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Evidential and extralegal factors in jury verdicts: Presentation mode, retention, and level of emotionality

Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)

First Advisor

Gary Howells


The present study attempted to answer two main questions. First, does video footage influence jurors more than traditional oral testimony? Second, if video evidence does have a strong impact on juror decisions, what are the mechanisms by which this occurs? Results indicated that a number of changes in mood state occurred following stimulus presentation, regardless of the stimulus presentation mode or gender of the subject. The five POMS scales on which this pattern appeared were the Depression-Dejection scale, the Fatigue-Inertia scale, the Anger-Hostility scale, the Vigor-Activity scale, and the Total Mood Disturbance scale. In addition, the POMS Total Mood Disturbance scores varied according to the mode of presentation $\lbrack F(2,\ 96) = 3.21, p <.04\rbrack$. The same results occurred for the POMS Anger-Hostility factor $\lbrack F(2,\ 96) = 4.69, p <.01\rbrack$. In terms of gender, only main effects were significant. Although utilizing video materials in the courtroom can affect the juror's mood as well as his or her assessment of liability, it may not actually impact his or her final judgment on the case in terms of damage awards. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)



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