Scamming elders: The effect of witness testimony on courtroom perceptions of elder financial abuse
The present study investigated the influence of witnesses to elder financial abuse (EFA) on jurors' perceptions in the courtroom. Specifically, men and women (N = 138) mock jurors read a fictional trial summary describing an 85-year-old woman being scammed (i.e., money was illegally taken due to deception). Some mock jurors read about the presence of a female witness (aged 35 or 85 years old) or there was no witness. Results indicated that pro-victim judgments (e.g., guilty verdicts, positive victim judgments, and negative defendant judgments) were more likely when an elderly witness testified for the elderly victim, than when either a younger witness testified or there was no witness testimony. Additionally, mediation and network analysis revealed that anger toward the defendant motivated differences in pro-victim judgments when the witness was elderly versus when the witness was young. Results were discussed in terms of implications of witness testimony in EFA court cases.
Lippert, A., & Golding, J. (2016). Scamming elders: The effect of witness testimony on courtroom perceptions of elder financial abuse. Retrieved from https://digitalcommons.pvamu.edu/psychology-facpubs/61