Guilt Ratings (guilt + rating)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

Expert testimony in child sexual abuse cases: The effects of evidence, coherence and credentials on juror decision making

Bianca Klettke
Psychological experts have been used increasingly to testify in child sexual abuse cases, yet little research has investigated what specific factors make experts effective. This study examined the potential effects that credentials, evidence strength and coherence may have on juror decision making. Sixty-four mock jurors read cases of child sexual abuse, followed by experts' testimony and rated guilt of the defendant, effectiveness of the expert testimony and credibility of the victim. Evidence strength and coherence of the testimony affected all dependent variables, and the interaction was significant. Guilt ratings of the defendant were lower and the victim was rated as less credible when both evidence strength and coherence were low. The credentials of the expert, however, had negligible impact. These findings indicate that experts can be effective and impact jurors when testimony is either high in coherence or high in evidence. Copyright 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

Alibi Believability: The Effect of Prior Convictions and Judicial Instructions

Meredith Allison
Undergraduates (N = 339) listened to a simulated police interview with a defendant concerning his alibi. We studied the impact of (a) the strength of the alibi evidence; (b) defendant's prior convictions; (c) judge's instructions on prior conviction evidence; and (d) perceivers' need for cognition (NFC) on alibi believability and defendant guilt ratings. Defendants previously convicted of the same crime as the current charge were seen as more likely to be guilty than defendants previously convicted of a different crime. Judge's instructions did not affect guilt ratings. NFC was less influential than anticipated, but did affect participants' understanding and recall of judicial instructions. Strong alibis were seen as more believable and led to lower guilt ratings than weak alibis. [source]

Effects of Interview Style and Witness Age on Perceptions of Children's Credibility in Sexual Abuse Cases

Paola Castelli
The present study concerned effects of interview style and victim age on perceptions of child victim/witnesses and defendant guilt. In 2 experiments, participants read written scenarios of child sexual abuse trials. The scenarios included a transcript of the child victim/ witness's forensic interview, in which questioning varied from less leading to highly leading. In Experiment 1, child age (4 years vs. 7 years) did not significantly influence guilt ratings, but mock jurors were less likely to convict the alleged perpetrator and less likely to rate the child as credible and reliable when testimony was elicited through a highly leading vs. an intermediately or less leading interview. The effect of interview style on guilt ratings replicated in Experiment 2 for a 4-year-old victim/witness but not a 7-year-old victim/witness. In both studies, women compared to men were more likely to convict the defendant and to believe the child. Implications for understanding jurors' reactions to child victim/witness testimony are discussed. [source]