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Five Factor Model Personality Traits, Jury Selection, and Case Outcomes in Criminal and Civil Cases

NCJ Number
Criminal Justice and Behavior Volume: 34 Issue: 5 Dated: May 2007 Pages: 641-660
John Clark; Marcus T. Boccaccini; Beth Caillouet; William F. Chaplin
Date Published
May 2007
20 pages
This study examined the relation between Five Factor Model (FFM) personality traits, jury selection, and case outcomes in deliberating juries from real criminal and civil cases.
An overall pattern revealed by these analyses was that there were no significant differences in the personality traits of venire or summonsed members excused by the defense, excused by the prosecution/plaintiff, or selected to serve on juries. The study also suggests that attorneys may want to consider venire member extraversion, especially in criminal cases. Jurors in these cases reported higher levels of extraversion and conscientiousness than jurors in criminal cases who rendered guilty verdicts. Extraversion was also associated with being selected as a jury foreperson and foreperson extraversion was strongly associated with longer jury deliberation times. Contemporary jury research rarely examines personality traits and juror decisionmaking. More recent research, based on contemporary conceptualizations of personality, has identified promising effects for juror personality traits, especially in the context of deliberating juries. Actual venire/summonsed members (N=764) completed the FFM inventory before going through the jury selection process for 1 of 11 criminal or 17 civil trials. Tables, figure, references