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“I think you did it!”: Examining the effect of presuming guilt on the verbal output of innocent suspects during brief interviews

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Innocent suspects interviewed by a guilt‐presumptive versus innocence‐presumptive or neutral interviewer may tend more to display non‐verbal behaviours which neutral judges consider indicative of guilt. We examined the effects of interviewer's presumption of guilt on innocent mock suspects' alibis. Participants (N = 90) provided an alibi to convince an interviewer of their innocence of a theft after she implied that she believed that they were guilty or innocent or that she had no belief about their veracity. On the basis of existing conflicting findings for suspects' verbal behaviour during accusatory interviews, we predicted that alibis in the guilt‐belief condition would contain the highest or lowest number of correct details with overall higher or poorer accuracy rates, respectively. Although participants perceived the interviewer's presumptive approach, the number of correct details provided and accuracy rates of alibis did not differ significantly between conditions. We propose explanations to these findings and future research paths.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Investigative Psychology and Offender Profiling
Early online date19 Aug 2019
DOIs
Publication statusEarly online - 19 Aug 2019

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  • I think you did it

    Rights statement: This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Portnoy, S, Hope, L, Vrij, A, et al. “I think you did it!”: Examining the effect of presuming guilt on the verbal output of innocent suspects during brief interviews. J Investig Psychol Offender Profil. 2019; 1– 15. https://doi.org/10.1002/jip.1534, which has been published in final form at https://doi.org/10.1002/jip.1534. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions.

    Accepted author manuscript (Post-print), 329 KB, PDF document

    Due to publisher’s copyright restrictions, this document is not freely available to download from this website until: 19/08/20

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