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Investigating true and false confessions within a novel experimental paradigm
Psychological Science (2005)
  • Melissa B. Russano, Roger Williams University
The primary goal of the current study was to develop a novel experimental paradigm with which to study the influence of psychologically based interrogation techniques on the likelihood of true and false confessions. The paradigm involves guilty and innocent participants being accused of intentionally breaking an experimental rule, or ‘‘cheating.’’ In the first demonstration of this paradigm, we explored the influence of two common police interrogation tactics: minimization and an explicit offer of leniency, or a ‘‘deal.’’ Results indicated that guilty persons were more likely to confess than innocent persons, and that the use of minimization and the offer of a deal increased the rate of both true and false confessions. Police investigators are encouraged to avoid interrogation techniques that imply or directly promise leniency, as they appear to reduce the diagnostic value of any confession that is elicited.
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Citation Information
Melissa B. Russano. "Investigating true and false confessions within a novel experimental paradigm" Psychological Science Vol. 16 Iss. 6 (2005)
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