Title

An Analysis of Information Regarding False Confessions with a College Sample

Presenter Information

Andrew Caughie

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Location

SURC Ballroom A

Start Date

17-5-2012

End Date

17-5-2012

Abstract

The current study investigated the opinions and thoughts of Central college students in regards to false confessions and the interrogation process. Previous literature has examined circumstances in which false confessions occur, but no research to date has investigated the thought process and reasoning of college students on false confessions. In pursuing this question, an original survey created by the researchers was distributed to participants via the Psychology department's SONA system. Data was gathered from 70 students, none of which were excluded on the basis of incomplete questionnaires. Results were analyzed utilizing a multiple regression model in an attempt to observe which specific variables constituted the largest effect on the criterion variables. Several regression models were run indicative of the criterion variable tested. Statistical significance was observed between the criterion variable of “convicted after renouncing confession”, and the predictor variables of “confessions coerced by police” and “wrongful convictions involve false confessions”, F(2,67)=6.507, p=.003. Marginal statistical significance was observed between the criterion variable of “police recognize false confessions”, and the predictor variables of “police utilize weaknesses while interrogating”, “police utilize violence while interrogating”, and “police possess lie detecting skills”, F(3,67)=2.667, p=.055. As this study utilized an exploratory questionnaire, additional readmission, as well as psychometric properties must be conducted in order to establish validity and reliability of the questionnaire.

Poster Number

25

Faculty Mentor(s)

Danielle Polage

Additional Mentoring Department

Psychology

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May 17th, 2:00 PM May 17th, 4:30 PM

An Analysis of Information Regarding False Confessions with a College Sample

SURC Ballroom A

The current study investigated the opinions and thoughts of Central college students in regards to false confessions and the interrogation process. Previous literature has examined circumstances in which false confessions occur, but no research to date has investigated the thought process and reasoning of college students on false confessions. In pursuing this question, an original survey created by the researchers was distributed to participants via the Psychology department's SONA system. Data was gathered from 70 students, none of which were excluded on the basis of incomplete questionnaires. Results were analyzed utilizing a multiple regression model in an attempt to observe which specific variables constituted the largest effect on the criterion variables. Several regression models were run indicative of the criterion variable tested. Statistical significance was observed between the criterion variable of “convicted after renouncing confession”, and the predictor variables of “confessions coerced by police” and “wrongful convictions involve false confessions”, F(2,67)=6.507, p=.003. Marginal statistical significance was observed between the criterion variable of “police recognize false confessions”, and the predictor variables of “police utilize weaknesses while interrogating”, “police utilize violence while interrogating”, and “police possess lie detecting skills”, F(3,67)=2.667, p=.055. As this study utilized an exploratory questionnaire, additional readmission, as well as psychometric properties must be conducted in order to establish validity and reliability of the questionnaire.