Dateline: March, 2007, Issue 3

How do jurors respond to live versus videotaped testimony?

Landstrom and colleagues (2005) studied jurors' reactions to live and videotaped eyewitness testimony. Three weeks after seeing a staged accident, 12 witnesses testified about the event. Jurors viewed the witnesses' testimony either live or on video.

Live observers of the witnesses' testimony rated the witnesses' appearance in a more positive way than did video observers, and perceived the witnesses as being more honest. Live observers also correctly believed they had a better memory of the witnesses' statements than did video observers.

In short, jurors remember less from, and distrust more, testimony presented via videotape.

Source Landstrom, S., Granhag, P. A. & Hartwig, M. (2005). Witnesses appearing live versus on video: Effects on observers' perception, veracity assessments and memory. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 19, pp. 913-933.