Reaching a Verdict: Persuading a Jury

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The effect of order of the testimony.

  • The way in which information is received affects how it is processed and recalled.

Pennington: "Effect of memory structure on judgement"

  • Aim: test the hypothesis that jurors are more easily persuaded by "story order" than the "witness order".
  • Participants: 130 university students.
  • Method: ~lab experiment ~mock trial ~evidence presented via taperecorder (of a real case) ~mock jurors had to answer questions about the evidence, present a verdict and rate their confidence (1-5).
  • Results: when prosecution used story order a guilty verdict was returned 78% of the time. When the defence used


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