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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 164798 Find in a Library
Title: Evidential and Extralegal Factors in Juror Decisions: Presentation Mode, Retention, and Level of Emotionality
Journal: Law and Human Behavior  Volume:20  Issue:5  Dated:(October 1996)  Pages:565-572
Author(s): V L Fishfader; G N Howells; R C Katz; P S Teresi
Date Published: 1996
Page Count: 8
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study examined whether video re-creations affect juror decisions by assessing factual retention, emotional state, liability assessments, and damage awards.
Abstract: A total of 102 mock jurors reviewed case materials from a wrongful death suit in one of three formats: print (transcripts), videotaped testimony, or videotaped testimony plus video re- creation. Pretest to posttest differences in emotionality were assessed with the Profile of Mood States questionnaire. Retention levels were measured by a multiple-choice questionnaire. Jurors exposed to the videotaped testimony experienced greater emotional reactions than those who read transcripts. Mood changes were inversely related to liability assessments on the plaintiff, but no differences in damage awards were noted. This suggests that perceptions of levels of defendant liability are influenced by emotions, but damage awards appear to be based more on factual evidence. Video scene re-creations may thus be more effective in inducing out-of-court settlements than in actually swaying jurors' decisions. The fact that changes in mood state were related to liability assessments but not to damage awards could show that jurors decide the degree of responsibility based partially on emotions. This is also supported by the fact that liability assessments were significantly correlated with mood changes only in the video re-creation condition; however, jurors may decide the final outcome of cases (damages or penalties) on the basis of remembered factual evidence rather than emotions associated with that evidence. 1 table, 1 figure, and 21 references
Main Term(s): Court procedures
Index Term(s): Jury decisionmaking; Jury research
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=164798

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