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Speech style and occupational status affect assessments of eyewitness testimony

Authors


  • These data were presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychology-Law Society, Miami, Florida, March 2011.

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Sean J. Jules, Department of Psychology, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242, USA. E-mail: sean-jules@uiowa.edu

Abstract

This study examined how speech style and occupational status affect mock jurors' assessments of eyewitness testimony. Mock jurors (n = 120) watched a video of a man testifying about witnessing an attempted robbery. The eyewitness exhibited either a powerless or powerful speech style and reported either a high or low (or no) status occupation during his testimony. Results indicated that high occupation status and powerful speech style led to more favorable evaluations of the eyewitness's testimony and of the case against the defendant than powerless speech style and low/no occupation status. Implications of these results on considerations of eyewitness testimony and future research are discussed.

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