Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Second Department

Legal Studies

Reader 1

Piercarlo Valdesolo

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Past psychological research has indicated that pretrial publicity has a significant impact on jury decision-making (Shniderman, 2013). This current review aims to expand on past research by investigating the social influence of pretrial publicity on juror biases. The effects of pretrial publicity on juror biases are examined through three mechanisms of social influence: story model, predecisional distortion, and conformity prejudice. This research inspects the relationship between media and the law by reviewing the pervasiveness of the media's depiction of criminal cases, the changing nature of media, and the biasing effects of media exposure. In addition, it explores the different forms of pretrial publicity, including negative (anti-defendant) and positive (pro-defendant) pretrial publicity, that impact juror biases and potentially influence verdict decisions. This research identifies the psychological reasoning behind the social influences of pretrial publicity in hopes of providing a basis for future research to address and prevent these prejudicial effects.