"Should I just confess?": The influence of perceived consequences associated with confessing on the likelihood of true vs. false confessions

Allyson J Horgan, University of Texas at El Paso

Abstract

The growing awareness of the problem of false confessions has lead social science researchers to investigate the factors that influence true vs. false confessions. Previous research suggested that minimization and maximization techniques may be interpreted by a suspect as the equivalent of an offer of leniency and a threat of harsher punishment, respectively. The current studies seek to further this literature by distinguishing between minimization and maximization techniques that may or may not influence a suspect’s perceptions of the consequences associated with confessing. Results indicate that techniques that manipulate the perceived consequences of confessing increase false confession rates while those techniques that do not manipulate the perceived consequences of confessing increase true confession rates. The practical and theoretical implications of these findings are discussed. ^

Subject Area

Psychology, Clinical

Recommended Citation

Horgan, Allyson J, ""Should I just confess?": The influence of perceived consequences associated with confessing on the likelihood of true vs. false confessions" (2009). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI1465255.
http://digitalcommons.utep.edu/dissertations/AAI1465255

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