An integration theory analysis of jurors' presumptions of guilt or innocence

Thomas M. Ostrom, Carol Werner, Michael J. Saks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


An averaging model of information integration was used to (a) identify 4 conceptions of juror fair-mindedness and (b) provide a quantitative solution for determining weights and scale values in functional measurement. 80 male and female college students estimated the likelihood of guilt for 18 different defendants described by stimulus sets that varied with respect to case type, amount of trial evidence, and incrimination value of trial evidence. Data indicate that jurors assumed innocence and that this assumption was averaged with trial evidence to produce the final opinion. An individual-difference measure identified Ss who were pro- and antidefendant; antidefendant Ss judged it more likely the defendant was guilty. This difference was found to result from 2 factors. Surprisingly, antidefendant Ss adopted a more lenient initial disposition than prodefendant Ss. However, the antidefendant Ss more readily abandoned their presumption of innocence when incriminating evidence was presented than did prodefendant Ss. (23 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)436-450
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Personality and Social Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1978
Externally publishedYes


  • integration theory analysis, interpretations of juror fair-mindedness, college students

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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