Personality Traits as Factors in Jurors' Decisions Regarding the Death Penalty
Whisler, Brie L.
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Death-qualification is based on the notion that outside factors contributing to juror sentence decision-making have no effect. However, these factors may be important and should be included in the voir dire process to create a true representation of death-qualified jurors. One such factor is difference in personality traits. It was hypothesized that individuals with the tendency to choose a death penalty sentence are highly extraverted [sic], while individuals tending not to select the death penalty score highly on openness. In order to test the hypotheses, individuals who selected the death penalty were compared with individuals who did not select the death penalty on each of five personality trait scores using independent samples t-tests. Participants were asked to read material covering capital murder, make and explain decisions, and fill out surveys. Although results did not support either of the hypotheses, suggested modifications and further investigations of the current research are provided.