Increasing The Salience of Inadmissible Evidence to Decrease Its Effect on Juror Judgments

Brandon Fay, The College of Wooster


Previous research indicates that jurors have difficulty ignoring inadmissible evidence. In some cases it has even been shown that jurors will use the inadmissible evidence against the defendant more so than if the evidence was admissible in the first place. This study aims to test whether the effect can be reduced by pairing inadmissible evidence with a statement signed by potential jurors (i.e. participants). It has been found that when people sign their names onto an honor code there is a reduction in dishonesty. By combining these two areas of research this study aimed to replicate previous findings as well as reduce the adverse effects associated with inadmissible evidence. The results of this study were unable to replicate past research and was unsuccessful in confirming the hypothesis that signing an honor code will reduce the effect of inadmissible evidence.