Date of Graduation

12-2011

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Psychology (MA)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Psychological Science

Advisor

James M. Lampinen

Committee Member

Scott H. Eidelman

Second Committee Member

William H. Levine

Abstract

Previous research shows that some proportion of people interrogated confess, regardless of actual guilt. It has also been shown that the camera perspective from which an interrogation is videotaped influences later judgments of voluntariness and guilt, as well as sentencing recommendations. The present research extends the understanding of this phenomenon of false confessions and the camera perspective bias. Ecologically valid videotaped true/false confessions and denials were obtained in Experiment 1. The proportions of guilt participants and participants that confessed to cheating were found to be smaller in Experiment 1 than those in previous research. Participants in Experiment 2 viewed the videotapes from the first experiment from a suspect-focused, interrogator-focused, or equal-focused camera perspective and judged the suspects' guilt as well as made attributions of responsibility for the suspects' statements. Results from the second experiment did not show a camera perspective bias in judgments of guilt; however, camera perspective did influence the type and amount of attributions made. Implications of these findings are discussed.

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