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Difficulties with comprehension, memory and concentration in listening to complex information.
Logie, R.H., Duncan, J. & Baddeley, A.D.
In Improving the Presentation of Information to Juries in Fraud Trials (pp. 41-51), (Report to Lord Roskill Committee on Fraud Trials - Part 3), London: H.M.S.O.
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To return an accurate verdict, the jury in a fraud trial must listen to, understand and remember details from extended presentations of information that may be complex, unfamiliar or misleading. This study examined memory for information and lapses of concentration while listening to a 90-minute extract from an actual trial. Few people showed adequate recall or understanding of crucial details of the trial, and lapses of concentration occurred frequently, increasing over the first 20 minutes and stable thereafter. These findings appeared unaffected by the introduction of rests during the presentation of the information. The study does not imply similar levels of performance in an actual trial, where jurors would have extensive prior exposure to the case. However, it does suggest that memory and concentration lapses are likely to occur and are unlikely to be alleviated by frequent rest breaks.