Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Cameras May Curb False Confessions

August 18, 2005
Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Mandatory videotaping of all police interviews and interrogations may decrease false confessions.

Research described in a current issue of PsychologicalScience in the Public Interest reviews the science behind falseconfessions and argues for reform. Saul M. Kassin and Gisli H.Gudjonsson find that people sometimes confess to crimes they did notcommit for numerous reasons, and suggest recording the interviews andinterrogations as a way to curb these false statements.

Related Articles

Theirresearch cites that age, amount of education, and mental health statusled to a higher number of individuals to falsely confess, as did sleepdeprivation and long periods of isolation. The study also addressespolice who are not properly trained to judge truth and deception, butare trained to use deceit to solicit confessions.

Explaining, "... modern police interrogations involve the use of high-impact socialinfluence techniques [and] sometimes people under the influence ofcertain techniques can be induced to confess to crimes they did notcommit." As a result, some people are eventually convinced of their ownguilt while others confess just to end the interrogation. Additionally,the authors address courts where juries are provided these voluntaryadmissions without instructions guiding them to make a judgmentnonetheless. People cannot readily distinguish between true and falseconfession and police-induced false confessions which often containvivid and accurate information.

In light of this, the authorscall for a collaboration among law-enforcement professionals, districtattorneys, defense lawyers, judges, social scientists, and policymakersto evaluate the methods of interrogation that are commonly used. Theybelieve that for people to accurately assess a confession, allinterviews and interrogations should be videotaped in their entirety.


This review is published in a current issue of Psychological Science in the Public Interest.

PsychologicalScience in the Public Interest provides definitive assessments oftopics where psychological science may have the potential to inform andimprove the lives of individuals and the well-being of society. It ispublished on behalf of the American Psychological Society.

SaulKassin is the Massachusetts Professor of Psychology and Founder ofLegal Studies at Williams College, in Williamstown, Massachusetts. Heis author of the several textbooks and has co-authored and edited anumber of scholarly books.

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Blackwell Publishing Ltd.. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Cite This Page:

Blackwell Publishing Ltd.. "Cameras May Curb False Confessions." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 August 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/08/050814174552.htm>.
Blackwell Publishing Ltd.. (2005, August 18). Cameras May Curb False Confessions. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/08/050814174552.htm
Blackwell Publishing Ltd.. "Cameras May Curb False Confessions." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/08/050814174552.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This

More Mind & Brain News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Academic Scandal Shocks UNC

Academic Scandal Shocks UNC

AP (Oct. 23, 2014) A scandal involving bogus classes and inflated grades at the University of North Carolina was bigger than previously reported, a new investigation found. (Oct. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Working Mother Getaway: Beaches Turks & Caicos

Working Mother Getaway: Beaches Turks & Caicos

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) Feast your eyes on this gorgeous family-friendly resort. Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
What Your Favorite Color Says About You

What Your Favorite Color Says About You

Buzz60 (Oct. 22, 2014) We all have one color we love to wear, and believe it or not, your color preference may reveal some of your character traits. In celebration of National Color Day, Krystin Goodwin (@kyrstingoodwin) highlights what your favorite colors may say about you. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) A medical team has for the first time given a man the ability to walk again after transplanting cells from his brain onto his severed spinal cord. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.


Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News


Free Subscriptions

Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile

Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?

Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins