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The Impact Of Alibi Change On Verdict Decision

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posted on 2021-06-08, 07:37 authored by Kathleen Reynolds
Previous research has demonstrated that a change in one's alibi is perceived as a sign of guilt. The present study aimed to determine the impact of changing one's initial alibi on ratings of guilt. One hundred and seven participants were randomly assigned to read one of four scenarios (self, police, same, and lied) that described a robbery, a suspect's initial alibi and, in all but the 'same' condition, a modified alibi. An explanation for the change was also provided. It was predicted that both alibi change and the explanation for the change would impact verdict choices. Results revealed that 51% of participants believed that the suspect was guilty regardless of condition. Alibi change predicted more guilty verdicts in the self and lied conditions. Surprisingly, participants who were more trusting were also more likely to convict. The current research contributes to the literature on the importance of alibis as it provides a greater understanding of jury decision making.





Master of Arts



Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type


Thesis Advisor

Tara Burke