Mock juror perceptions of child witnesses on the autism spectrum: The impact of providing diagnostic labels and information about autism

Laura Crane, Rachel Wilcock, Katie L. Maras, Wing Chui, Carmen Marti-Sanchez, Lucy A. Henry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Research suggests that autistic children can provide accurate and forensically useful eyewitness evidence. However, members of a jury also rely on non-verbal behaviours when judging the credibility of a witness, and this could determine the verdict of a case. We presented mock jurors with videos (from an experimental study) of one of two child witnesses on the autism spectrum being interviewed about a mock minor crime. Results demonstrated that providing jurors with generic information about autism and/or informing them of the child’s diagnostic label differentially affected credibility ratings, but not for both children. Implications for how to present information about child witnesses with autism to a jury—highlighting the need for approaches tailored to individual children—are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1509-1519
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Volume50
Early online date28 Jul 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31 May 2020

Keywords

  • Autism
  • Credibility
  • Criminal justice
  • Eyewitness memory
  • Jury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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