Previous studies have explored the effects of crowding on non-human animals, human communities, human behavior, and differential effects on men and women. This area of research demands greater attention. Much of the existing work was performed in the 1970s and 80s. Further, it seeks to operationalize crowding only in terms of density. This study is premised on the idea set forth by Freedman that crowding is not merely the number of individuals per unit of space, but rather a subjective feeling. This thesis looks beyond density to find the effects of crowding on juror attitudes and decision-making. Participants were placed in a mock jury scenario. They read a description of a hypothetical court case, and, as individuals, came to a determination of the guilt or innocence of the defendant, as well as severity of punishment. Participants also engaged in a group deliberation and completed a questionnaire dealing with their attitudes regarding the defendant, their fellow group members, and their environment. Individuals in the crowded condition found the defendant to be guiltier than did those in the uncrowded condition. Crowded participants rated the room they were in as more uncomfortable.
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
College of Arts and Sciences
Arts and Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic; Dissertations, Academic -- Arts and Sciences
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Honors in the Major Thesis
Short, Charles, "The Effects of Perceptions of Crowding on Juror Attitudes and Decision-Making" (2006). HIM 1990-2015. 557.