Perceived Credibility of Social Media Data as a Collateral Source in Criminal Responsibility Evaluations Using an Experimental Design

Ashley B. Batastini, Michael J. Vitacco, Ashley C.T. Jones, Riley M. Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Perceived credibility of social media data (i.e., a Twitter post) was compared to more traditional collateral sources in criminal responsibility evaluations using independent samples of laypersons and forensic experts. Overall, results suggested greater skepticism toward social media relative to two other sources, particularly when information suggested a mental illness. Both samples, however, viewed the tweet as potentially useful. Notably, both studies were limited by the use of an experimental design that was intended to capture initial impressions rather than fully mimic standard assessment and courtroom processes. We advocate a cautious but open-minded approach when considering social media data as collateral.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalInternational Journal of Forensic Mental Health
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • criminal responsibility
  • forensic mental health assessment
  • NGRI
  • Social media

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Phychiatric Mental Health
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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