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Beliefs and expectancies in legal decision making: an introduction to the Special Issue

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This introduction describes what the co-editors believe readers can expect in this Special Issue. After beliefs and expectancies are defined, examples of how these constructs influence human thought, feeling, and behavior in legal settings are considered. Brief synopses are provided for the Special Issue papers on beliefs and expectancies regarding alibis, children's testimony behavior, eyewitness testimony, confessions, sexual assault victims, judges' decisions in child protection cases, and attorneys’ beliefs about jurors’ perceptions of juvenile offender culpability. Areas for future research are identified, and readers are encouraged to discover new ways that beliefs and expectancies operate in the legal system.

Keywords: Beliefs; alibis; child protection; confessions; expectancies; eyewitness; juvenile offender; legal decision making; victim testimony

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Psychology,California State University, Northridge, 2: Department of Psychology,University of Nebraska-Lincoln,

Publication date: January 1, 2012


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