U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Juror Decision-Making Models - The Generalization Gap

NCJ Number
Psychological Bulletin Volume: 89 Issue: 2 Dated: (March 1981) Pages: 246-287
Date Published
42 pages
Psychological and mathematical models that have been applied to individual juror decision making are reviewed.
Three goals of the research are identified: (a) to gain insight into adult cognition in a complex, naturally occurring reasoning task; (b) to extend existing psychological models of decision making and judgment; and (c) to provide empirical data on questions of interest to the legal community. A comprehensive task analysis is presented in the form of an ideal juror model to describe and evaluate empirical research on juror decision making with respect to these goals. Component processes proposed in each model and empirical findings are compared across models and in relation to the task analysis. Models reviewed include (a) information integration models, (b) Bayesian models, (c) a Poisson model, (d) sequential weighting models, and (e) nonmodels. The conclusions suggest that laboratory models applications to actual complex reasoning tasks must be based on thorough task analyses to avoid conflict between research goals and to facilitate generalization to natural settings. (Publisher abstract)

Date Published: January 1, 1981