Calibration Trumps Confidence as a Basis for Witness Credibility
Elizabeth R. Tenney
University of Virginia - Psychology
University of California, Berkeley - School of Law; University of California, Berkeley - Jurisprudence and Social Policy Program; University of California, Berkeley - The Richard & Rhoda Goldman School of Public Policy
Barbara A. Spellman
University of Virginia School of Law
University of Chicago - Booth School of Business
Psychological Science, Vol. 18, No. 1, p. 46, 2007
In the courtroom and in laboratory studies, confident witnesses are viewed as more credible, and thus have more influence on judgments and verdicts, than unconfident witnesses. In two experiments (with college student subjects) we demonstrate that erroneous testimony may damage the credibility of a high-confidence witness more than a low-confidence one. We show that listeners rely on a source's calibration - whether the source's confidence is appropriate to the level of knowledge - rather than confidence when evaluating testimony.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 5
Keywords: evidence, juries
JEL Classification: K4, K41Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: April 9, 2007
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