Recruitment of research participants from U.S. jury pools

Crystale Purvis Cooper, Debra L. Roter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Psychological research is often criticized for routine use of a narrow and unrepresentative study population - college students. This study investigated the feasibility of recruiting research participants from U.S. jury pools, which by law must include a representative cross-section of the public. A questionnaire was mailed to the jury administrators in the 217 U.S. state court jurisdictions with populations of 250,000 or more. Court officials representing 79 jurisdictions in 30 states and the District of Columbia returned surveys (36% response rate). In addition, respondents who indicated in the mail survey that their court had previously allowed outside investigators to recruit jurors also completed a follow-up telephone interview. While the majority of jurisdictions (61%) opposed participation of jurors in research, 31 jurisdictions (39%) did not object to this practice. Only 8 of the nonopposed jurisdictions had been asked to host research, and 7 had agreed to do so. The jurisdictions that opened their jury pools to researchers employed a number of strategies to circumvent potential problems and generally reported that hosting research was a positive experience. Jury pools represent a viable and relatively untapped source of research participants. Many courts are open to the possibility of hosting research but have never been asked to do so. Both researchers and court officials should be reassured by the positive experiences of courts that have hosted research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)981-986
Number of pages6
JournalPsychological reports
Issue number3 PART 2
StatePublished - Jun 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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