ERIC Number: ED381829
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
Twelve Angry Jurors?: Argument in the Jury Decision Making Process.
Burnett, Ann; Badzinski, Diane M.
Although scholars know a great deal about how argument works in the small group process in general, little is known about the role of argument in the jury decision making process. A study used R. A. Meyers' (1991) coding scheme to analyze the argument in 80 juries. Subjects were 209 males and 203 females enrolled in communication courses at a large midwestern university. Juries consisted of groups of four, five, or six members. Juries watched either a 12-minute videotaped segment of a man accused of possession of marijuana, or a 20-minute segment of a man accused of murder. Both cases were somewhat complex in that the decisions could have gone "either way." Jurors were given no instruction in the law and were given up to 30 minutes to reach a verdict. Results indicated that jurors use assertions and agreements most often, followed by propositions, elaborations, and nonrelated arguments. Results also indicated that similar arguments are made by jurors in trials of differing magnitude. Findings suggest that juries are active, deliberative decision making bodies, although the argument that occurs during jury deliberation may not be complex. (Contains 50 references and a table of data. A portion of Meyers' argument category scheme is attached.) (RS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Communication Behavior; Communication Context
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Speech Communication Association (80th, New Orleans, LA, November 19-22, 1994).