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NCJ Number: 137063 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Children as Witnesses in Court: The Influence of Expert Psychological Testimony (From Child Trauma I Issues and Research, P 131-166, 1992, Ann Wolbert Burgess, ed. -- See NCJ-137060)
Author(s): E Borgida; A W Gresham; M B Kovera; P C Regan
Date Published: 1992
Page Count: 36
Sponsoring Agency: Garland Publishing, Inc.
New York, NY 10003-3304
National Council of Jewish Women
New York, NY 10010
US Dept of Health and Human Services
Washington, DC 20447
Grant Number: 90-CA1273
Sale Source: Garland Publishing, Inc.
19 Union Square
West Floor 8
New York, NY 10003-3304
United States of America
Type: Survey
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This chapter reviews research that deals with child witnesses and presents the results of the author's research that examined how expert psychological testimony influences perceptions of the credibility of children in child sexual abuse trials.
Abstract: Although some studies have examined juror perceptions of child witnesses and the factors that influence credibility inferences, research to date has not examined the effects of one potentially powerful variable, expert psychological testimony, that may influence jurors' perceptions of the credibility of a child witness in a child sexual abuse trial. This chapter first examines research on the effects of expert psychological testimony in two legal domains other than child sexual abuse (eyewitness identification and rape trauma syndrome), domains wherein researchers have begun to examine the effects of expert testimony on juror and jury decisionmaking. The authors then discusses key findings from their own research on expert psychological testimony in child sexual abuse trials. Using a hypothetical technique and testing for where the child is perceived as unprepared or with a demeanor that leads to inferences of being unprepared, the child is viewed by jurors as less credible. Expert psychological testimony can inform jurors about the demeanor of the child and is a way to counteract these perceptions. 86 references
Main Term(s): Expert witnesses; Juvenile witnesses
Index Term(s): Child Sexual Abuse; Children in the courtroom; Witness credibility
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