Knowledge-telling and knowledge-transforming arguments in mock jurors' verdict justifications

Thinking and Reasoning 17 (3):282 - 314 (2011)
Abstract
According to the ?story model? a juror constructs an implicit mental model of a story telling what happened as the basis for the verdict choice. But the explicit justification of a verdict choice could take the form of a story (knowledge telling) or the form of a relational (knowledge-transforming) argument structure that brings together diverse, non-chronologically related pieces of evidence. The study investigates whether people tend towards knowledge telling or knowledge transforming, and whether use of these argument structure types are related to skilled argument and epistemic understanding. A sample of people on jury duty chose and justified verdicts in two abridged cases. Participants tended to display the same argument structure and argument skill across cases. Those using knowledge-transforming structures were more successful at the juror argument skills task and had a higher level of epistemic understanding. The discussion suggests that jurors approach their task with an epistemic orientation towards knowledge telling or knowledge transforming
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