Dr. Christine Ruva
Dr. Christine Ruva is a Professor and campus Chair of Psychology at the University of South Florida Sarasota Manatee. Dr. Ruva obtained 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. This position stimulated her interest in Psychology and Law.
Broadly construed, Dr. Ruva’s research interests fall in the area of Psychology and Law. More specifically, her research focuses on applying principles of memory, emotion, social perception, and group decision-making to the area of jury decision-making.
Dr. Ruva’s research utilizes both quantitative and qualitative (i.e., content analysis of jury deliberations) methods to explore jury decision making. Much of her 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. Her research also explores how individual differences of jurors and defendants influence jurors’ perceptions, deliberation behaviors, and verdicts. Finally, her research explores the effectiveness of remedies available to the courts (e.g., deliberation, expert testimony, judicial instruction, and implicit bias training) for reducing juror bias (e.g., bias associated with pretrial publicity, gender, age, and race).
The podcast below provides a nice overview of Dr. Ruva’s 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: https://www.excitedutterancepodcast.com/spring-2018
Selected Publications (Student author in bold)
Ruva, C.L., Diaz Ortega, S.E., & O'Grady, K.A. (2021). What drives a Jury's Deliberations? The influence of pretrial publicity and jury composition on deliberation slant and content. Pyschology, Public Policy, & Law. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1037/law0000310
Jones, A.M., Wong, K., Meyers, C.N., & Ruva, C.L. (2021). Trial by tabloid: Can implicit bias education reduce pretrial publicity bias? Criminal Justice and Behavior. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1177/00938548211026956
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).
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. & LeVasseur, M. A. (2012). Behind closed doors: The effect of pretrial publicity on jury deliberations. Psychology, Crime and Law, 18, 431-452. https://10.1080/1068316X.2010.502120
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
Ruva, C. L. & Bryant, J. B. (2004). The impact of age, speech style, and question form on perceptions of witness credibility and trial outcome. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 34, 1919-1944. https://10.1111/j.1559-1816.2004.tb02593.x