussim, L., Guyll, M., Nofziger, H., Salib, E. R., Willard, J., & Scherr, K. C. (2018). The accumulation of stereotype-based self-fulfilling prophecies. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology,Links to an external site. 115(5), 825–844. https://doi.org/10.1037/pspi0000142.supp (Supplemental)