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Law and Psychology | Social Psychology


This opinion column examines whether conformity pressures, confirmation bias, and belief perseverance could have influenced jury deliberations and the verdict in The State of California v. O. J. Simpson.


A version of this article was published as “Simpson case verdict raises questions about jury system: Will jurors be too predictable before hearing testimony?” in the St. Cloud Times, October 22, 1995, p. 9A.

Key references

Asch, S. E. (1955). Opinions and social pressures. Scientific American, 193(5), 31–35.

Gorman, M. E. (1989). Error, falsification, and scientific inference: An experimental investigation. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 41(2‑A), 385–412.

Green, D. W. (1990). Confirmation bias, problem‑solving and cognitive models. In J-P. Caverni, J-M. Fabre, & M. Gonzales (Eds.), Cognitive biases. Amsterdam, North Holland: Elsevier.

Kalven, H., Jr., & Zeisel, H. (1966). The American jury. Boston, MA: Little, Brown.

Kalven, H., & Zeisel, H. (1971). The American jury (2nd ed.). Chicago: University of Chicago Press. (Midway reprint ed., 1986)

Klayman, J., & Ha, Y‑W. (1987). Confirmation, disconfirmation, and information in hypothesis testing. Psychological Review, 94, 211–228.

Penrod, S., & Hastie, R. (1980). A computer simulation of jury decision making. Psychological Review, 87, 133–159.