Document Type



Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor's Name

Margaret Bull Kovera

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Rebecca M. Salokar

Third Advisor's Name

Christian A. Meissner

Date of Defense



Community members who reported for jury duty (N = 123) read a brief summary of a sexual harassment trial, in which harassment severity and the organization's sexual harassment policy were manipulated. Jurors were more likely to agree that they should compensate the plaintiff for her pain and suffering, the organization should be punished, and the plaintiff had suffered when they read the more severe harassment scenario. When the organization had and enforced an effective sexual harassment policy, jurors believed that the plaintiff had suffered little and the organization should not be punished. Thus, severity of harassment influenced jurors' judgments about compensation, and organizational policy influenced jurors' judgments about punishment, both legally appropriate considerations. These results have implications for both organizations, who could create or modify sexual harassment policy to limit damage awards, and trial lawyers, who could tailor trial arguments to maximize or minimize awards.



Included in

Psychology Commons



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