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Improving Juror Assessments of Forensic Testimony and Its Effects on Decision-Making and Evidence Evaluation

NCJ Number
Law and Human Behavior Volume: 47 Issue: 5 Dated: 2023 Pages: 566-578
Date Published
13 pages

The authors describe their research methodology and outcomes in an analysis of the impacts of a forensic science informational video for jurors, to aid in the evaluation of forensic expert testimony.


The authors describe their research aimed at determining whether an educational forensic science informational (FSI) video either alone or with specialized jury instructions would assist mock jurors in evaluating forensic expert testimony. Their hypothesis predicted that the FSI video would help participants distinguish between low-quality and high-quality testimony, evidenced by lower ratings of the testimony and the expert when the testimonial quality was low compared with when it was high. Results indicated that the presence of the FSI video interacted with testimonial quality on ratings of the expert and forensic testimony: in the video-present condition, participants rated the expert in the low-quality testimony condition lower than did participants in the high-quality testimony condition. The pattern was the same for the expert’s testimony. Participants’ ratings in the video-absent condition did not differ on the basis of testimonial quality. The ratings of the print evidence and verdicts were unaffected. Specialized jury instructions had no effect. The authors conclude that the FSI video may be a practical in-court intervention to increase jurors’ sensitivity to low-quality forensic testimony without creating skepticism. Publisher Abstract Provided

Date Published: January 1, 2023