Honors Program

University Honors

Date of Award


Thesis Professor(s)

Alyson Chroust

Thesis Professor Department


Thesis Reader(s)

Ian Hensley


This thesis explored the roles of trust, bias, and narrative in legal storytelling and made suggestions for improving legal storytelling and avoiding bias and mistrust when telling and analyzing legal stories. This study was a background and literature review and synthesis of the role of narrative, trust and bias in both general and legal presentation. The current thesis integrated many diverse sources to create an overview of the development of these psychological aspects in the legal field and in legal presentation. The most relevant studies to the legal field and legal presentation were included for integration and synthesis. From the sources and data synthesized, the researcher gives recommendations on how to improve legal presentation using narrative, with a focus on increasing trust and reducing bias among audience members and decision makers in legal proceedings. There was a significant focus on the role of narrative, and how it must be used to convey truth. This study demonstrated that while narrative is important in the legal field, it is even more critical that it is used ethically, and reflects the truth as clearly as the attorneys understand it.


East Tennessee State University

Document Type

Honors Thesis - Withheld

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
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