Role playing and the study of jury behavior.

Kerr, N. L., Nerenz, D. R., & Herrick, D. (1979). Role playing and the study of jury behavior. Sociological Methods and Research, 7, 337-355.

Widespread use of simulated trials and mock juries to study jury behavior has stimulated concern for the external validity ofsuch simulations. A study is reported which examined the role-playing nature of mock jury deliberation. Subjects were either given typical role-playing instructions, or were led to believe that they were deciding an actual student discipline case. The two conditions did not differ significantly on their group or individual verdicts, sentence recommendations, deliberation time, or estimated social decision schemes. The significance and limitations of these results for the study of jury behavior are discussed. Type of jury (perceived real vs. mock) did not affect number of polls taken, verdicts, or sentences. Evidence for a “2/3 majority” primary SDS.