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The emotional male victim: Effects of presentation mode on judged credibility

Journal article
Authors Sara Landström
Karl Ask
Charlotte Sommar
Published in Scandinavian Journal of Psychology
Volume 56
Issue 1
Pages 99-104
ISSN 0036-5564
Publication year 2015
Published at Department of Psychology
Pages 99-104
Language en
Keywords Emotions, presentation mode, credibility, crime victim, gender, male victim
Subject categories Applied Psychology


The emotional victim effect (EVE, i.e., that the emotionality of a victim's demeanor affects perceived credibility) is a robust research finding for female victims of rape but much less explored for other types of victims and crimes. In this article, we investigate the EVE with a male assault complainant. In addition, we vary the presentation mode via which the complainant is shown to the assessors. A sample of law students (N = 81) participated in an experiment where they viewed and assessed credibility of a male complainant who appeared either live or on video. The complainant behaved either in an emotional or a neutral manner. Result showed that the presentation mode but not the EVE affected the assessors' credibility assessments: The complainant was perceived as more truthful when communicating live, as opposed to via video. Practical implications, as well as the generality of the EVE, are discussed.

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