Legal and Psychological Bases of Expert Testimony: Surveys of the Law and of Jurors

Behavioral Sciences & the Law, Vol. 2, p. 435, 1984

Posted: 16 Dec 2010

See all articles by Roselle Wissler

Roselle Wissler

Arizona State University (ASU) - Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law

Michael J. Saks

Arizona State University (ASU) - Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law

Date Written: 1984

Abstract

This article reviews the basic rules of evidence and procedure that provide the basis for the introduction of expert testimony into court. Second, it reviews some of the findings of social psychology regarding expert testimony, primarily the ways in which the structure of society affects what information will reach the court and what is the readiness of the factfinder to deal with that information. Finally, it reports original data on jurors’ assessments of a variety of witnesses (physicians, psychiatrists, psychologists, chemists, document examiners, polygraph examiners, police, eyewitnesses, firearms experts, and accountants and appraisers). Jurors’ differential assessments of the different experts and differences among juror subgroups are reported and some explanations for a few of those differences are tested.

Keywords: Expert witnesses, jurors, credibility

Suggested Citation

Wissler, Roselle and Saks, Michael J., Legal and Psychological Bases of Expert Testimony: Surveys of the Law and of Jurors (1984). Behavioral Sciences & the Law, Vol. 2, p. 435, 1984. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1725557

Roselle Wissler (Contact Author)

Arizona State University (ASU) - Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law ( email )

Box 877906
Tempe, AZ 85287-7906
United States

Michael J. Saks

Arizona State University (ASU) - Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law ( email )

Box 877906
Tempe, AZ 85287-7906
United States

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