"Now that we're married, does that change anything?": The role of change in romantic relationships and the implications for alibi research

Kevin Weston Jolly, University of Texas at El Paso

Abstract

Research on alibis has focused on how the presence of a relationship between an alibi corroborator and a defendant affects how jurors perceive the alibi itself. Some published studies have examined how the relationship between the alibi corroborator and the defendant affects evaluations of the alibi. The extant literature on alibis now warrants investigations of how differences among types of relationships between an alibi corroborator and the accused influence the evaluation of the alibi claim. The first study examined whether alibi evaluations are affected by the length of a romantic relationship between an alibi corroborator and a defendant and by the relationship status (e.g., wife) of the corroborator. Results from this study suggested that experimental manipulations of relationship length and relationship status do not affect mock juror perceptions of the motives of the alibi corroborator to provide false testimony or the believability of the alibi claim itself. The second study examined if major life events that occur during a romantic relationship affect an individual's willingness to falsely corroborate an alibi for his or her partner. Results suggested that composite ratings of positive and negative stressful life events did not influence an individual’s willingness to provide false alibi corroboration across a variety of scenarios. Relationship satisfaction, investment, commitment, and quality of alternative partners similarly did not predict this fabrication composite score for one partner in a romantic relationship. In combination, the two studies suggest that characteristics of the relationship between an alibi corroborator and the defendant may be overwhelmed by the simple presence of a relationship between the pair. ^

Subject Area

Psychology, Counseling

Recommended Citation

Jolly, Kevin Weston, ""Now that we're married, does that change anything?": The role of change in romantic relationships and the implications for alibi research" (2010). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI3434614.
http://digitalcommons.utep.edu/dissertations/AAI3434614

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