Matching Items (4)

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Credibility in the Courtroom: How Likeable Should an Expert Witness Be?

Description

This study sought to investigate the relation between expert witness likeability and juror judgments of credibility and sentencing. Two actors playing expert witnesses were trained to present themselves as high

This study sought to investigate the relation between expert witness likeability and juror judgments of credibility and sentencing. Two actors playing expert witnesses were trained to present themselves as high and low in likeability in a standard testimony scenario involving capital trial sentencing. The effects of extraversion and gender in mock jurors in attending to expert testimony were also examined. The dependent variables were the perceptions of the witnesses’ credibility and agreement with testimony and the participants were 210 psychology undergraduates. Likeability of expert witnesses was found to be significantly related to judgments of trustworthiness of the experts, but not related to confidence or knowledge of the experts or to the mock juror sentencing decisions. Women participants rated high likeable experts as more credible than low likeable experts; men did not. For men jurors, agreement with testimony increased as extraversion increased. However, for women jurors, agreement with testimony decreased as extraversion increased. The results suggest that likeability can be an important element of source credibility, and that attorneys and trial consultants now have an empirical foundation for addressing likeability as part of witness preparation.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2009

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Women as Expert Witnesses: A Review of the Literature

Description

This review of women’s participation in the legal system as expert witnesses examines the empirical literature on the perceived credibility and persuasiveness of women compared to men experts. The effects

This review of women’s participation in the legal system as expert witnesses examines the empirical literature on the perceived credibility and persuasiveness of women compared to men experts. The effects of expert gender are complex and sometimes depend on the circumstances of the case. Some studies find no differences, some find favorable effects for women and others for men, and still others find that expert gender interacts with other circumstances of the case. The findings are interpreted through social role theory (Eagly, 1987) and the role incongruity theory of prejudice (Eagly & Karau, 2002, Eagly & Koenig, 2008). Future directions for research are identified and implications are considered for attorneys who select and prepare expert witnesses. Suggestions for men and women’s behavior as expert witnesses are provided.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2014-03-13

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Differences in Expert Witness Knowledge: Do Mock Jurors Notice and Does it Matter?

Description

The knowledge of experts presumably affects their credibility and the degree to which the trier of fact will agree with them. However, specific effects of demonstrated knowledge are largely unknown.

The knowledge of experts presumably affects their credibility and the degree to which the trier of fact will agree with them. However, specific effects of demonstrated knowledge are largely unknown. This experiment manipulated a forensic expert’s level of knowledge in a mock trial paradigm. We tested the relation between low versus high expert knowledge on mock juror perceptions of expert credibility, on agreement with the expert, and on sentencing. We also tested expert gender as a potential moderator. Knowledge effects were statistically significant; however, these differences carried little practical utility in predicting mock jurors’ ultimate decisions. Contrary to hypotheses that high knowledge would yield increased credibility and agreement, knowledge manipulations only influenced perceived expert likeability. The low knowledge expert was perceived as more likeable than his or her high knowledge counterpart, a paradoxical finding. No significant differences across expert gender were found. Implications for conceptualizing expert witness knowledge, credibility, and their potential effects on juror decision-making are discussed.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2015-03

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Experts Screening Experts: Are Courts Effectively Gatekeeping Psychological Assessment Evidence?

Description

The United States Supreme Court’s 1993 Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals case established criteria for admitting scientific evidence in federal courts. It holds that scientific evidence must be valid, reliable,

The United States Supreme Court’s 1993 Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals case established criteria for admitting scientific evidence in federal courts. It holds that scientific evidence must be valid, reliable, and relevant, and judges are required to be “gatekeepers” of evidence by screening out evidence that has not been empirically tested or vetted through the academic community. Yet, little is known about whether psychological assessment tools are subjected to scrutiny through the standards courts are supposed to apply. In three different studies, from the perspectives of judges, attorneys, and forensic mental health experts, the authors investigate whether psychological assessment evidence is being challenged. Information was collected on participants’ experiences with challenges to psychological assessments. Judges and lawyers completed a series of experimental case vignettes to assess their decision-making about legal admissibility of different qualities of psychological assessments. It was hypothesized they would not distinguish between low- and high-quality psychological assessments in admissibility. Bayesian model selection methods did not support the null hypothesis, however. It was found attorneys differentiate between the conditions. The rates in which legal professionals and forensic mental health evaluators experienced challenges were also higher than was expected. These positive findings show there is some degree of gatekeeping psychological assessment evidence in the courts.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2020