In the Eyes of the Law: Perception Versus Reality in Appraisals of Video Evidence

Yael Granot, Emily Balcetis, Neal Feigenson, Tom Tyler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Video evidence has been widely welcomed into courtrooms, largely on the implicit faith that video objectively represents the legally relevant facts as they are. In this paper, we argue that both lay and legal understanding of video as "objective" is a misapprehension. The ways in which people watch video, as well as the vividness of the format itself, may encourage biased decision-making. We suggest the need for an evidence-based understanding of the probative value and prejudicial pitfalls of video, adapting a rubric used by scholars to assess the reliability of eyewitness testimony. Drawing from contemporary research on visual attention and perception, we question the reliability of people's interpretations of video. Specifically, we suggest that people overbelieve video, assuming their interpretations are more accurate and complete than they actually are and failing to discriminate inaccurate from accurate interpretations. Further, people are largely unaware of these biases in their processing of video evidence. We conclude by suggesting future avenues of research geared toward the development of rules and interventions for the presentation of video evidence. We seek to promote dialogue between legal experts and psychologists about new ways to reduce biases in judgment and to maximize the benefits of an increasingly prevalent type of evidence. (PsycINFO Database Record

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPsychology, Public Policy, and Law
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Sep 21 2017

Fingerprint

video
Visual Perception
Law
Research
evidence
Decision Making
Psychology
interpretation
trend
testimony
psychologist
faith
dialogue
expert
decision making
Values

Keywords

  • Attention
  • Judgment and decision-making
  • Law
  • Visual perception

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law

Cite this

In the Eyes of the Law : Perception Versus Reality in Appraisals of Video Evidence. / Granot, Yael; Balcetis, Emily; Feigenson, Neal; Tyler, Tom.

In: Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, 21.09.2017.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{d125665825e840e282ec7e9bce495478,
title = "In the Eyes of the Law: Perception Versus Reality in Appraisals of Video Evidence",
abstract = "Video evidence has been widely welcomed into courtrooms, largely on the implicit faith that video objectively represents the legally relevant facts as they are. In this paper, we argue that both lay and legal understanding of video as {"}objective{"} is a misapprehension. The ways in which people watch video, as well as the vividness of the format itself, may encourage biased decision-making. We suggest the need for an evidence-based understanding of the probative value and prejudicial pitfalls of video, adapting a rubric used by scholars to assess the reliability of eyewitness testimony. Drawing from contemporary research on visual attention and perception, we question the reliability of people's interpretations of video. Specifically, we suggest that people overbelieve video, assuming their interpretations are more accurate and complete than they actually are and failing to discriminate inaccurate from accurate interpretations. Further, people are largely unaware of these biases in their processing of video evidence. We conclude by suggesting future avenues of research geared toward the development of rules and interventions for the presentation of video evidence. We seek to promote dialogue between legal experts and psychologists about new ways to reduce biases in judgment and to maximize the benefits of an increasingly prevalent type of evidence. (PsycINFO Database Record",
keywords = "Attention, Judgment and decision-making, Law, Visual perception",
author = "Yael Granot and Emily Balcetis and Neal Feigenson and Tom Tyler",
year = "2017",
month = "9",
day = "21",
doi = "10.1037/law0000137",
language = "English (US)",
journal = "Psychology, Public Policy, and Law",
issn = "1076-8971",
publisher = "American Psychological Association Inc.",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - In the Eyes of the Law

T2 - Perception Versus Reality in Appraisals of Video Evidence

AU - Granot, Yael

AU - Balcetis, Emily

AU - Feigenson, Neal

AU - Tyler, Tom

PY - 2017/9/21

Y1 - 2017/9/21

N2 - Video evidence has been widely welcomed into courtrooms, largely on the implicit faith that video objectively represents the legally relevant facts as they are. In this paper, we argue that both lay and legal understanding of video as "objective" is a misapprehension. The ways in which people watch video, as well as the vividness of the format itself, may encourage biased decision-making. We suggest the need for an evidence-based understanding of the probative value and prejudicial pitfalls of video, adapting a rubric used by scholars to assess the reliability of eyewitness testimony. Drawing from contemporary research on visual attention and perception, we question the reliability of people's interpretations of video. Specifically, we suggest that people overbelieve video, assuming their interpretations are more accurate and complete than they actually are and failing to discriminate inaccurate from accurate interpretations. Further, people are largely unaware of these biases in their processing of video evidence. We conclude by suggesting future avenues of research geared toward the development of rules and interventions for the presentation of video evidence. We seek to promote dialogue between legal experts and psychologists about new ways to reduce biases in judgment and to maximize the benefits of an increasingly prevalent type of evidence. (PsycINFO Database Record

AB - Video evidence has been widely welcomed into courtrooms, largely on the implicit faith that video objectively represents the legally relevant facts as they are. In this paper, we argue that both lay and legal understanding of video as "objective" is a misapprehension. The ways in which people watch video, as well as the vividness of the format itself, may encourage biased decision-making. We suggest the need for an evidence-based understanding of the probative value and prejudicial pitfalls of video, adapting a rubric used by scholars to assess the reliability of eyewitness testimony. Drawing from contemporary research on visual attention and perception, we question the reliability of people's interpretations of video. Specifically, we suggest that people overbelieve video, assuming their interpretations are more accurate and complete than they actually are and failing to discriminate inaccurate from accurate interpretations. Further, people are largely unaware of these biases in their processing of video evidence. We conclude by suggesting future avenues of research geared toward the development of rules and interventions for the presentation of video evidence. We seek to promote dialogue between legal experts and psychologists about new ways to reduce biases in judgment and to maximize the benefits of an increasingly prevalent type of evidence. (PsycINFO Database Record

KW - Attention

KW - Judgment and decision-making

KW - Law

KW - Visual perception

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85029812207&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85029812207&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1037/law0000137

DO - 10.1037/law0000137

M3 - Article

JO - Psychology, Public Policy, and Law

JF - Psychology, Public Policy, and Law

SN - 1076-8971

ER -