Jurors' expectations and decision-making : revisiting the CSI effect

Lodge, Chloe and Zloteanu, Mircea (2020) Jurors' expectations and decision-making : revisiting the CSI effect. The North of England Bulletin, 2020(2), pp. 19-30.


It has been argued that the rise in popularity of crime show dramas over the past few years has led to jurors holding unrealistic expectations regarding the type of evidence presented at trial. This has been coined the CSI effect. We investigated the CSI effect and the less well-known Tech effect-assigning more weight to evidence if obtained through technological means-and the impact of crime severity on juror decision-making. However, we argue that as time progresses, such effects will no longer be found to impact juror decision-making processes. We propose that past effects reported in the literature can be explained by considering a novelty bias. Using both frequentist and Bayesian frameworks, we tested this claim. Participants were primed with a newspaper that either contained a forensic, technology, or neutral article. They were then presented with two crime scenarios and asked to provide a verdict and a confidence rating. We find that mock jurors were unaffected by either the priming manipulation or crime severity, finding no evidence for either the CSI or Tech effects. The data suggest jurors are not as easily biased as has been previously argued in the literature, indicating a potential shift in public perceptions and expectations regarding evidence.

Actions (Repository Editors)

Item Control Page Item Control Page