Testimony from a fact or expert witness can be effective or ineffective. Effective testimony provides persuasive information to the trier of fact (the judge or jury) in any case. Although truthful and ethical testimony is always the goal, there are ways in which information can be presented that may help forensic psychology professionals to be more effective in their roles as expert witnesses without compromising the truth or their ethics. Expertise, trustworthiness, impression management, and dynamism all will contribute to the effectiveness of a forensic psychology professional’s testimony.
It is important to note that the purpose of the forensic psychology professional is not to testify to persuade the trier of fact in any direction or to agree with one side over another. He or she is there to present data and information so that the trier of fact understands the situation, regardless of which side has called him or her to testify.
In this Discussion, you identify examples of effective testimony in the video Murder on a Sunday Morning and analyze elements of those examples in terms of their efficacy.
To prepare for this Discussion:
- Review the assigned pages of Chapter 18 in your course text Psychological Evaluations for the Courts. Focus on what constitutes effective testimony. Then, consider the elements of effective testimony in regard to the assigned chapter in your text, as well as the assigned video, Murder on a Sunday Morning.
- Review this week’s selected chapters in Coping With Cross-Examination and Other Pathways to Effective Testimony, and consider the elements of effective testimony. Also, review the previously assigned chapters from weeks 3 and 9, and consider the elements of effective testimony and why they are effective.
- Review the article “Coping on the Witness Stand: Learned Responses to ‘Learned Treatises’.” Reflect on the different ways in which testimony can be effective or ineffective.
- View the video Murder on a Sunday Morning. Think about what constitutes an effective testimony and why it is effective.
- Review the course media, “Chapter 2,” and focus on techniques for being an effective witness. Think about how to prepare yourself or others for testimony and cross-examination.
- Review the course media, “Chapter 3,” and focus on techniques for being an effective witness. Think about the importance of verbal and nonverbal communication in testimony.
- Select four examples of expert testimony from the video Murder on a Sunday Morning. Consider how and why you think each is effective.
With these thoughts in mind:
By Day 4
Post a brief description of the four examples of effective testimony you selected from the video Murder on a Sunday Morning. Then explain why and how you think each is effective, and be sure to identify the elements of each example that contribute to its effectiveness. Be specific and justify your response.