Professor and Sarasota-Manatee campus Chair
Office: SMC B310
Christine Ruva joined the faculty of the University of South Florida as a visiting assistant professor on the Tampa campus in 2001, and then in 2004 as an assistant professor on the Sarasota-Manatee campus. She received her Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of South Florida in the area of Cognitive and Neural Sciences. She received her BA in psychology from the University of Tampa. After receiving her BA degree she worked as a probation and parole officer for the state of Florida where she held the position of sex offender specialist.
Broadly construed, my research interests fall in the area of Psychology and Law. More specifically, my research focuses on applying principles of memory, social perception, and group decision-making to the area of jury decision-making.
My research utilizes both quantitative and qualitative (i.e., content analysis of jury deliberations) methods to explore jury decision making. Much of my research has explored the effects of pretrial publicity (media coverage of cases making their way to trial) on jurors’ perceptions, emotions, memories, interpretation of trial evidence, deliberation behavior, and verdicts. My research also explores how individual differences of jurors and defendants influence jurors’ perceptions, deliberation behaviors, and verdicts.
A number of variables can bias juror decision making. My research explores the effectiveness of remedies (e.g., deliberation, expert testimony, and voir dire) available to the courts for reducing juror bias (e.g., bias associated with pretrial publicity, gender, age, and race).
The podcast and US Supreme Court Brief below provide nice overviews of my research exploring the biasing effects of pretrial publicity on jury decision making.
Ruva, C.L. (2018). Bias, pretrial publicity, and deliberation. Excited Utterance – Evidence and Proof Podcast. The host of this program is Edward Cheng, Professor of Law at Vanderbilt Law School.
Brief for Supreme Court of the United States, as Amici Curiae Supporting Respondents, United States of America v. Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev, (2021) (no. 20-443).
(Student author in bold)
Ruva, C. L., Diaz Ortega, S.E., & O’Grady, K.A. (2022). What drives a Jury’s Deliberations? The influence of pretrial publicity and jury composition on deliberation slant and content. Psychology, Public Policy, & Law, 28(1), 32-52. https://doi.org/10.1037/law0000310
Ruva, C. L. & Sykes, E. C. (2022). With theater, you have to be ready for anything: University response, expert testimony, and sample influence jurors’ decisions and counterfactual endorsement in a crime control theater case. Psychology, Crime & Law, https://doi.org/10.1080/1068316X.2022.2027947
Ruva C. L., & Coy, A. (2020). Your bias is rubbing off on me: The impact of pretrial publicity and jury composition on guilt decisions, trial evidence interpretation, and impression formation. Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, 26(1), 22-35. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/law0000220
Ruva, C. L. (2018). From the headlines to the jury room: An examination of the impact of pretrial publicity on jurors and juries. In M. K. Miller and B. H. Bornstein (Eds.). Advances in Psychology and Law. (Vol. 3, pp. 1-39). New York, NY: Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-75859-6_1
Ruva, C. L., & Guenther, C. C. (2017). Keep your bias to yourself: How deliberating with differently biased others affects mock-jurors’ guilt decisions, perceptions of the defendant, memories, and evidence interpretation. Law and Human Behavior, 41(5), 478-493. https://doi.org/10.1037/lhb0000256
Ruva, C. L., & Guenther, C. C. (2015). From the shadows into the light: How pretrial publicity and deliberation affect mock jurors’ decisions, impressions, and memory. Law and Human Behavior, 39(3), 294-310. https://doi.org/10.1037/lhb0000117
Ruva, C. L. & Hudak, E. (2013). Pretrial publicity and juror age affect juror decision making. Psychology, Crime, & Law. 19, 179-202. https://10.1080/1068316X.2011.616509
Ruva, C. L., Guenther, C. C., & Yarbrough, A. (2011). Deciphering the effects of positive and negative PTP: Examining the roles of impression formation, emotion and predecisional distortion. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 38, 511-534. https://10.1177/0093854811400823
Ruva, C. L. & McEvoy, C. (2008). Negative and positive pretrial publicity affect juror memory and decision making. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 14, 226-235. https://10.1037/1076-898X.14.3.226
Ruva, C. L., McEvoy, C., & Bryant, J. B. (2007). Effects of pretrial publicity and collaboration on juror bias and source monitoring errors. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 21, 45-67. https://10.1002/acp.1254