Kylene Street

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



Committee Chair

Jeffrey Neuschatz

Committee Member

Aurora Torres

Committee Member

Stacy Wetmore


Jurors--Decision making--Psychological aspects, Informers, Incentive (Psychology)


Jailhouse informant testimony in the form of secondary confessions is one of the leading causes of wrongful convictions in the United States. Often, informants receive incentives in exchange for their testimony. This is the first study to incorporate incentives other than reduced sentences. In two experiments, employing a multigroup comparison with 4 levels of the independent variable (Incentive: Legal, Illegal, No Incentive, No Informant), this study explored the influence the type of incentive received by the informant had on jury decision making. The results of Experiment 1 indicated neither perceptions of the informant nor verdict decision making were influenced by the type of incentive. In Experiment 2, although the perceptions of the informant and incentive were influenced by incentive type, verdict decision making was not. Mock jurors may be relying on implicit prosecutorial vouching when deciding whether to convict or acquit the defendant.



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