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Factors influencing jury decision making

 When an individual gives up his or her personal views under group pressure.
 Within a jury situation, two types of conformity may occur: Normative and informational.
 Normative conformity:
 The jury member conforms to avoid rejection by the group or to gain rewards from them,
but may not in reality agree with the decision.
 Asch found that the most influential group size to gain conformity was 7:1
 Showed that difficult tasks and the higher status of some group members also influenced
others to conform.
 Informational conformity:
 The individual conforms to the group norms because they don’t know what to do and looks
to the group for guidance
 It may be th\t the individual does not understand the legal technicalities of the case.
Vicky Pryce trial in February 2013 was questionable.
 She was accused of falsely admitting she was driving the car when her husband at the time,
 Chris Huhne, a member of parliament was caught speeding.
 The jury had listened to all the information and were at the stage where they started to discuss their
decisions among themselves.
 ‘ deliberation’ stage and happens towards the end of a trial
 Asked some basic questions that raised significant concerns to the judge about their understanding of
their role and of the info. Given to them in court.
 Defendant faced a possible prison sentence if found convicted – important that the jury fully
understood their role.
 Judge considered that he had no choice but to dismiss first jury, select a new one and hold a retrial in
the home that they’d be able to make an informed decision

Minority influence:
 Does not always require a large no. of individuals to influence the decision of one juror.
 Moscovici – suggests that one or a small minority of like-minded individuals may influence the
 He found this to be the case if they’re consistent, committed in their opinions and arguments,
seem to be acting on principle rather than out of self-gain and incur some costs as well as being
overly rigid and unreasonable in their opinions and arguments.

Social loafing:
 Refers to reduction in individual’s effort on a collective task, in which their output is pooled with
those of other group members compared to when working alone.
 Not every individual who serves on a jury is motivated to attend.
 Many people are only there bc they have been summoned to participate.
 Such individuals may therefore be inclined to deliberate less.
 Knowing that the final jury decision is a collective one, an individual jury member may be inclined to
review the info. Less than they would if it was their decision alone, thereby letting other jury
members think for them and influence their decision.

Foreperson influence
 All juries will have a foreperson who’ll be the individual to present the decision of the jury back to
the judge.
 Foreperson if often perceived as leader, and the selection of the foreperson often reflects this.
 Leaders are more likely to influence others as they’re considered best placed to make a decision
 If this individual has an authoritarian personality, this may further influence other jury members
Trial process is vulnerable in many stages, as the jury members are susceptible to influence throughout the
process, even before being selected as a jury member, and after all the evidence has been presented.