skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 97648 Find in a Library
Title: Trial Delay as a Source of Bias in Jury Decision Making
Journal: Law and Human Behavior  Volume:9  Issue:1  Dated:(March 1985)  Pages:101-108
Author(s): D Sherrod
Date Published: 1985
Page Count: 8
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Research into the effects of cognitive, attitudinal, and motivational factors on decisionmaking is reviewed in a discussion of the effects of trial delay on jury processes and verdicts in liability cases.
Abstract: Cognitive research indicates that people typically recall an organizing theme and then reconstruct the evidence to fit this theme. Further, memory distortions occur over time as the original facts become less vivid. Individuals' subsequent judgments are influenced by their recollections of subsequent organizing themes rather than by the original facts. A number of motivational and attitudinal studies support that body of psychological theory which holds that people desire consistency among their attidues and between their attitudes and behaviors and seek to avoid the tension that results from attitudinal or behavioral contradictions. Thus, memory biases are likely to be introduced over time as jurors reconstruct the facts of a case and may be motivated to change their attitudes toward a case to justify their former decision. In addition, jurors will be likely to recall more information that is consistent with their attitudes and beliefs than information that is inconsistent. As a result, a decision on damages that is delayed 2 years is likely to be quite different from a decision that would have been reached immediately after the original verdict. The passage of time also may amplify damages. Strategies which may be used by defense< attorneys and the court to minimize the impact of these biases are summarized, implications for future research are noted, and 24 references are provided.
Index Term(s): Behavioral science research; Jury decisionmaking; Jury research; Literature reviews; Psychological research; Trial procedures
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.