Goffman on the jury: Real jurors' attention to the "offstage" of trials

Mary R. Rose, Shari Diamond, Kimberly M. Baker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Social psychologist Erving Goffman, in his classic work The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life, provides a framework that explains why jurors may turn their attention at the courthouse to information not formally presented from the witness stand. We dub this "offstage observation," a type of juror behavior that has not been systematically examined empirically. Analyzing a unique data source of 50 actual jury deliberations in civil trials, we find that jurors do look to the offstage in evaluating the claims of the parties. However, in contrast to predictions, these observations played a surprisingly minor role in the jury deliberation process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)310-323
Number of pages14
JournalLaw and Human Behavior
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2010


  • Jurors
  • Jury decision making
  • Nonverbal communication

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • General Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Law


Dive into the research topics of 'Goffman on the jury: Real jurors' attention to the "offstage" of trials'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this