Perceptions of witness behaviour‐accuracy relationships held by police, lawyers and mock‐jurors

Rob Potter, Neil Brewer

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    44 Citations (Scopus)


    This study was designed to gather empirical evidence on how police, lawyers and mock‐jurors perceive the likely relations between 12 witness behaviours, which legal texts and police suggest may assist in the evaluation of witness testimony, and testimonial accuracy. Sixty‐seven police detectives, 41 prosecuting and defending lawyers, and I 19 mock‐jurors rated their perceptions of the extent to which they believed each witness behaviour indicated testimonial accuracy/inaccuracy. Nine of the 12 behaviours were clearly perceived by all groups as indicators of testimonial inaccuracy. Since, for many of the behaviours there are no empirical data on the nature and strength of the actual witness behaviour‐accuracy relationships, or in other cases existing data are not generally supportive of widely held perceptions, the results highlight the need for (a) systematic research on these relationships, and (b) subsequent education of all sectors of the criminal justice community.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)97-103
    Number of pages7
    JournalPsychiatry, Psychology and Law
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1999


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