This research was supported by research grants from the State Justice Institute (Grant SJI-97-N-247), the National Science Foundation (Grant SBR9818806), and the American Bar Foundation, with additional support from Northwestern University Law School and Duke University Law School. We are indebted to an enlightened group of Arizona judges who, with an eye toward optimizing the jury trial, permitted the videotaping project to occur. For helpful comments and suggestions on this article, we thank Valerie Hans and the participants at the Cornell Conference on Judgment by Numbers, October 2010.
Damage Anchors on Real Juries
Article first published online: 22 NOV 2011
Copyright © 2011 Cornell Law School and Wiley Subscription Services, Inc.
Journal of Empirical Legal Studies
Special Issue: Judgment by the Numbers: Converting Qualitative to Quantitative Judgments in Law
Volume 8, Issue Supplement s1, pages 148–178, December 2011
How to Cite
Diamond, S. S., Rose, M. R., Murphy, B. and Meixner, J. (2011), Damage Anchors on Real Juries. Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, 8: 148–178. doi: 10.1111/j.1740-1461.2011.01232.x
- Issue published online: 22 NOV 2011
- Article first published online: 22 NOV 2011
Experiments reveal anchoring as a powerful force, even when participants see the anchor as irrelevant. Here, we examine the reactions of real deliberating jurors to attorney damage requests and concessions in 31 cases involving 33 plaintiffs in which the jury awarded damages. Jurors were critical consumers of attorney suggestions. They reacted more negatively to, and were less influenced by, plaintiff ad damnums for pain and suffering than to damage requests in categories grounded in more objective evidence. Deliberations revealed that jurors often perceive plaintiff ad damnums not only as irrelevant, but also as outrageous, impressions reflected in their verdicts. These findings suggest that extreme plaintiff ad damnums, including those without grounding in quantitative evidence from trial, may not exert substantial undue influence.