Predecisional Information Distortion of Trial Evidence: Biased Processing Under Persuasion

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Lindsay D. Marshall (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
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Lindsay D. Marshall

Abstract: To facilitate information distortion, previous investigations have not been in persuasive settings nor involved information that strongly favored the selection of one choice over another. A study was conducted that addresses the absence of investigation into how information is distorted during decisions in persuasive situations. The context of the courtroom was used. Participants saw numerous pieces of evidence: some of the evidence strongly favored a verdict of guilty; some favored a verdict of not guilty; and other evidence favored neither. Evidence that favored a verdict of guilty or not guilty as the first piece of evidence was manipulated. Some participants were told the evidence came from the prosecution or the defense while others were not. Results indicated that participants distorted information in the direction of the persuasive evidence presented first, regardless of whether or not they were told the source of the evidence. The strong evidence location manipulation did not affect participants’ verdict in the case—despite the finding that the manipulation affected evidence evaluation which was correlated with participants’ verdict. This study demonstrated that information is distorted when presented in a persuasive context and when the information strongly favored the selection of one option over the other.

Additional Information

Marshall, L.D. (2015). Predecisional Information Distortion of Trial Evidence: Biased Processing Under Persuasion. Unpublished master's thesis. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.
Language: English
Date: 2015
Information Distortion, Bias, Persuasion, Legal Decision Making, Evidence Evaluation

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