Much Obliged: Volunteering, Normative Activities, and Willingness to Serve on Juries

Marc A. Musick, Mary R. Rose, Sarah Dury, Roger P. Rose

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Although compulsory, many people treat jury duty as voluntary. This article examines the conceptual and empirical links between participating in voluntary activity and stated willingness to serve on a jury. We also consider the role of engaging in other normative behaviors. Analysis of 1,304 US citizens in the Survey of Texas Adults showed an initial relationship between volunteering and willingness to serve, net of personal resources, prior jury service, and prosocial attitudes. However, indicators of normative activities (voting, contacting elected officials, keeping up with medical appointments, and avoiding bars) largely eliminated this relationship. People who volunteered some, but not too much, were more willing; an analysis of domains of volunteering showed that engaging in public service work predicted willingness. Results suggest that the public service and duty-based nature of jury participation should be emphasized to understand willingness to serve and to consider novel ways to increase summons responses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)433-460
Number of pages28
JournalLaw and Social Inquiry
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2015


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