Mock juror perceptions of credibility and culpability in an autistic defendant

Katie Maras, Imogen Marshall, Chloe Sands

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (SciVal)


One-hundred-and-sixty jury-eligible participants read a vignette describing a male who was brought to the attention of police for suspicious and aggressive behaviours and displayed atypical behaviours in court. Half of participants were informed that he had autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and were given background information about ASD; the other half received no diagnostic label or information. The provision of a label and information led to higher ratings of the defendant’s honesty and likeability, reduced blameworthiness, and resulted in fewer guilty verdicts, and more lenient sentencing. Thematic analysis revealed that participants in the label condition were more empathetic and attributed his behaviours to his ASD and mitigating factors, while participants in the No label condition perceived the defendant as deceitful, unremorseful, rude and aggressive.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)996-1010
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Early online date31 Oct 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2019


  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder/diagnosis
  • Criminal Law/methods
  • Decision Making/physiology
  • Emotions/physiology
  • Female
  • Guilt
  • Humans
  • Judicial Role
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Perception/physiology
  • Social Behavior
  • Young Adult


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