Fabrication puts suspects at risk: blindness to changes in transgression-related statements

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Abstract

Based on the finding that deceptive and misleading interrogation techniques are not uncommon, we investigated to what extent participants may be blind to alterations introduced to their accounts of past transgressions. Drawing from the source-monitoring framework, we hypothesized that participants' truthfulness and whether they had committed a transgression in the past (transgression history) would be predictive of blindness. When filling out a questionnaire about their past transgressions, 80 participants fabricated some of their answers. Prior to an interview 1week later, two previously fabricated and two truthful answers were covertly altered by the experimenter. We found substantial blindness rates, and, as hypothesized, blindness was more pronounced for (1) fabricated than truthful responses and (2) alterations with transgression history compared with no transgression history. Possible consequences may include the creation of guilt presumption and increasing pressure to obtain a confession. Both can be hazardous for suspects and the legal decision-making process. Copyright (c) 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)544-551
Number of pages8
JournalApplied Cognitive Psychology
Volume29
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015

Keywords

  • ACCURACY
  • CHOICE BLINDNESS
  • COGNITIVE OPERATIONS
  • CONSISTENCY
  • EYEWITNESS TESTIMONY
  • FACIAL RECOGNITION DECISIONS
  • INCONSISTENCIES
  • LIE
  • MEMORY
  • MISINFORMATION

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