Psychology, Department of


Date of this Version



Published in Behavioral Sciences and the Law 23 (2005), pp. 321–346. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Used by permission. Published online in Wiley InterScience


Jurors were surveyed on their general perceptions of the court system and factors that may cause stress immediately after trial, after participating in a post-trial debriefing, and a month after trial. Jurors had an overall positive view of the court system but did report some perceived inequities. The two most stressful elements of jury duty were related to the complexity of the trial and the decision-making involved in the trial, although jurors reported low levels of stress overall. Women reported more stress than men, and trial characteristics such as trial length also affected stress levels. The debriefing intervention was perceived as helpful, but jurors’ stress levels were similar at pre-and post-debriefing. Finally, although stress on some measures was lower at the 1 month follow-up, this reduction was not moderated by whether or not jurors received the debriefing.