Congrats to Haley Potts, who won the $2,000 competitive Grant in Aid for Graduate Students MacArthur Award through the American Psychology-Law Society, for funding her thesis!
Abstract: Landmark Supreme Court cases have questioned whether defendants with mental illness can be involuntarily medicated to facilitate their competence to proceed. A key issue in these cases was whether medication removes defendants’ “true” symptom presentation (e.g., psychosis) and/or makes them appear sedated, thus prejudicing a future jury; however, no empirical research has explored this issue. This project will use randomized vignettes to assess whether defendants’ in-trial symptom presentation (e.g., psychotic v. sedated) and knowledge of defendant medication status influence MTurk mock jurors’ insanity verdicts. Findings may inform future legal strategy and judges’ decisions regarding defendants’ medication over objection.