The purpose of the current study was to examine whether juror gender, male-to-female or female-to-male abuse, eyewitness age (8, 12, and 16 years old), and type of intimate partner violence witnessed (physical, sexual, and emotional) influenced mock jurors' decision-making. Mock jurors (N = 1,162) read a trial transcript where the child of a married couple witnessed one of the three types of intimate partner violence, perpetrated by the husband against his wife or the wife against her husband, and answered related questions. Mock jurors were asked to render a dichotomous verdict, continuous guilt rating, and rate their perceptions of the victim, defendant, and eyewitness. Male jurors were more likely to find the defendant guilty when the defendant was female and the witness was 16 years old; additionally, female mock jurors assigned higher guilt ratings for the male defendant compared to the female defendant. Mock jurors also assigned higher guilt ratings when the abuse was physical compared to both sexual and emotional; abuse also influenced perceptions of the defendant, victim, and eyewitness. Mock jurors also were more likely to hold positive perceptions of the eyewitness when she was 16 years old compared to 8 years old. The results of the current study suggest that gender of the defendant and victim may combine to influence mock jurors' perceptions of a case involving intimate partner violence; moreover, the type of abuse witnessed by a child also may impact the child's perceived credibility.

defendant gender, eyewitness age, intimate partner violence, juror decision-making, juror gender
dx.doi.org/10.1891/1946-6560.10.4.391
Partner Abuse
Department of Psychology

Pica, E. (Emily), Sheahan, C.L. (Chelsea L.), & Pozzulo, J. (2019). Examining Mock Jurors' Perceptions of Intimate Partner Violence Factors. Partner Abuse, 10(4), 391–408. doi:10.1891/1946-6560.10.4.391