skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 148611 Find in a Library
Title: Juridical Impact of Psychological Expert Testimony in a Simulated Child Sexual Abuse Trial
Journal: Law and Human Behavior  Volume:18  Issue:1  Dated:(February 1994)  Pages:89-105
Author(s): M J Crowley; M G O'Callaghan; P J Ball
Date Published: 1994
Page Count: 17
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Using a simulated case of child sexual abuse, this study examined the impact of expert testimony about cognitive development in children on jury decisions.
Abstract: Twenty-four gender-balanced panels containing six mock jurors each viewed a videotaped simulation of a criminal court trial in which the age of the child victim/witness (6, 9, or 12 years), the child's gender, and the presence or absence of expert testimony were manipulated. Results revealed significant effects of exposure to expert testimony on jurors' ratings of the child on the factors addressed by the expert: expertise of memory, susceptibility to suggestion, and ability to monitor reality. The jurors rated the expert testimony highly in terms of its helpfulness and impartiality. No significant main effects were revealed for child credibility ratings according to the age or sex of the child victims. However, juror gender polarization effects were noted in that female jurors were significantly more likely than males to rate the child's credibility higher and to find the defendant guilty. Table and 53 references (Author abstract modified)
Main Term(s): Court procedures
Index Term(s): Child development; Child Sexual Abuse; Jury decisionmaking; Juvenile victims; Psychologists role in criminal justice; Testimony
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.