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Law Hum Behav. 2002 Jun;26(3):353-64.

Effects of testimonial inconsistencies and eyewitness confidence on mock-juror judgments.

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1
School of Psychology, Flinders University, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia. neil.brewer@flinders.edu.au

Abstract

This study examined the interaction between testimonial consistency and eyewitness confidence on mock-jurors' judgments of probability that the defendant committed the crime and verdicts. In a 2 (testimonial consistency) x 2 (confidence) between-groups design, 130 mock-jurors listened to an audio-taped trial of a person charged with armed robbery. Manipulations were contained in the prosecution witness's responses to detailed questioning by prosecution and defense attorneys. Although consistency is considered to be a key marker of accuracy, its impact on judgments was weak and nonsignificant. Witness confidence had a strong influence on judgments, whether testimony was consistent or inconsistent. We suggested that witness confidence may be more likely to emerge as a dominant influence on juror judgments when the testimony is wide ranging rather than relatively brief and concerned only with a specific issue (e.g., identification confidence).

PMID:
12061623
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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