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1 - Introduction

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  04 August 2010

Reid Hastie
Affiliation:
University of Colorado, Boulder
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Summary

Why do jurors who hear the same evidence frequently disagree on the proper verdict? When and how do preexisting prejudices and attitudes influence jurors’ decisions? How do jurors comprehend and apply instructions on the presumption of innocence and the standard of proof? How does a juror resolve conflicts that arise when his or her sense of justice dictates an outcome that conflicts with the appropriate verdict based on the juror's evaluation of the evidence? What types of decisions can we trust jurors to make well and which decisions are beyond the reasoning powers of nonexpert jurors? The authors of the present volume address these questions. But, in contrast to traditional legal scholars and authorities, their approach is scientific. This means that their overarching goal is to create a general, unified, empirically-based theory of the juror's thought processes and behavior.

Each of the major chapters in the present collection proposes a model of juror decision making. Each model is an explicit, precise, internally consistent set of statements about mental representations and processes that would be necessary to predict and explain the decisions made by jurors in realistically complex criminal trials. A basic convention of scientific discourse is that theoretical statements be public. Some of the models are in the form of mathematical equations and assumptions about their application, some in the form of computer programs that perform portions of the juror decision task, and some in the form of verbal statements.

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Chapter
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Inside the Juror
The Psychology of Juror Decision Making
, pp. 3 - 41
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 1993

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  • Introduction
  • Edited by Reid Hastie, University of Colorado, Boulder
  • Book: Inside the Juror
  • Online publication: 04 August 2010
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511752896.003
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  • Introduction
  • Edited by Reid Hastie, University of Colorado, Boulder
  • Book: Inside the Juror
  • Online publication: 04 August 2010
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511752896.003
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Introduction
  • Edited by Reid Hastie, University of Colorado, Boulder
  • Book: Inside the Juror
  • Online publication: 04 August 2010
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511752896.003
Available formats
×