Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name



Criminal Justice


Michael Maxfield

Committee Members

Mark Fondacaro

Keith Markus

Tom Tyler

Subject Categories

Criminology and Criminal Justice | Law and Psychology | Quantitative Psychology


Scale development, confidence, perception, cooperation, juror decision making


Two studies were conducted with an aim of developing multidimensional measures of public confidence that are conceptually integrated, psychometrically sound, and useful in predicting individuals’ law related behaviors. Study 1 involves two-phased construction of scale in which a preliminary inventory was generated (Phase 1) and then finalized after evaluating psychometric properties based on 304 US adults recruited through Amazon’s Mechanical Turk (MTurk) (Phase 2). As a result, six multidimensional scales were constructed respectively for measuring efficiency-, finality-, fairness-, strictness-, accuracy-, and transparency-oriented confidence. Despite more complexity of factor structures than originally expected, results of psychometric evaluation six scales of confidence can be used as a reliable and valid tool for measuring different aspects of confidence. Study 2 involves a test of predictive ability of the scale scores for two types of law related behaviors – cooperation and verdict – based on a second sample of 433 US adults from MTurk. This study finds that people with greater confidence in the system’s accurate fact-finding and fair treatment are more willing to help institutions, and people with greater confidence in the system’s conformity with the formal structure of law are more compliant with the law. Results show that higher accuracy- and lower strictness-oriented confidence are related to greater guilty verdicts, mainly through preexisting belief in high probability of commission for the defendant. Higher efficiency-oriented confidence is related to greater guilty verdicts, mainly through less stringent reasonable doubt standard. Possible explanations for those findings, implications, and limitations and future directions are discussed.