Shannon Hardy

Date of Award

January 2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Heather Terrell


While the influence of expert witness gender on juror perceptions of credibility has been widely researched, the effect of eyewitness gender has only begun to be investigated. Expert witness gender has been shown to have an impact on the perception of the credibility of testimony given, such that male expert witnesses are typically seen as more credible than female eyewitness. However, in some situations, such as a case that is considered feminine domain like child welfare, women may be seen as more credible. The purpose of the current study is to expand upon the existing literature on the impact of eyewitness gender on juror perceptions of credibility and investigate the effect of eyewitness gender, eyewitness occupation, and juror gender on the way jurors perceive eyewitness testimony. With a 2 (eyewitness gender) x 2 (eyewitness occupation) design, participants at the University of North Dakota were recruited to read a mock trial transcript about a witnessed robbery and rated the eyewitness on various traits, as well as providing their sentencing recommendations. Results indicated higher sentencing recommendation when the eyewitness was a female. No other significant results were found, although results from the Witness Credibility Scale approached significance and could warrant future research.