Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Jacquin, Kristine

Committee Member

Spirrison, Charles

Committee Member

Armstrong, Kevin

Date of Degree


Original embargo terms

MSU Only Indefinitely

Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Campus Access Only



Degree Name

Master of Science


College of Arts and Sciences


Department of Psychology


Despite the high prevalence rates of rape, the rates of reporting, arrest, and conviction for this crime are quite low. To help remedy this problem, it is important to study factors that influence juror decisions in rape trials. The purpose of the current study was to investigate the influence of three independent variables, type of rape, complainant alcohol consumption, and defendant alcohol consumption, on mock juror verdicts. Participants were randomly assigned to one of eight conditions varying on the three independent variables. Participants were surveyed about their perceptions of rape myths, alcohol beliefs, defendant guilt, and complainant and defendant responsibility. Overall, the complainant’s alcohol consumption had a larger effect on guilt ratings and perceptions of complainant and defendant responsibility than the defendant’s alcohol consumption and the relationship between the victim and defendant. Jurors’ beliefs about alcohol also correlated with perceptions of the situation, complainant, and defendant.