Attorneys are required to pick a jury that comes from members of the community that have presented themselves for jury duty before the start of a jury trial. The selection of juries has become one of the most significant services that law firms offer to the degree that they include them in their service list. Many trial consultants today are usually psychologists who play a crucial in the jury selection process (Fulero, 2009). They concentrate on getting the perfect jury in addition to working with witnesses and developing demonstration exhibits. Their main role in the jury selection process (Fulero, 2009). They concentrate on getting the perfect jury in addition to working with witnesses and developing demonstration exhibits. Their main role in the jury selection process is not only to concentrate on their personalities but, focus most of their attention on their experiences, attitudes, and personalities. In other words, they have the objective of matching the case with the value systems or experiences of the jurors. In addition, they are expected to consider the way the jurors behave with each other. In their role as trial consultants, psychologists need to have an understanding of the psychological process behind the way the jurors attribute blame (Fulero, 2009). Furthermore, when applying the psychology of blame, consultants assist lawyers in developing strong themes to use in their trial cases.
Application of Psychological Concept in the Selection of Juries
The five major psychological concepts include sociocultural, learning, biological, psychoanalytic, and cognitive perspective. In many cases, psychologists apply the eclectic approach, using the five concepts components to better address and understand human behavior especially in a case, which will, in turn, determine the way jurors make their decisions (Lieberman, 2007).
The biological perspective in psychology indicates that the way humans behave, feel, and think results from physiological factors. The notion states that the body and mind interact with each other. During the selection of jurors, teams on both sides of the case will analyze if certain physical disorders would result in unfair decision making.
The learning perspective indicates that behaviors are usually learned and are also as a result of the person_x0092_s environmental influences. During jury selection, a psychologist would choose jurors who are familiar with the issue under trial. From the learning standpoint, they would choose jurors who have in the past been familiarized with the situation.
The cognitive perspective indicates that behaviors are as a result of a mental process. Using this perspective, jurors would be chosen based on the way they perceive the situation. For example, in a case that relates to violence, the psychologist may not want to choose a juror who perceives the situation in ways that is conducive or in agreement to violence (Devine, 2012).
The psychoanalytical perspective indicates that human behavior is determined by the unconscious motives and instincts. The natural human instincts often determine their decision which can affect the outcome of a case. Finally, the sociocultural perspective indicates that the cultural and social background of jurors motivates their decisions. The jurors who are selected often are expected to be neutral and not influenced by their cultural and social backgrounds.
The engagement of psychologists in juror selection process ensures that there is fairness in a case. Even though trial consultants often come from different backgrounds such as marketing, business, statistics, and law, law firms are increasingly concentrating on psychologists to help in jury selection.
Devine, D. J. (2012). Jury decision making: The state of the science. New York: New York University Press.
Fulero, S. M., & Wrightsman, L. S. (2009). Forensic psychology. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
Lieberman, J. D., & Sales, B. D. (2007). Scientific jury selection. Washington, DC [etc.: American Psychological Association.