Predicting Guilt Ratings from Juror and Trial Characteristics

Document Type

Poster Presentation

Publication Date


Date Assignment Submitted



This experimental study explored the role of trait skepticism, college major, and eyewitness testimony in predicting guilty ratings of a hypothetical defendant. The goal of this study was to examine the role of juror characteristics on guilty ratings. Participants answered an online survey about their skepticism and college major, and were shown one of three different eyewitness scenarios, which differed according to the amount and quality of eyewitness testimony. We hypothesized that testimony, skepticism, and college major would affect guilty ratings. There were 86 participants who were recruited and took online surveys assessing the variables. Skepticism and college major did not predict guilty ratings. However, the eyewitness condition significantly guilty ratings. Participants who were told that there was no eyewitness to the crime found the defendant to be most guilty, while those who were told of a discredited eyewitness were the least likely to convict the defendant. Future studies should aim to obtain more participants from each major. Results illustrate that juror characteristics may not be as important as features of the trial.


Lynn University


Lynn University Student Research Symposium


Poster Presentation


Boca Raton, FL


College of Arts and Sciences


Poster presentation given at the Arts and Sciences Student Symposium at Lynn University in Boca Raton, FL.

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