Expert testimony and the effects of a biological approach, psychopathy, and juror attitudes in cases of insanity

Jariel A. Rendell, Matthew T. Huss, Maren L. Jensen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Amid growing psychological controversy and legal interest surrounding the uses of PCL-R and biological evidence in the legal system, this mock jury study assessed the effects of PCL-R and biological evidence on outcomes in an insanity defense case. A sample of 428 undergraduates read a trial transcript of an insanity defense murder case. Three variables of interest were manipulated: rebuttal illness (no mental illness, personality disorder, or psychopathy), evidentiary basis (biological or psychological), and evidentiary strength (moderately strong or moderately weak). Consistent with the hypotheses, biological evidence was more persuasive than psychological evidence, and the rebuttal was slightly more successful when the prosecution labeled the defendant as a "psychopath" than when they described him simply as "not mentally ill."

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)411-425
Number of pages15
JournalBehavioral Sciences and the Law
Volume28
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2010

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Expert Testimony
Insanity Defense
testimony
expert
Psychology
evidence
Homicide
Personality Disorders
Mentally Ill Persons
personality disorder
prosecution
legal system
mental illness
homicide
illness

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Law

Cite this

Expert testimony and the effects of a biological approach, psychopathy, and juror attitudes in cases of insanity. / Rendell, Jariel A.; Huss, Matthew T.; Jensen, Maren L.

In: Behavioral Sciences and the Law, Vol. 28, No. 3, 05.2010, p. 411-425.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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