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Spatial cognition in the courtroom: A quasi-experimental study of the influence Canadian courtroom design has on jury cognition

The Young Researcher. 2019;3(1):33-49


Journal Homepage

Journal Title: The Young Researcher

ISSN: 2560-9823 (Online)

Publisher: Royal St. George's College

Society/Institution: Royal St. George's College

LCC Subject Category: General Works

Country of publisher: Canada

Language of fulltext: English

Full-text formats available: PDF



Zhang, C.


Blind peer review

Editorial Board

Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 8 weeks


Abstract | Full Text

As efforts to reform the Canadian criminal justice system progresse, there has been a rise in attention towards legal realist jurisprudence and the realm of legal architecture. This study aims to identify the degree of influence Canadian courtroom design has on a juror's perceptions of the defendant. Through a quasi-experimental research method, 44 high school students aged 14-18 served as jury members across a series of four trial recreations, each with a different layout. Afterward, they were then required to complete a post-test questionnaire. Three trials resulted in guilty verdicts, while one received a verdict of innocent. From the data gathered, it was concluded that the layout of Trial C had a significant degree of influence over a juror’s cognition and worked to attract higher rates of innocent verdicts in comparison to other courtroom designs.