Primacy Effect in Credibility Judgements: The Vulnerability of Verbal Cues to Biased Interpretations


Correspondence to: Galit Nahari, Department of Criminology, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat Gan, 52900, Israel.



We explored the vulnerability of credibility judgements of written accounts (mediated by their richness in details) to primacy effect. Specifically, we examined whether the order by which two texts were presented affected their credibility judgements. In Experiment 1, participants read two life stories of the same narrator, one rich and the other poor in details, while their presentation order was manipulated. Results showed that participants tended to believe the narrator more when the rich story preceded the poor story than when the presentation order was reversed. In Experiment 2, the richness-order was manipulated within a single story, and its results revealed that, although participants read stories of equal length, they perceived a story that began in a rich manner as richer than a story that began in a poor manner. Together, results point to the vulnerability of the ‘richness in detail’ indicator to judgemental biases. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.