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)
Pages (from-to)317-332
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Forensic Mental Health
Volume20
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021

Keywords

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

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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