SO 301 Park University Unit 7 False Confessions and Testimonial Injustice Discussion

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Social Psychology in the Law & Business

Unit 7 explores how the various social psychology principles we’ve studied in this course influence 1). the criminal justice system including law enforcement, legal, and court processes and 2). business including personnel selection, performance evaluations, leadership, work motivation, and economic decision making.   For previous discussions the focus has been to demonstrate things you know and understand.  For this discussion your initial post should identify two things you don’t understand that you want help to clarify or areas where you want to deepen your understanding.

It’s easy to review the PowerPoint slides and read the chapters for general understanding without reflecting very deeply on exactly what you do and do not understand.  I want you to not focus so much on knowledge and information this week but more on application.  As you read the chapters identify things you don’t understand very well, or only partially understand, how they apply to everyday life, what things you’d like to understand better, etc. 

For your initial post:   

  • Identify two things covered in the reading that are unclear to you or things which you want to develop a deeper understanding about
  • Provide sufficient detail to clearly identify your point of confusion or interest 
  • Give enough information to indicate your current understanding and the kind of help you want  
  • Indicate what specific type of help would be helpful (e.g., are you looking for an example, the experience of others as it relates to the issue, additional documentation, interpretations, opinions)
  • State what you see as the value and benefit of better understanding and exploring this issue, why does it matter, what’s the practical application in daily life

Your response posts should respond to the specific requests of your classmates and in some way provide what you see as useful clarification, insight, or elaboration of the issues they identified.  It would be useful for the person with the questions to give some type of feedback if the response is helpful, raised other questions, left him or her confused, etc.  Learning at its best is an interactive, iterative process that builds understanding as we interact with the material.  All too often we cut the process short and don’t learn as much as we could.   


To earn the full 15 points, you must complete three important parts in a timely manner and the high quality work must consist of clear, complete, and insightful responses. Originality and creativity in your responses are encouraged. (See Grading and Rubrics for the Discussion Rubric.)

Be sure to cite and reference at least one empirical source in your main and response posts linking your examples and responses to the social psych principles you’re highlighting and discussing.  Being able to identify practical applications of the principles discussed in this course will allow you to develop a deeper and more practical understanding of the principles.  

Due Dates

Initial original post due by 11:59 p.m., Thursday, CT. Respond to two or more classmates by 11:59 p.m., Sunday, CT.

Respond to the following 

Post 1

Hannah GaryYesterdayFeb 24 at 6:38pm

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Non evidentiary influences. A judge deeming something as inadmissible evidence and instructing the jury to disregard what they just heard or saw. To my knowledge this means that the judge is telling the jury that they should not base their decision on the trial with the inadmissible evidence as a reason. My knowledge of this happening comes from tv and movies. Mainly Law and Order SVU. I understand the purpose behind the action however I do not understand how a judge is supposed to believe that the jury did not make their decision after hearing this evidence. Just because someone is telling them it is inadmissible, as humans we cannot forget the thing we just heard. I can imagine that these pieces of evidence do in fact greatly influence a jury’s decision, whether that be consciously or sub consciously. I would be interested to read interviews on jurors that have experienced this, I wonder if they would admit that the inadmissible evidence was on their mind or how they came to their final decision without thinking about the inadmissible evidence. I wonder how many people are innocently convicted based on this human reaction.

Cyber Vetting. The concept of cyber vetting is curious to me. I understand that this is done by searching the internet for information on applicants. However, I am curious as to what specifically people are searching for? In some regard I think that ones personal life should stay personal and does not affect the ability to perform a job. On the other hand I can see how this would be of use in some professions. Sometimes people are looking for applicants who uphold a certain set of values or morals and there might be behaviors in which the company does not want to associate with. I would be interested to learn more about this and what specifically employers look for online and how they determine if the applicant still holds the same image or has changed. The internet can store a lot of history on someone, and as humans we grow and change. I wonder what non-negotiables would be, versus second chances. I also wonder how modern-day social media plays into this. We now live in a world where sharing our personal lives are encouraged and many careers actually revolve around this. “About a quarter of employers expect candidates to have an online presence” (Dayton Daily News). I could see cyber vetting being used to ones benefit and ones disadvantage.

What is Cyber Vetting? (2017). Dayton Daily News. 

Post 2

Rebecca SwiftThursdayFeb 25 at 2:25pm

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One thing I would like to know more about is false confessions, “an innocent person’s admission of guilt to a crime he or she did not commit” (Markus et al., 2020, pg. 528). In so many shows, movies, documentaries, it clearly shows innocent people being forced by lawyers and police to confess to something they clearly didn’t do. Utilizing the case the book brought up, The Central Park Five, and the cops coercing teenagers to confess to raping and brutally beating a female jogger is a true example of such a thing. The worst part is they were in jail for years before they were released. I would like to know more of why the judicial system can be so malicious with their prosecutions and way of handling them? What makes them think false confessions are the best thing when it comes to innocent people? The practical application here is understanding why it’s done so it can be stopped. Locking up the wrong person until the true criminal my or not be found is such a destructive way of thinking and doing.

Another piece of information that is new to me and I’m questioning is: jury nullification “the jury’s power to disregard, or “nullify,” the law when it conflicts with personal conceptions of justice” (Markus et al., 2020, pg. 544). So, I’m having a hard time understanding jurors who don’t believe in a law can actually vote against it? I would like to know why that is even the case when there are rules spelled out plainly for what is considered wrong. I feel if wrong is done, accountability should still be held to a certain degree. I would just like some opinions on why this is even an issue or why you agree with it? This would just help me have a better idea of why it’s become acceptable and why people can’t be held responsible for what they do wrong.


Markus, S.K.S.F.H.R. (2020). Social Psychology. [MBS Direct]. Retrieved from  (Links to an external site.)“> (Links to an external site.).Reply

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