The Consolidation of Plaintiffs: The Effects of Number of Plaintiffs on Jurors' Liability Decisions, Damage Awards, and Cognitive Processing of Evidence
Journal of Applied Psychology
In this study, 135 jury-eligible adults were randomly assigned to 1 of 5 aggregations of plaintiffs involving 1, 2, 4, 6, and 10 claimants. Jurors were shown a 5- to 6-hr trial involving claims of differential repetitive stress injuries by each plaintiff. Measures concerning liability, damages, and various cognitive and attributional factors were collected. The defendant was more likely to be judged as liable as the number of plaintiffs increased. Awards reached a zenith at 4 plaintiffs and then began to decrease. Increases in the number of plaintiffs who were aggregated degraded information processing. Limits of juror competence in complex trials and juror aids were discussed.
number of plaintiffs, liability decisions & damage awards & cognitive processing of evidence, 20–67-yr-old jurors
Irwin Horowitz and Kenneth S. Bordens (2000).
The Consolidation of Plaintiffs: The Effects of Number of Plaintiffs on Jurors' Liability Decisions, Damage Awards, and Cognitive Processing of Evidence. Journal of Applied Psychology.85 (6), 909-918.