Group Behavior and the Effect It Has on Jurors

Group Behavior and the Effect It Has on Jurors

There is a Candid Camera episode that shows a man getting into an elevator full of other men, all of whom are actors. They stand to face the back wall of the elevator. By the time the elevator reaches its destination, our unsuspecting man is also facing the back wall.

For those of you not familiar with Candid Camera, this was a TV show that involved cameras that captured the behavior of unsuspecting people. They were set up in a situation and then filmed. This snippet from Candid Camera reminds me of how group behavior affects us.

It makes me think of how jurors react when debating the merits of a claim. Does group behavior have a strong influence on the overall verdict of the case? Does a strong group member sway the others? What kind of pressure is brought to bear on a person who is holding out and preventing the jurors from reaching the unanimous verdict? Focus groups can be fascinating as you watch how group dynamics affects group decision making.

In some states, attorneys are allowed to ask the jurors to discuss their verdict, but in other states, such discussions are forbidden.

How do you react to group pressure? Could you have withstood the pressure this man felt in the elevator? Write a comment.

Med League provides medical expert witnesses to trial lawyers. Please call us at (908)788-8227 or contact us today to discuss your next case.

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