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The Psychological Foundations of Evidence Law$
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Michael J. Saks and Barbara A. Spellman

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781479880041

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479880041.001.0001

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The Lessons of Psychology for Evidence Law

(p.232) Conclusion
The Psychological Foundations of Evidence Law

Michael J. Saks

Barbara A. Spellman

NYU Press

The central lesson of our exploration of the psychological foundations of evidence law is that evidence rulemakers—be they common law judges or more modern rules committees—unavoidably operate as applied psychologists. At nearly every turn they find themselves having to devise rules based on what they think they know about the perceptions, memories, and motivations of witnesses; about the effects of trial processes on testimony and other evidence; and about the capabilities and limitations of human beings to comprehend and evaluate evidence, both as individuals (judges and jurors) and as members of groups (juries)....

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