- Slides: 14
CRITERIA OF CREDIBILITY
CRITERIA? ? ? CREDIBILITY? ? ?
Criteria of Credibility �Can be used to assess the credibility of documents or individual sources. It has become standard to use the abbreviation RAVEN to remember the top 5 criteria of credibility
In the exam questions will ask you to use the criteria of credibility to assess various documents and individuals. You MUST use these criteria throughout every piece of work you submit!
R-A-V-E-N �R = Reputation �A= Ability to See �V= Vested Interest �E= Expertise �N= Neutrality
Topic I: Reputation �The first criteria, reputation, is about whether the source’s history or status suggests reliability or unreliability. �If we know someone has lied in the past, we should be less trusting of him/her in the future. �Sometimes we have a good idea whether or not a witness is going to be reliable simply based on his/her reputation.
Reputation: Status and Track-record STATUS: if someone is in a position of responsibility, this reflects well on them. Status can also be boosted by recognition. TRACK-RECORD: people judge based on your past achievements or accomplishments.
Topic II: Ability to See �This concerns whether the source is in a position to know what they are talking about. No matter how honest a source of information, if they don’t have access to the evidence then the value of their testimony is going to be limited. Consider whether this person was present to see what they are claiming first hand, a witness who was in a good position to observe an event directly is more credible, than who is not.
Topic III: Vested Interest �Refers to whether the source of information has anything personally at stake. If they might gain something by lying, then their credibility is weakened by their vested interest. If they might lose a lot by being caught lying, there credibility might be strengthened by a vested interest to tell the truth.
Someone with a good reputation or a position to protect is more likely to tell the truth. More often, though, vested interest weakens credibility.
Topic IV: Expertise �There are some situations in which it is difficult for normal observers to accurately interpret evidence because they lack specialized knowledge. �For example, if I were to watch a high level chess match, my comments as to who was in the best position would be worthless, due to the fact that I am not a chess expert. Therefore, my credibility is weakened.
Topic V: Neutrality �Whether someone is predisposed to support a particular point of view for reasons other than vested interest. �Someone who knows other people involved in a dispute, for example, may be liable to side with them or against them depending on their relationship, weakening their credibility.
Topic V Continued �Neutral witnesses are those who are likely to be objective, to reach a conclusion based on the evidence without being swayed by personal prejudice. �The opposite of neutrality is bias. �Someone is biased if they are pre-disposed to reach a certain conclusion.
Bias The simplest way in which bias tends to arise is when people have good or bad relationships with others involved. Witnesses may distort the truth in order to stand up for friends , relatives or colleagues. They might also lie in order to get enemies in trouble.