Group decision processes in the simulated jury.

Foss, R. D. (1976). Group decision processes in the simulated jury. Sociometry, 39, 305-316.

The present study focuses on group processes in simulated jury decisions about complex issues such as those typically faced by trial juries. Employing Davis’ Social Decision Scheme theory, it was determined that simulated juries reach a final decision by an equalitarian process in which individuals as well as specific points of view are fairly represented. Considering the present data and that collected by Simon, this account of juridical process was found to be accurate for different kinds of cases, juries of varying size, and cases with dichotomous or polytomous choice alternatives. The adequacy of equalitarian models in accounting for judicial decision processes implies that various extralegal factors-which have previously been identified as contaminants of individual judgment-may be less important for jury decision making than might be assumed from individualistic studies.

Supported a “5/6 majority” primary SDS and a proportionality secondary scheme when strong majority absent. Tendency for individuals favoring conviction to be more likely to resist majority influence.