The Impact of presentation modality on perceptions of truthful and deceptive confessions

Deborah Bradford, Jane Goodman-Delahunty, Kevin R. Brooks

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Abstract

This study examined the impact of presentation modality and the effectiveness of direct and indirect measures of deception to distinguish truthful from deceptive confessions. Confession statements were presented in one of three formats: audiovisual, audio-only, or written text. Forty-six observers classified each statement as true or false and provided ratings of confidence, information sufficiency, perceived cognitive load, and suspiciousness. Compared to audio and written confessions, exposure to audiovisual recordings yielded significantly lower accuracy rates for direct veracity judgements, with below chance level performance. There was no evidence that indirect measures assisted observers in discriminating truthful from deceptive confessions. Overall, observers showed a strong bias to believe confessions with poor detection rates for false statements. Reliance on video recordings to assess the veracity of confession evidence is unlikely to reduce wrongful convictions arising from false confessions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)164546-1-164546-10
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of criminology
Volume2013
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2013. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.

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