Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=979107
 
 

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Calibration Trumps Confidence as a Basis for Witness Credibility


Elizabeth R. Tenney


University of Virginia - Psychology

Robert MacCoun


Stanford Law School

Barbara A. Spellman


University of Virginia School of Law

Reid Hastie


University of Chicago - Booth School of Business


Psychological Science, Vol. 18, No. 1, p. 46, 2007

Abstract:     
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, K41

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Date posted: April 9, 2007  

Suggested Citation

Tenney, Elizabeth R. and MacCoun, Robert and Spellman, Barbara A. and Hastie, Reid, Calibration Trumps Confidence as a Basis for Witness Credibility. Psychological Science, Vol. 18, No. 1, p. 46, 2007. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=979107

Contact Information

Elizabeth R. Tenney
University of Virginia - Psychology ( email )
1400 University Ave
Charlottesville, VA 22903
United States
Robert MacCoun
Stanford Law School ( email )
559 Nathan Abbott Way
Stanford, CA 94305-8610
United States

Barbara A. Spellman (Contact Author)
University of Virginia School of Law ( email )
580 Massie Road
Charlottesville, VA 22903
United States

Reid Hastie
University of Chicago - Booth School of Business ( email )
5807 S. Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637
United States
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