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What judges know about eyewitness testimony: A comparison of Norwegian and US judges

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Abstract:

We surveyed 157 Norwegian judges about their knowledge and beliefs about eyewitness testimony, and compared their answers to a prior survey of 160 US judges. Although the Norwegian judges were somewhat more knowledgeable than the US judges, both groups had limited knowledge of eyewitness testimony. The Norwegian judges, like the US judges, frequently differed from eyewitness experts in their responses to such important issues as whether eyewitness confidence is related to identification accuracy at trial and what is the best method for conducting identification procedures. As was true for the US judges, more knowledgeable Norwegian judges had many of the beliefs that may be necessary for reducing and mitigating the effects of eyewitness error. The results suggest that increasing judges' knowledge of eyewitness testimony may be an important component of the solution to eyewitness error.

Keywords: Norway; USA; beliefs; eyewitness testimony; judges

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10683160701580099

Affiliations: 1: Department of Psychology, University of Oslo, Blindern, Oslo, Norway 2: University of North Dakota, USA 3: Faculty of Law, University of Oslo, Blindern, Oslo, Norway 4: Catholic University of America, USA

Publication date: June 1, 2008

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