Juror Confirmation Bias

Confirmation biases are errors in jurors’ information processing and decision making. There is a tendency for jurors to search for, interpret, or remember information in a way that “confirms” their preconceptions, biases or beliefs. In other words, jurors selectively collect (or omit) new evidence, interpret evidence in a biased way, or selectively recall information from memory. Throughout a trial, most jurors seek information that confirms their existing attitudes and beliefs rather than keeping an open mind until deliberations begin, as they are instructed to do. Many are reluctant to consider alternative stances and views, and instead set higher standards for arguments that go against their current expectations. Confirmation bias is perhaps more dangerous than other biases because it actively keeps jurors from arriving at the truth and allows them to wallow in comforting prejudice and partiality. Read this article to learn how to identify and prevent juror confirmation bias.