Expert witness credibility as a function of eye contact behavior and gender

Tess M.S. Neal, Stanley L. Brodsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations

Abstract

The effect of eye contact on credibility was examined via a 3 (low, medium, high eye contact) × 2 (male, female) between-groups design with 232 undergraduate participants. A trial transcript excerpt about a defendant's recidivism likelihood was utilized as the experts' script. A main effect was found: Experts with high eye contact had higher credibility ratings than in the medium and low conditions. Although a confound precluded comparisons between the genders, results indicated that males with high eye contact were more credible than males with medium or low eye contact. The female experts' credibility was not significantly different regardless of eye contact. Eye contact may be especially important for males: Male experts should maintain eye contact for maximum credibility.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1515-1526
Number of pages12
JournalCriminal Justice and Behavior
Volume35
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2008
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Credibility
  • Expert witness
  • Eye contact
  • Gender
  • Jury research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Psychology(all)
  • Law

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