A study on the power of stories to persuade suspects to confess

Fahmy, Weyam (2019) A study on the power of stories to persuade suspects to confess. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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The effectiveness of an interview tactic, known as the story, at eliciting confessions from suspects of wrongdoing was examined. Participants (N = 60) were asked to complete a series of problems, some alone and some with the help of a confederate. The confederate prompted half of the participants to cheat by asking for the answer to an individual problem, and did not do so for the other half; this allowed for the manipulation of participants’ guilt/ innocence. All participants were then accused of cheating. For half of the participants, the experimenter used a story (adapted from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police’s Phased Interview Model) to persuade the suspect to confess, while the other half were not exposed to the story. The results showed that guilty participants were more likely to confess than innocent participants, but participants who received the story were not more likely to confess than those who were not exposed to the story. Participants exposed to the story were more likely to believe that the consequences would be less severe if they confessed, compared to those who were not exposed to the story. The implications of these findings with relevance to the Confessions Rule and the admissibility of confession evidence in court are discussed.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/14010
Item ID: 14010
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 50-58).
Keywords: confessions, investigative interviews, persuasion, minimisation, social proof
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Psychology
Science, Faculty of > Psychology
Date: October 2019
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Elicitation--Psychological aspects; Interviewing--Psychological aspects

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