Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



Committee Chair

Jeffrey Neuschatz

Committee Member

Dianhan Zheng

Committee Member

Aurora Torres


Jurors--Decision making--Psychological aspects, Empathy, Informers, Cross-examination


The current study aimed to evaluate the influence of jailhouse informant testimony on juror-decision making through the manipulation of cross-examination techniques as well as the presence and absence of an inconsistent statement concerning a specific crime detail. Thus, this study evaluated whether the method in which the defense attorney presented his cross-examination influenced jurors’ overall perception of the jailhouse informant. Participants listened to an audio-recording of a trial transcript in which method of cross-examination was manipulated in terms of an Aggressive, Neutral, and Empathic approach to determine if the addition of empathic understanding resulted in cross-examination serving as a more effective safeguard. Results indicated that verdict decisions were not influenced by method of cross-examination. There was a significant effect of inconsistencies on verdicts in that participants were more likely to find the defendant guilty when the inconsistency was present compared to when the inconsistency was absent.



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