Expectation colors perceptions of reality Police Interrogations Confessions Most people assume they never confess to something they didn’t do But in DNA exoneration cases, up to 25% include a confession Is there something unique about these people or are situational factors at play? Gaps in memory, lower intelligence levels Assassin & Ezekiel (1996) As work in pairs on fast- or slow-paced computer task Told “whatever you do, don’t hit ALT” Halfway through, computer crashes, experimenter runs over Partner (confederate) either confirms that you hit ALT or says nothing Do you confess? (to something you didn’t do) When there was a False Witness, most confessed When there was no witness, less confessed More people confessed on Fast Task Then did they internalize the confession?
When asked after to describe their behavior, those with no witness did not internalize confession but some As did internalize confession, especially on Fast Task Situational Risk Factors Absence of clear memory for event Ex: Fast-paced condition impairs memory of event Ex: people who are under the influence of alcohol (drunk) Fabrication of incriminating evidence Ex: False Witness When interrogated by police, they can say whatever they want, they can make p false evidence such as having fingerprints even if they can’t use it in court Can have an attorney in interrogation though, say they want a lawyer Of course, also individual difference predictors: Age Intelligence Personality type Relevance to psych 13? Our impressions of false confessions colored by FAA (Fundamental Attribution Error) Underestimate role of situations for getting people to confess to things they had not done We underestimate effect of situational factors on: Obedience to authority Actual attitude change (people can internalize false confessions) Dissonance/
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Self Perception If don’t have strong external explanation Juries Juries are social groups even though they do not choose to interact With few exceptions, purpose of deliberations in unanimity Why do jurors change their minds? Informational Social Influence Best predictor of jury verdict is predestination juror vote split Determines info exchange during deliberations But ease of influence differs for pro-conviction and pro-acquittal arguments Leniency Bias Deliberation often produces leniency bias Easier to produce reasonable doubt in others’ minds than to convince others hat no doubt exists Easier to convince others that someone is not guilty Implications Since information flow can determine verdict, jury composition important consideration But is social influence on juries always of an informational nature?