Jury Decisions and Just World Belief

Jury Decisions and Just World Belief

An article co-authored by one of Magnus’ partners examined the relationship between jury decisions and belief in a just world. Belief in a just world relates to people’s view that the world is fair, meaning that good things happen to good people and bad things happen to those who deserve it. When good people are victimized, the majority rationalize the situation in one of two ways: blaming the victim or attempting to alleviate the victim’s suffering. An experiment was conducted within the context of a civil rape trial. In addition to numerous other findings, it was revealed that belief in a just world had a strong impact on jurors’ damages awards. Women with a high belief in just world awarded much more damages than other women. In contrast, men with a high belief in a just world awarded less damages to the plaintiff. The article contains many noteworthy findings to aid litigators’ trial preparation.

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