Jury Decision Making and the Story Model: How Do Deliberation Style and Evidence Order Influence the Story that Juries Create?

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Florida International University, 2008 - 88 pages
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This study investigated the utility of the Story Model for decision making at the jury level by examining the influence of evidence order and deliberation style on story consistency and guilt. Participants were shown a video-taped trial stimulus and then provided case perceptions including a guilt judgment and a narrative about what occurred during the incident. Participants then deliberated for approximately thirty minutes using either an evidence-driven or verdict-driven deliberation style before again providing case perceptions, including a guilt determination, a narrative about what happened during the incident, and an evidence recognition test. Multi-level regression analyses revealed that evidence order, deliberation style and sample interacted to influence both story consistency measures and guilt. Among students, participants in the verdict-driven deliberation condition formed more consistent pro-prosecution stories when the prosecution presented their case in story-order, while participants in the evidence-driven deliberation condition formed more consistent pro-prosecution stories when the defense's case was presented in story-order. Findings were the opposite among community members, with participants in the verdict-driven deliberation condition forming more consistent pro-prosecution stories when the defense's case was presented in story-order, and participants in the evidence-driven deliberation condition forming more consistent pro-prosecution stories when the prosecution's case was presented in story-order. Additionally several story consistency measures influenced guilt decisions. Thus there is some support for the hypothesis that story consistency mediates the influence of evidence order and deliberation style on guilt decisions.

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