Jury decision-making: The impact of engagement and perceived threat on verdict decisions

Diane Sivasubramaniam, Mallory McGuinness, Darcy Coulter, Bianca Klettke, Mark Nolan, Regina Schuller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


The present study examined the role of political orientation and task engagement in juror decision-making. The study was conducted as a 2 (mode: laboratory versus online) × 2 (role: juror, observer) × 3 (evidence: admissible, inadmissible, control) between-subjects experiment, with participants (N = 157) recruited from a mid-sized Australian university. Findings supported our predictions that political conservatism is associated with convictions, and that university students endorse a wide range of political orientations. Participants who were more engaged in the study perceived more threat in the defendant, and threat, in turn, led to higher conviction rates; furthermore, the effect of participation mode on verdict decisions was completely mediated by perceptions of the threat posed by the defendant. Findings are discussed in terms of their implications for jury decision-making research and its relevance to actual juror decisions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)346-365
Number of pages20
JournalPsychiatry, Psychology and Law
Issue number3
Early online date10 Sept 2020
Publication statusPublished - 2020


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