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

    12 Scopus citations

    Abstract

    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
    Volume34
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Aug 2010

    Keywords

    • Jurors
    • Jury decision making
    • Nonverbal communication

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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