Tyler (2006) also presented a study on the impact of the “CSI effect”. The author initially presented how people may be affected by the mass media, but when it comes to the more objective presentation on the “CSI effect”, Tyler pointed out that there hadn’t been substantial literature as to whether the phenomenon exists. So far, as Tyler observed studies such as those conducted in Maricopa County, results have been mainly based on the impressions rather than direct evidence from the jurors themselves as to whether the “CSI effect” applied to them.
However, Tyler (2006) also mentioned that one of the issues identified with the “CSI effect” was how this had led to many acquittals due to the lack of forensic evidences that the jury demand from the investigation. The direct relation as to the changes on juror rationalization and behavior, and the impact of shows like CSI, as the author mentioned, had yet to be proven by direct research.
Tyler (2006) further tackled, albeit the noted lack of evidence as to the existence of the “CSI effect”, the reasons as to how the phenomenon may be valid and affecting of the decision of the jurors. He mentioned certain factors of juror psychology that may be prone to the “CSI effect”, and that is when jurors may not be able to set aside personal biases in their judgments. This is to say that their cultivated perceptions had led them to certain criminal orientations, thus, their behavior as jurors are seen as already influenced by external forces such as the media.
The CSI element, therefore, is a possible influence especially if the juror was a heavy viewer in addition to other background factors that would lead the juror to have the CSI world as a part of his or her social reality. Smith, et al. (2008) presented that the “CSI effect” exists on the basis that crime dramas may have been cultivated in the perceptions of jurors, especially those who are viewers of these shows.
However, as the authors pointed out, the existence of the “CSI effect” may be mostly based on the factor of cultivation but the aspect of behavior and rationalization may still be subject to further studies. Hence, Smith, et al. mentioned that although the “CSI effect” can be seen to be present based on the possibility that the jurors are familiar and/or fans of the show and that their ways of thinking reflect the notions on the “CSI effect”, the actual impact of this phenomenon to trial proceedings have yet to be examined.
There is also a study by Podlas (2006) who examined the phenomenon through a direct approach in which the author integrated in the survey of 254 jury eligible adults television and CSI viewing habits, in addition to the criminal law scenarios. The study concluded that the “CSI effect” does not exist in such a way that create a critical effect to the justice system, especially as to its influences towards the jurors. This therefore brings up some juror psychology literature, especially as to how some studies can be deemed relevant to the “CSI effect” and Gerbner’s cultivation theory.
Basically, an important examination in juror psychology is the capacity to become objective thereby having the competence to become just and fair decision-makers (Levett, Danielsen, Kovera and Cutler, 2005). Juror psychology has been subject to the dynamics of group (jury) and individual decision making, but basically, a fundamental element is that the jurors always consider evidence as a basis for their decisions and reasoning.
Mock jury studies have been conducted in order to specifically determine forces behind specific juror/jury behavior and perceptions. One of these studies pertaining to evidence response was conducted by McAuliff and Kovera (2008). Basically, the study showed that evidence quality play an important role in the verdict in addition to the trustworthiness and credibility of the plaintiff and the witnesses. Hence, based on this evidence is not an isolated requirement that jurors must have in order to arrive at a verdict.