Open Science Research Excellence
@article{(International Science Index):,
  title    = {Expert Witness Testimony in the Battered Woman Syndrome},
  author    = {Ana Pauna},
  country   = {},
  abstract  = {The Expert Witness Testimony in the Battered
Woman Syndrome Expert witness testimony (EWT) is a kind of
information given by an expert specialized in the field (here in BWS)
to the jury in order to help the court better understand the case. EWT
does not always work in favor of the battered women. Two main
decision-making models are discussed in the paper: the Mathematical
model and the Explanation model. In the first model, the jurors
calculate ″the importance and strength of each piece of evidence″
whereas in the second model they try to integrate the EWT with the
evidence and create a coherent story that would describe the crime.
The jury often misunderstands and misjudges battered women for
their action (or in this case inaction). They assume that these women
are masochists and accept being mistreated for if a man abuses a
woman constantly, she should and could divorce him or simply leave
at any time. The research in the domain found that indeed, expert
witness testimony has a powerful influence on juror’s decisions thus
its quality needs to be further explored. One of the important factors
that need further studies is a bias called the dispositionist worldview
(a belief that what happens to people is of their own doing). This
kind of attributional bias represents a tendency to think that a
person’s behavior is due to his or her disposition, even when the
behavior is clearly attributed to the situation. Hypothesis The
hypothesis of this paper is that if a juror has a dispositionist
worldview then he or she will blame the rape victim for triggering the
assault. The juror would therefore commit the fundamental
attribution error and believe that the victim’s disposition caused the
rape and not the situation she was in. Methods The subjects in the
study were 500 randomly sampled undergraduate students from
McGill, Concordia, Université de Montréal and UQAM.
Dispositional Worldview was scored on the Dispositionist
Worldview Questionnaire. After reading the Rape Scenarios, each
student was asked to play the role of a juror and answer a
questionnaire consisting of 7 questions about the responsibility,
causality and fault of the victim. Results The results confirm the
hypothesis which states that if a juror has a dispositionist worldview
then he or she will blame the rape victim for triggering the assault.
By doing so, the juror commits the fundamental attribution error
because he will believe that the victim’s disposition, and not the
constraints or opportunities of the situation, caused the rape scenario.},
  {International Journal of Psychological and Behavioral Sciences },  volume    = {6},
  number    = {6},
  year      = {2012},
  pages     = {1095 - 1101},
  ee        = {},
  url       = {},
  bibsource = {},
  issn      = {eISSN:1307-6892},
  publisher = {World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology},
  index     = {International Science Index 66, 2012},