Holcombe, Jenny; Shelton, Jill
College of Arts and Sciences
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Place of Publication
Concerns about Pretrial Publicity (PTP) have grown with the rise of the internet and social media, leading to a near impossibility of selecting a jury that can ignore PTP and focus only on facts presented at trial. Previous research has shown participants exposed to negative PTP were more likely to find the defendant guilty, and tended to misattribute PTP as having been evidence presented during the trial. This study compared jury verdicts among older and younger jurors when PTP was presented in different media formats (text vs video). Results suggest both older and younger jurors tend to misattribute PTP information as trial information, which leads to more guilty verdicts. However, younger adults exposed to PTP were significantly more likely to render a guilty verdict and scored lower on a source memory test compared to older adults. Finally, format (text vs video) did not significantly moderate these effects.
I would first like to express my gratitude to my mentor, Dr. Amye Warren, for her extreme patience, endless encouragement, and for helping me find confidence in myself. Thank you for guiding me through this process and for the laughs along the way. You’ve shown me I am capable of more than I could have ever imagined, and for that I am eternally grateful. I would also like to thank my other committee members, Drs. Jill Shelton and Jenny Holcombe, for the encouragement and for giving their time with this thesis. A huge thank you to the members of the Psychology-Law Lab for their time and support in the many projects we’ve tackled together. Thank you to the Scholarship, Engagement, the Arts, Research, Creativity, and Humanities (SEARCH) Award Program for funding this project. Finally, I would like to thank Talley Bettens for her support throughout this journey – thank you for always inspiring me to push through the tough times!
M. S.; A thesis submitted to the faculty of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Master of Science.
Free press and fair trial; Jurors; Verdicts
ix, 71 leaves
Williams, Akera, "Do age and media type influence the effects of pretrial publicity on verdicts?" (2022). Masters Theses and Doctoral Dissertations.