Are Twelve Heads Better Than One? Stereotypes and Jury Decision Making

McKimmie, B. (University of Queensland), Schuller, R. (York University, Canada), Masser, B. (University of Queensland), Goodman Delahunty, J. (Charles Sturt University), Tait, D. (Western Sydney University), Rosner, M. (London School of Economics), Sarre, R. (University of South Australia)

Research on individual (mock) jurors suggests that while evidence strength is a major influence on their perceptions and verdicts, they are still influenced by a range of extra-legal factors, including stereotypes about ethnicity, gender, socio-economic status, and attractiveness. Some research suggests that individuals’ initial biases survive deliberation to influence the verdict, others suggest that deliberation has a curative effect on biased individual preferences. Very few studies directly test the effect of deliberation, and those that do often come to conflicting conclusions, possibly due to idiosyncratic features of the case stimuli. This paper reports on three mock jury deliberation experiments using a range of case types to explore the potential curative effect of deliberation on the quality of jurors’ decisions.

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Person Perception and Stereotyping