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Jury Decision-Making  

R. Scott Tindale and Kelsey Berryman

A key aspect of Western civilization’s conception of justice is the citizen jury. Juries make decisions concerning guilt or innocence of committing a crime and on liability in civil matters. Psychologists who study group decision-making have focused a fair amount of their attention on juries. Researchers have looked at all aspects of jury trials to better understand how various characteristics and procedures influence jury deliberations and verdicts. Many different models of jury decision-making have been proposed, and the implications of the models have guided a fair portion of the research in the field. Jury research has focused on how juries are formed and how the members are selected. Research has also focused on trial characteristics, types of evidence, and potential biases that can influence both jurors and jury verdicts. In addition, much research has focused on the deliberation process itself. In the early 21st century, research has begun to look at how juries are defined and used in different countries and cultures.