Year of Publication

2001

Paper Type

Master's Thesis

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Degree Name

Master of Arts in General Psychology (MAGP)

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Linda A. Foley

Abstract

College students judged the testimony in a civil trial in which a childhood memory had been recovered after 20 years. Participants were 108 students (n = 79 female and 29 male) enrolled in undergraduate psychology courses. The design was a 2 X 2 X 2 between subjects factorial design which investigated effects of the type of incident (sexual abuse/hit-and-run), how the memory was recovered (therapy/wedding), and type of testimony (assertive/emotional). The study determined that mock jurors were likely to perceive the plaintiff's testimony as credible when she testified she was sexually abused as a child rather than when she was a victim of a hit-and-run accident. The results also indicated that testimonial demeanor had a significant effect on mock jurors' perception of the plaintiff's credibility and that if a female victim testifies with a nonemotional stereotypical masculine demeanor, the jurors may react in a negative manner.

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Psychology Commons

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