Factors Affecting Jury Decision Making


A jury is made up of twelve general members of the public who represent society. They cannot talk about the case while it is going on and they can't talk about what happens in the deliberation room.

Because members of the jury can't talk about what happens in the deliberation room, psychologists use mock juries and shadow juries to make it easier to study factors that affect jury decision making.

  • Mock juries are completely staged and participants know that the case is not real. They are re-enactments of a courtroom where participants will take part in a staged trial.
  • A shadow jury is when a group of people sit in (usually in the public gallery) on a real-life trial and make their decisions based on what they see.

Pre-trial Publicity

  • The information in the media about a trial before it begins.
  • Pre-trial publicity may include facts about and suspect, including details of past offences (factual PTP) as well as comments and opinions (emotional PTP).
  • It is almost impossible for jurors to not see PTP, despite them being told to ignore it. 
  • Media reporting may…


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