Theoretical Models of Jury Decision-Making
This chapter discusses specific jury decision-making theories and more basic social cognition that have been applied to legal situations. Although the theories discussed here were primarily developed on the American jury system, they have the potential to inform international research and policy on jury decision-making. The chapter reviews mathematical models of jury decision-making. It then describes jury decision-making theories that are rooted in social psychology and the research examining these theories including the Story Model, Commonsense Justice, and a recent theoretical explanation focused on generic prejudice. The Story Model, Commonsense Justice, and generic prejudice are all derived from basic psychological theories, and many elements of these theories are likely to inform jury decision-making in any system or country. Mathematical models based on probability, Bayesian modeling, algebraic approaches, and stochastic process models have been applied to jury decision-making. Commonsense Justice proposes an approach to understanding jury decision-making and also highlights a new way to study the phenomenon.