Identify salient perceptual issues, test arguments, explore juror bias and beliefs.
The purpose of Focus Group research is to discover the range of attitudes, beliefs and experiences that jurors will bring with them into the courtroom. Further, such a study helps us to understand the underlying psychological motivations for the observed reactions. Only by learning what psychological issues jurors are likely to bring with them into the courtroom can we understand, predict, and ultimately control how the jury will assimilate the information presented to them at trial.


Focus Group research is a small-group, qualitative project. A moderator probes participants in an open-ended and projective manner to get their reactions to a variety of topics. Baseline case-related attitudes are probed, and then various aspects of the case are presented. The moderator encourages the participants to relate their attitudes and beliefs to the context of the case. As participants discuss issues, they make unexpected associations and raise additional topics, which the moderator then pursues with them. Often, critical viewpoints or reactions that would not be anticipated by the trial team are identified. These discussions may be viewed by counsel sitting behind a one-way mirror or on a video monitor, and are video taped for later analysis and review. The videotapes of the group discussions are content analyzed and assessed by staff psychologists. The report summarizes:
  • Jurors’ baseline attitudes and beliefs
  • Which issues will be central to the case
  • The range of responses that can be expected


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