University of Nebraska at Lincoln, Lincoln, NE, U.S.A.
Special Issue Paper
What are we studying? Student jurors, community jurors, and construct validity†
Version of Record online: 28 MAR 2011
Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Behavioral Sciences & the Law
Special Issue: Jury Simulation Research: Student Versus Community Samples
Volume 29, Issue 3, pages 376–394, May/June 2011
How to Cite
Keller, S. R. and Wiener, R. L. (2011), What are we studying? Student jurors, community jurors, and construct validity. Behav. Sci. Law, 29: 376–394. doi: 10.1002/bsl.971
This research was funded by the National Science Foundation, Grant no. SES-0096347
- Issue online: 15 JUL 2011
- Version of Record online: 28 MAR 2011
Jury researchers have long been concerned about the generalizability of results from experiments that utilize undergraduate students as mock jurors. The current experiment examined the differences between 120 students (55 males and 65 females, mean age = 20 years) and 99 community members (49 males and 50 females, mean age = 42 years) in culpability evaluations for homicide and sexual assault cases. Explicit attitude measures served as indicators of bias for sexual assault, defendant, and homicide adjudication. Results revealed that student and community participants showed different biases on these general explicit attitude measures and these differences manifested in judgments of culpability (guilt likelihood, convincingness of state's arguments, convincingness of defendant's arguments, and the defendants' criminal intentions) in sexual assault and homicide case scenarios. The results also showed that student mock jurors were more lenient when assigning guilt in homicide cases than were community members. The implications for future mock jury research are discussed. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.