5 Pages Posted: 9 Apr 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.
Keywords: evidence, juries
JEL Classification: K4, K41
Suggested Citation: 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: https://ssrn.com/abstract=979107
By Dan Hunter