Forensic evidence is gaining prominence in both the media and in courts. As a result, the role of expert witness testimony in cases involving a disputed confession is unclear. The current study examined the effects of expert witness testimony, commonly-used interrogation tactics, and equivocal forensic evidence, on perceptions both the expert and the evidence. Results indicated perceptions of forensic evidence were a function of expert witness testimony, suggesting the influence of expert testimony on confessions is not limited to perceptions of the interrogation. In addition, evaluations of reliability and probative validity of forensic-type evidence indicated participants’ difficulty in distinguishing between these concepts. Implications are discussed in terms of court proceedings and continued research on the role of the expert.
Moffa, Morgan S., "The evidence and the expert: judgments of their relative importance in confession adjudication" (2008). Psychology Theses. Paper 1.