After reading the article, Shaping Juror Attitudes: Effects of Requesting Different Damage Amounts in Personal Injury Trials, one might notice the elements of research conducted throughout this study, focusing on the many strengths and weaknesses. The following research critique will discuss the fundamentals of the study, the quality of validity and reliability, strengths and limitations as well as future recommendations.
Malouff and Schutte (1989) conducted their study in order to examine the relationship between the amount of money requested for damages in personal injury trials and the amount of money awarded. After conducting a meta-analysis, they realized that researchers have previously found a relationship with the extremeness of a persuasive message and change in attitude. What had not been researched is whether such a message could be applied to a specific situation such as personal injury trials. Therefore, Malouff and Schutte (1989) hypothesized that,
(a) at least some levels the simplest possible relationship exists between the amount requested and amount awarded, namely, that the more requested by the attorney for the injured person or plaintiff, the more the jurors would be awarded, and (b) this relationship would be found regardless of the specific facts of a case, including the injuries sustained and the sex and ethnic group of the plaintiff.
That is, the amount the jurors would award depends on the amount requested by the attorney for the injured. As a result, the amount requested by the attorney for the injured is the independent variable since it is the amount altered by the researcher and the dependent variable is the amount the jurors would award.
In order to conduct the study, Malouff and Schutte (1989) used a 4x2x2 (Amount Requested x Sex of Plaintiff x Hispanic vs. Non-Hispanic Plaintiff) Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) for each case. They took 151 subjects and randomly assigned them case summaries on a leg injury case as well as a tmj injury case. What the researchers found was that there was one significant main effect for the ANOVA on the leg injury case and three significant effects for the ANOVA on the tmj injury case. In regards to the leg injury case, Malouff and Schutte (1989) found that the amount requested had a significant effect on the amount awarded which resulted in a linear relationship. As previously stated, the tmj injury case had three significant effects with one triple interaction. Through this case, Malouffe and Schutte (1989) saw that: (1) female Hispanic plaintiffs were awarded less in damages when they requested the highest amount, in distinction to the overall patter of receiving more if they asked for more, (2) females were awarded less than male plaintiffs, and (3) plaintiffs generally were awarded more if they asked for more. From these outcomes, their hypothesis was...