M.A. Applied Psychology and Professional Mental Health Counseling
College of Science & Mathematics
Evidence, Expert; Verdicts
Psychiatric and Mental Health
The purpose of this study was to explore the effects of expert witness testimony on juror verdicts. We, further, assessed whether there would be a difference in the relative influence of MDs and PhD expert witnesses. Undergraduate and graduate students served as mock jurors and were presented with an insanity case which either (a) a PhD testified for the defense and a MD testified for the prosecution or (b) an MD testified for the defense and a PhD testified for the prosecution. After analysis of verdicts, an Insanity Defense Attitudes Survey, and specific witness credibility evaluations indicated no bias toward MD's, except for the PhD-defense/MD-prosecution condition. Implications for other case factors that combine to affect jurors' verdicts are discussed.
Gandy-Smith, La Shonine, "The effects of expert witness testimony on juror verdict: psychiatry versus psychology" (2011). Theses and Dissertations. 48.