• Eying the Body: The Impact of Classical Rules for Demeanor Credibility, Bias, and the Need to Blind Legal Decision Makers

    Author(s):
    Daphne O\'Regan
    Date:
    2017
    Group(s):
    MSU Law Faculty Repository
    Item Type:
    Article
    Permanent URL:
    https://doi.org/10.17613/yccc-w637
    Abstract:
    The Honorable Mark W. Bennett is only the most recent observer to lament that "[t]he standards for determining witness credibility have persisted as if frozen in time, based on myth, and completely unconnected with current knowledge of cognitive psychology." 2 Judge Bennett's frustration is understandable. The belief that most people can reliably detect lies by scrutinizing the body of the speaker is quite simply false, a fact recognized for at least twenty-five years-or 2,500.3 Increasing awareness of implicit or cognitive bias in decisionmaking renders continued reliance on physical signs of credibility even more suspect. 4 The question that remains is: Why has nothing changed?5 One neglected explanation is the continuing, but unacknowledged, influence of classical rhetoric.6 The educational history and immense prestige of elite rhetoric has embedded its traditional forms and ideological claims deeply into legal education and practice.7 Highly specific, elite rules about bodily credibility are so entrenched that they seem ordinary common sense,8 even as they are taught to first-year law students and as they govern behavior in courtrooms.
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    Journal article    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    3 weeks ago
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