Jurors as Cognitive Misers

Jurors as Cognitive Misers

Jurors, like all human being, are cognitive misers. When jurors think about a trial, they do so while making the best of their mental capacities. Because jurors’ mental capacities are limited, important information presented by attorneys and witnesses is often misunderstood or ignored. Complex information is sometimes too much trouble, requiring too much time, for jurors to learn and remember. The best way to overcome jurors’ limitations is by imposing a structure on all aspects of your case. Social psychologists refer to mental structures as schemas. Schemas are categories about people, roles, and events that provide information on appropriate norms. Jurors’ judge new information based on its similarity to their schemas. Absent relevant schemas, jurors will have little basis to understand the case. It is up to you to provide the structure to help jurors understand your case.

Contact Magnus to learns ways to provide schemas for your trial.

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