Concerns in the Interrogation Room: The Effects of Lengthy Questioning on Suggestibility

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2014-04-15
Authors
Niles, Sebastian
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Altmetrics
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Research Projects
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Psychology
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Psychology
Abstract

Previous research has indicated that false confessions can be coerced in a laboratory setting (Kassin & Kiechel, 1996; Madon et al., 2011). While the effect of proximal and distal consequences have been shown to have an effect on false confessions, little research has been done to examine the role of suggestibility in these situations, a factor shown to be of importance in interrogative situations (Gudjonsson, 1984; Klaver, Lee, & Rose, 2008). While suggestibility has typically been viewed as a trait, it is conceivable that situational factors could affect suggestibility. Therefore, it is possible that elements of the interrogation context may serve to increase suggestibility, thereby increasing the likelihood of confession. This research tests the hypothesis that lengthy and unpleasant questioning regarding one’s guilt pertaining to engaging in illegal and unethical behavior serves to increase suggestibility. Results are discussed with respect to the implications for determining best practices for police interrogation.

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