The Synchronics Group
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The Research
Contrary to the judge's instructions in every court trial, jurors do not listen to all the evidence and wait until the end to make up their minds. Rather, they process what they hear as they go along, and fit the information into a story that makes sense to them, according to an article in The New York Times of May 12, 1992. The article was based on research from a series of experiments conducted by two psychologists from the University of Colorado. In the study, jurors viewed a realistically re-enacted film of a murder trial; in detailed interviews with the jurors afterwards, the researchers found that in explaining how they had reached their verdicts, 45% of the references made were to events that had not been included in the courtroom testimony.

The implications of this research are important, i.e, that unless jurors are given a coherent, compelling story in opening, they will fill in the gaps with their own imagined scenarios and make a decision based on half the evidence.

We also know from general research, that people remember 80% of what they see versus 20% of what they hear. Even more surprising, however, are the studies conducted by Litigation Sciences, Inc