Beliefs about factors affecting the Reliability of eyewitness testimony: A Comparison of judges, jurors and the general public



We surveyed 164 members of the juror pool of the Court of Appeal and a representative sample of 1000 adult Norwegians without juror experience, about their knowledge and beliefs about eyewitness testimony, and compared their answers to a prior survey of Norwegian judges. Although the judges were somewhat more knowledgeable than jurors and the general public, all groups had limited knowledge of eyewitness testimony. Juror experience, in terms of number of times serving as juror, did not correlate with eyewitness knowledge. Consistent with this finding, the knowledge scores of the jurors were similar to the scores of the general public, tested with an abridged seven-item version of the questionnaire. Comparisons with the results of surveys conducted in the US, indicate similar levels of knowledge among law professionals and jurors in the two countries. Increasing the knowledge of eyewitness testimony among the principal participants in the judiciary system may be an important component of the solution to eyewitness error. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.