The Power of Presentation: How Attire, Cosmetics, and Posture Impact the Source Credibility of the Female Expert Witness

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The Power of Presentation: How Attire, Cosmetics, and Posture
Impact the Source Credibility of the Female Expert Witness, Is A Well-Researched Topic, It Is To Be Used As A Guide Or Framework For Your Research.

ABSTRACT

While previous research has examined behavior-based presentation styles of the female expert witness in light of source credibility, further research is required to examine the effect of other modifiable factors on her credibility, since perceived credibility affects the intermediate judgments that lead to ultimate legal decisions. This study investigated the impact of both behavior-based (i.e., posture) and appearance-based (i.e., attire and cosmetic use) factors on the female expert witness’ source credibility. A sample of 408 jury-eligible adults were surveyed via Amazon’s Mechanical Turk (MTurk) after viewing one of sixteen conditions (i.e., all combinations of the three primary independent variables: attire (pant suit versus skirt suit), cosmetic use (no versus noticeable makeup), and posture (open versus closed), as well as the secondary variable of race (racial majority versus racial minority). Model attractiveness served as a covariate in this study. A four-way (2 x 2 x 2 x 2) between-subjects analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) revealed that, beyond an effect of target attractiveness, there was a two-way interaction between attire and posture on source credibility, F(1, 391) = 5.41, p = .021, whereby female experts were seen as marginally more credible when wearing a skirt suit and maintaining a closed posture stance as opposed to (a) wearing a skirt suit and displaying open posture and (b) wearing a pant suit and displaying closed posture. Exploratory analyses indicated that the attire x posture interaction was qualified by participant sex and level of benevolent sexism; Specifically, higher benevolent sexism in men was associated with reduced credibility perceptions with respect to the female target wearing a skirt suit and displaying an open posture. These results suggest that women’s credibility may be impacted by irrelevant peripheral cues, an effect that may be exacerbated for men who more strongly endorse traditional gender norms. Future research is needed to identify ways in which gendered expectations for these women can be mitigated, so their message is heard without undue influence from irrelevant variables. Findings from this study can inform discussions aimed at mitigating extraneous factors that inadvertently undermine the reception of female expert witness testimony.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

ABSTRACT ………………………………………………………………………………………………………… ii
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ……………………………………………………………………………………. iv
DEDICATION …………………………………………………………………………………………………….. v
LIST OF TABLES ……………………………………………………………………………………………….. x
CHAPTER I – INTRODUCTION ………………………………………………………………………….. 1
Gender and Source Credibility……………………………………………………………………………….. 4
Cosmetic Use by Professional Women ……………………………………………………………………. 5
Attire in the Courtroom and Other Male-Dominated Professions ……………………………….. 8
Effective Posture for the Courtroom ……………………………………………………………………… 10
The Present Study ………………………………………………………………………………………………. 12
Research Questions …………………………………………………………………………………………….. 13
Research Hypotheses ………………………………………………………………………………………….. 13
CHAPTER II – METHODS ………………………………………………………………………………… 16
Pilot Study …………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 16
Participants and Procedure ……………………………………………………………………………… 16
Survey ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 17
Analyses ………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 18
Race…………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 18
Attractiveness ……………………………………………………………………………………………… 19

Cosmetic conditions …………………………………………………………………………………….. 19
Proposed Study ………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 20
Independent, Dependent, and Nuisance Variables ………………………………………………. 20
Attire …………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 20
Attractiveness ……………………………………………………………………………………………… 21
Cosmetics …………………………………………………………………………………………………… 21
Posture ………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 21
Race…………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 22
Source credibility ………………………………………………………………………………………… 22
Participants ……………………………………………………………………………………………………. 23
Participant recruitment ………………………………………………………………………………… 23
Participant compensation …………………………………………………………………………….. 24
Participant sample ………………………………………………………………………………………. 24
Participant demographics …………………………………………………………………………….. 25
Procedures …………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 25
Informed consent …………………………………………………………………………………………. 25
Participant inclusion criteria ………………………………………………………………………… 26
Survey order and structure …………………………………………………………………………… 27
Testing Materials ……………………………………………………………………………………………. 28
Condition photos …………………………………………………………………………………………. 28

Witness Credibility Scale ……………………………………………………………………………… 29
Attractiveness measurement………………………………………………………………………….. 30
Ambivalent Sexism Inventory ………………………………………………………………………… 30
Additional validity check………………………………………………………………………………. 31
Demographics questionnaire ………………………………………………………………………… 31
CHAPTER III – RESULTS …………………………………………………………………………………. 32
Data Cleaning and Assumptions …………………………………………………………………………… 32
Preliminary Analyses ………………………………………………………………………………………….. 33
Primary Analyses ……………………………………………………………………………………………….. 33
Exploratory Analyses ………………………………………………………………………………………….. 35
Predictors of Witness Credibility ………………………………………………………………………. 35
Gender Bias, Sexism, or a Combination Thereof? ………………………………………………. 36
CHAPTER IV – DISCUSSION……………………………………………………………………………. 38
Implications for Practice, Research, and Advocacy ………………………………………………… 40
Limitations and Directions for Future Research ……………………………………………………… 44
Conclusion ………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 47
APPENDIX A – Electronic Informed Consent ………………………………………………………. 49
APPENDIX B – Screening Questions …………………………………………………………………… 51
APPENDIX C – Photo Combinations …………………………………………………………………… 52
APPENDIX D – Witness Credibility Questionnaire ……………………………………………….. 53

APPENDIX E – Attractiveness Measurement ………………………………………………………… 55
APPENDIX F – Ambivalent Sexism Inventory ……………………………………………………… 56
APPENDIX G – Additional Validity Item …………………………………………………………….. 57
APPENDIX H – Demographic Questionnaire ………………………………………………………… 58
APPENDIX I – IRB Approval ……………………………………………………………………………… 60
APPENDIX J – Tables………………………………………………………………………………………… 61
REFERENCES ………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 66

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YourPastQuestions Brand

Additional information

Author

Alexandra Repke

No of Chapters

5

No of Pages

88

Reference

Yes

Format

PDF

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