Effects of detail in eyewitness testimony on decisions by mock jurors

Wendy P. Heath, Bruce D. Grannemann, Stephanie E. Sawa, Kristine M. Hodge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

The effects of the presence and typicality of detail in a witness1 testimony on mock juror judgments were investigated. In Experiment I, 50 subjects generated or rated exemplars for use in Experiment II. In Experiment II, 283 participants read a summary of a crime and the subsequent trial that contained conflicting testimony from two eyewitnesses. The testimony of the eyewitnesses varied in use of detail (typical, atypical, or no detail). Participants were asked to answer a series of questions regarding the credibility, honesty and quality of the memory of both eyewitnesses and to make judgments of the defendant’s guilt. Generally, the presence of detail affected the ratings of the witnesses. When atypical. or typical detail was provided by one witness, and no detail was provided by the opposing witness, assessments of the witness providing detail were enhanced.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)51-71
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Offender Rehabilitation
Volume25
Issue number3-4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 1997

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Law

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