Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



Committee Chair

Jeffrey S. Neuschatz

Committee Member

Jonathan M. Golding

Committee Member

Stacy A. Wetmore

Committee Member

Jodi Price


Jurors--Decision making--Psychological aspects., Evidence (Law), Informers., False testimony., Forensic psychology.


Research has shown that primary confessions influence forensic evidence examinations such as handwriting evidence. Additionally, previous research on secondary confessions from jailhouse informants has indicated that primary and secondary confessions are equally influential in jury decision making. The current study investigated the relationship between jailhouse informant statements and perceptions of forensic evidence. Participants read a case summary depicting a bank robbery along with confession evidence either from the suspect or a jailhouse informant before examining handwriting evidence. Result indicated that reliable jailhouse informant statements led participants to fall prey to the forensic confirmation bias. Jailhouse informant reliability significantly impacted perceptions of handwriting evidence, such that a reliable informant increased match judgments and similarity ratings of the samples.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.