Jury Simulation Goals
in The Psychology of Juries: Current Knowledge and a Research Agenda for the Future (Margaret Bull Kovera, ed., Forthcoming)
33 Pages Posted: 26 Jul 2014 Last revised: 11 Sep 2014
Date Written: June 13, 2014
What are the goals that researchers who conduct jury simulations have or should have? Drawing on Pennington and Hastie (1981), we identify three primary goals: (1) develop theory, (2) describe how juries perform, and (3) improve the jury process. Where basic theory matters most, studies should be designed in ways that stress internal validity. Where describing the behaviors of real juries or persuading policy makers about changes that should be made, studies should focus on external and ecological validity as well. We urge researchers who are interested in describing jury behavior and improving the jury process to conduct ecologically valid studies. Failure to do so will restrict the impact of our research on courts and policy makers.
Keywords: Juries, Simulations, Ecological Validity
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