link footer
John Gastil Portrait


Communication Arts & Sciences and Political Science Senior Scholar, the McCourtney Institute for Democracy
The Pennsylvania State University


content header


Topic Map

Research Topic Map Civil society and protest groups Communication in small groups The Australian Citizens' Parliament Jury behavior The Democracy Machine (online platform) The Group in society Democracy in Small Groups Civic Engagment The Jury and Democracy Group Decision Making Governance Theory and Practice of deliberative democracy Political Communication and Deliberation Delib. Democracy Handbook Democracy in Motion By Popular Demand The Citizens' Initiative Review Public forums, civic education, political socialization Direct Democracy
Sortition as an alternative to elections Public opinion and civic attitudes Public Opinion and Atts. Elections Cultural Cognition Project Voter Behavior, election dynamics, and campaings

Jury behavior

My research on jury behavior mostly feeds into the Jury and Democracy Project. The culmination of that research project was book published in 2010 by Oxford University Press, The Jury and Democracy: How Jury Deliberation Promotes Civic Engagement and Political Participation. That book has now been translated into Spanish and Japanese. You can order the English version directly from Oxford University Press or at
The most significant addition to that body of research since the 2010 book is an article published in 2014 (Deliberative democracy and the American civil jury). This new study shows that civil jurors are most likely to increase their future voting rates if they serve on a twelve person jury that requires unanimity for a verdict, and the effect is more likely for cases brought against an organization, rather than an individual.
The other articles published in this research stream include:
Gastil, J., Fukurai, H., Anderson, K., & Nolan, M. (2013). Seeing is believing: The impact of jury service on attitudes toward legal institutions and the implications for international jury reformCourt Review, 48, 125-130. Main finding: Jury service generates positive attitudes toward juries and judges.
Sprain, L., & Gastil, J. (2013). What does it mean to deliberate? An interpretative account of the norms and rules of deliberation expressed by jurorsCommunication Quarterly, 61, 151-171. Shows how jurors conceptualize and experience deliberation, using jurors' own written accounts of their service.
Gastil, J., & Xenos, M. (2010). Of attitudes and engagement: Clarifying the reciprocal relationship between civic attitudes and political participation. Journal of Communication, 60, 318-343. Shows precisely which political behaviors and attitudes mutually influence one another.
Deess, P., & Gastil, J. (2009). How jury service makes us into better citizensThe Jury Expert, 21. Provides an overview of the project, with an emphasis on the impact of criminal jury service on voting rates.
Gastil, J., Lingle, C. J., & Deess, E. P. (2009). Deliberation and global criminal justice: Juries in the international criminal courtEthics & International Affairs, 24, 69-90.Proposes that the World Court periodically convene global juries and provides both a philosophical justification and suggestions for how to handle the logisitical complexities of such a body.
Gastil, J., Deess, E. P., Weiser, P., & Meade, J. (2008). Jury service and electoral participation: A test of the participation hypothesis. Journal of Politics, 70, 1-16.  Main finding: Jury service makes people more likely to vote in future elections. This refines the results of the 2002 study (below) by looking in more detail at a larger juror sample from multiple locales in the United States.
Gastil, J., Leighter, J., Black, L., & Deess, E. P. (2008). From small group member to citizen: Measuring the impact of jury deliberation on citizen identity and civic norms.Human Communication Research, 34, 137-169. Previous version presented at the 2005 annual conference of the National Communication Association, Boston, MA. Main finding: Jury deliberation promotes more positive civic attitudes.
Hickerson, A., & Gastil, J. (2008). Assessing the difference critique of deliberation: Gender, emotion and the jury experience. Communication Theory, 18, 281-303. Main finding:  Jurors from different backgrounds give very similar assessments of their deliberation, contrary to what some critics had expected.
Gastil, J., Burkhalter, S., & Black, L. (2007). Do juries deliberate? A study of deliberation, individual difference, and group member satisfaction at a municipal courthouseSmall Group Research, 38, 337-359. Main finding: Jurors generally believe they deliberated and what individual and group characteristics were conducive to higher levels of deliberation.
Gastil, J. (July 26, 2007). Jury duty in JapanNew York Times. A brief letter ot the editor about our project in relation to the new jury system now implemented in Japan.
Gastil, J., & Weiser, P. (2006). Jury service as an invitation to citizenship: Assessing the civic value of institutionalized deliberation. Policy Studies Journal34, 605-627. Main finding: Satisfying jurors' expectations for jury service yields changes in selected civic and political behaviors.
Gall, A., & Gastil, J. (2006). The magic of Raymond Burr: How jury orientation prepares citizens for jury serviceCourt Manager, 21(2), 27-31. Main finding: Exposure to jury orientation briefly increases prospective jurors' approval of the jury system and their willingness to serve.
Gastil, J., Deess, E. P., & Weiser, P. (2002). Civic awakening in the jury room: A test of the connection between jury deliberation and political participation. Journal of Politics, 64, 585-595. Main finding: Jury service promotes future voting in Thurston County, Wash. More recent 2008 study (above) elaborates on these findings.

See Gastil, J., Deess, E. P., Weiser, P., & Simmons, C. (In Press). Shimin no shihosanka to minshushugi: Amerika baishinsei no jisshokenkyu. (Trans. D. H. Foote, D. Mori, M. Saeki, and K. Sasakura.) Tokyo, Japan: Nippon Hyoron Sha. Includes a new preface by E. P. Deess and J. Gastil. And Hans, V. P., & Gastil, J. (Eds.). (2014). El juicio por jurados: Investigaciones sobre la deliberacíon, el veredicto y la democracia. (Trans. A. Harfuch.) Buenos Aires, Argentina: Ad Hoc. Includes a prologue by A. Harfuch & a new preface by V. Hans & J. Gastil, plus chapters from previous books published by V. Hans, J. Gastil, and their coauthors.

Hans, V. P., Gastil, J., & Feller, T. (2014). Deliberative democracy and the American civil jury. Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, 11, 697-717.


content footer