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Opening up a can of worms: how do decision-makers decide when witnesses are telling the truth?

journal contribution
posted on 01.01.2014, 00:00 authored by I R Coyle, Don ThomsonDon Thomson
Correctly determining witness credibility is integral to a fair trial. Assessments of credibility made by the triers of fact are made, amongst other things, by reference to behavioural stereotypes that are commonly thought to be associated with lying and truth-telling. These stereotypes are worthless but pervasive. In this study, potential jurors were given information such as would be given by way of judicial direction and/or expert testimony on those behavioural indicia that are useful in detecting deception. Major changes in perceptions of what does and does not work were found. This has significant implications for the conduct of criminal trials. Recommendations are presented which, it is argued, can be of real, practical, assistance in enabling decision-makers to assess the credibility of witnesses. © 2013 The Australian and New Zealand Association of Psychiatry, Psychology and Law.

History

Journal

Psychiatry, psychology and law

Volume

21

Issue

4

Pagination

475 - 491

Publisher

Taylor & Francis

Location

London, Eng.

ISSN

1321-8719

Language

eng

Publication classification

C Journal article; C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2013, Taylor & Francis