Looking shifty but telling the truth: the effect of witness demeanour on mock jurors' perceptions

McKimmie, Blake M., Masser, Barbara M. and Bongiorno, Renata (2013) Looking shifty but telling the truth: the effect of witness demeanour on mock jurors' perceptions. Psychiatry, Psychology and Law, Published online 1-14. doi:10.1080/13218719.2013.815600

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Author McKimmie, Blake M.
Masser, Barbara M.
Bongiorno, Renata
Title Looking shifty but telling the truth: the effect of witness demeanour on mock jurors' perceptions
Journal name Psychiatry, Psychology and Law   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1321-8719
Publication date 2013-07-22
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1080/13218719.2013.815600
Volume Published online
Start page 1
End page 14
Total pages 14
Place of publication Abingdon, Oxon, United Kingdom
Publisher Routledge
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Two studies investigated the impact of witness demeanour on the extent to which mock jurors were influenced by the strength of the witness’ testimony. The first study (N = 87) manipulated the strength of a witness’ testimony (strong versus weak) and the witness’ non-verbal behaviour (stereotypically deceptive versus non-deceptive). As expected, the strength of the testimony only influenced mock jurors’ perceptions when the witness displayed stereotypically non-deceptive non-verbal behaviour. A second study (N = 101) tested whether this effect was due to reliance on stereotypical but accurate cues to deception or stereotypical but inaccurate cues to deception. Participants were presented with the strong testimony from the first study in either an audio-visual format or audio-only format. Participants were only influenced by the stereotypically deceptive or non-deceptive non-verbal behaviours of the witness when such cues were accessible via audio-visual information. In the audio-only condition, where only the accurate stereotypical cues were accessible, there was no difference in evaluations as a function of witness behaviour. Results suggest that instructing jurors to rely on the demeanour of a witness when evaluating the credibility of that witness may be counter-productive.
Keyword Psychology and law
Witness demeanour
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Published online: 22 Jul 2013

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2014 Collection
School of Psychology Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 1 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 1 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Mon, 16 Sep 2013, 21:44:55 EST by Renata Bongiorno on behalf of School of Psychology