Explorations in Juror Emotion and Juror Judgment

  • Norbert L. KerrEmail author
Part of the Nebraska Symposium on Motivation book series (NSM, volume 56)


The fictional sleuth, Sherlock Holmes, was acutely sensitive to the importance – even the primacy – of empirical evidence for developing workable theories. It is an insight which modern behavioral scientists might be well advised to recognize. Elsewhere (Kerr 1998), I reported some survey data that indicated that modern editors, reviewers and readers expect nearly any sound piece of behavioral science to begin with an explicit hypothesis, derived from a priori theory. I went on to suggest that this strong preference was based on both a healthy and unhealthy premise. The healthy premise is that cogent a priori theory can do much to justify, organize, and empower our observations – an axiom of the classic hypothetico-deductive model of science (e.g., Hempel 1966). The unhealthy premise is that this is always or invariably the case – that “…it is a capital mistake not to theorize, regardless of the knowledge, understanding, or even existence of the facts” (Kerr 1998, p. 201).1 This tempts us to attempt to make theoretical bricks, even when we lack empirical clay.


Mock Juror Jury Verdict Guilty Defendant Emotional Bias Heinous Crime 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Support for preparation of this chapter was provided by the National Science Foundation (Grants SES-0214428 and BCS 9974664).


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Michigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA

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