Both authors contributed equally to the paper, with the order of authorship determined randomly. The authors thank the American Judges Association for distributing the survey on its listserv, Clifford Fishman for his help in collecting the law students' data, and Hoa Vo for her help in collecting the undergraduates' data.
A Comparison of What U.S. Judges and Students Know and Believe About Eyewitness Testimony
Article first published online: 9 JUN 2010
© 2010 Copyright the Authors. Journal compilation © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Journal of Applied Social Psychology
Volume 40, Issue 6, pages 1400–1422, June 2010
How to Cite
Wise, R. A. and Safer, M. A. (2010), A Comparison of What U.S. Judges and Students Know and Believe About Eyewitness Testimony. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 40: 1400–1422. doi: 10.1111/j.1559-1816.2010.00623.x
- Issue published online: 9 JUN 2010
- Article first published online: 9 JUN 2010
We compared what 160 U.S. judges, 57 law students, and 121 undergraduates know and believe about factors affecting the accuracy of eyewitness testimony. Judges were no more knowledgeable than were undergraduates, and both groups were less knowledgeable than were law students. For all 3 groups, increased knowledge of eyewitness factors was associated with beliefs that might reduce wrongful convictions. Participants in all 3 groups underestimated what potential jurors know about eyewitness testimony. The results suggest that increasing judges' knowledge of eyewitness testimony might help them to reduce wrongful convictions and to more accurately assess when eyewitness experts are needed. The results also suggest that law schools need to do a better job of educating law students about eyewitness testimony.