The research reported herein was supported by a research grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and a Fellowship from the Directorate of Science of the Australian Psychological Society. The authors thank Geoffrey Greenfield for his assistance in the early stages of this research project.
The Impact of Expert Testimony on Jurors’ Decisions: Gender of the Expert and Testimony Complexity1
Version of Record online: 31 JUL 2006
Journal of Applied Social Psychology
Volume 35, Issue 6, pages 1266–1280, June 2005
How to Cite
Schuller, R. A., Terry, D. and McKimmie, B. (2005), The Impact of Expert Testimony on Jurors’ Decisions: Gender of the Expert and Testimony Complexity. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 35: 1266–1280. doi: 10.1111/j.1559-1816.2005.tb02170.x
- Issue online: 31 JUL 2006
- Version of Record online: 31 JUL 2006
The present study investigated whether people used the gender of an expert witness as a heuristic cue to evaluate the evidence presented by the expert. Specifically, the gender of the expert and the complexity of the expert's testimony (low, high) were varied systematically within a simulated civil trial involving an antitrust price-fixing agreement. It was expected that the male expert would be more persuasive than the female expert, but only when the testimony presented was complex. As predicted, this interaction was revealed across a range of dependent measures. Somewhat unexpected was the finding of a female expert advantage in the low-complexity condition. The implications of these findings are discussed.