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The Effects of Race and Social Dominance Orientation in Simulated Juror Decision Making
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Recent mock‐jury research often has found no evidence that White jurors are more likely to convict and impose harsher sentences on Black compared to White defendants. Drawing on social dominance theory (Sidanius & Pratto, 1999), this paper argues that this apparent null effect reflects that different racial biases shown by White jurors varying in social dominance orientation (SDO) cancel each other out. A mock‐jury study (n= 70) found no main effect for defendant race, but evidence for a crossover interaction with high SDO individuals showing an anti‐Black bias and with low SDO individuals showing a pro‐Black bias in their guilty judgments and sentence recommendations. The discussion argues race is still a critical factor in White jurors’ decision making.