The impact of pretrial publicity on perceptions of guilt

Ryan M Drew, Purdue University


Ninety-eight empirical effects examining the impact of pretrial publicity (PTP) on perceptions of guilt were meta-analytically analyzed. As hypothesized, results suggested that anti-defendant PTP was associated with increased perceptions of defendant guilt, whereas pro-defendant PTP was associated with decreased perceptions of defendant guilt. Additionally, several moderator variables were examined. The results suggested that the size of the effect of PTP is dependent upon several variables, including the level of the analysis (jury-level vs. juror level), the type of crime involved in the case, the nature of the information provided to the participants in the control condition, the reality of the case used in the study, the delay between PTP exposure and the collection of the verdict preference, the medium of the PTP presentation, the publication status of the data source, and the outcome measure utilized.




Devine, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Law|Social psychology

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