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NCJ Number: 152063 Find in a Library
Title: Effects of Notetaking on Verdicts and Evidence Processing in a Civil Trial
Journal: Law and Human Behavior  Volume:18  Issue:5  Dated:(October 1994)  Pages:567-578
Author(s): L ForsterLee; I A Horowitz; M Bourgeois
Date Published: 1994
Page Count: 12
Sponsoring Agency: National Science Foundation
Arlington, VA 22230
Grant Number: SBR-9311922
Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The effect of notetaking on juror decisionmaking and cognitive processing of evidence was investigated in a complex tort trial; jury eligible participants either took notes during the trial and had access to those notes during decisionmaking, took notes without access, or did not take notes.
Abstract: The study sample included 192 jurors, 150 females and 42 males, who were randomly assigned to the three experimental conditions. The trial consisted of a 2-hour audiotape of a toxic tort case involving a chemical company's liability. It was found that permitting mock jurors to take notes during the trial improved their performance, compared to jurors who were not given the opportunity to take notes. Enhancing qualities of notetaking were observed at several levels. First, jurors made cognitive distinctions with respect to the severity of injuries incurred by four differentially worthy plaintiffs. Second, notetaker decisions exhibited greater differentiation among plaintiffs. Notetakers made correct distinctions in assigning liability and compensatory awards among plaintiffs and recalled significantly more probative evidence than non-notetakers. The almost identical performance of the notes access group and the notes without access group suggested that notetaking had its impact at the encoding stage rather than at the retrieval stage. Possible motivational differences that may account for the study results are discussed. 18 references and 3 tables
Main Term(s): Court procedures
Index Term(s): Corporate criminal liability; Evidence identification; Jury decisionmaking; Trial procedures
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