Is it time for a revolutionary technique in the interrogation room? Empirically validating the influence of inquisitorial techniques on true and false confessions

Mary Elizabeth Rigoni, University of Texas at El Paso

Abstract

The current experiment utilized the Russano, Meissner, Narchet, and Kassin (2005) interrogation paradigm to compare the diagnostic value of British (inquisitorial) and American (accusatorial) approaches to interrogation. Results indicated that inquisitorial techniques outperformed both accusatorial and control approaches, with the accusatorial tactics demonstrating a significant increase in false confession rates. The effects of participants' perceptions of the interrogation experience on their decisions to confess were assessed through a debriefing questionnaire. Participants in the inquisitorial condition perceived less pressure to sign a confession statement. Furthermore, the inquisitorial condition was the only technique that significantly distinguished between innocent and guilty participants' perceptions of pressure in the interrogation room. The theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed. ^

Subject Area

Psychology, Experimental

Recommended Citation

Rigoni, Mary Elizabeth, "Is it time for a revolutionary technique in the interrogation room? Empirically validating the influence of inquisitorial techniques on true and false confessions" (2007). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI1444103.
http://digitalcommons.utep.edu/dissertations/AAI1444103

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