False Confessions

A false confession is a narrative admission to a crime that is made, orally or in writing, by an innocent person. Research shows that innocent people may confess in different ways and for different reasons—resulting in three types of false confessions: voluntary, compliant, and internalized. From an empirical perspective, this entry addresses the evolution of our understanding of false confessions, the frequency of their occurrence, and the methods of interrogation that put innocent people at risk.

False confessions are an important problem in forensic psychology, especially when viewed in the context of their consequences within the criminal justice system. Historically, confession evidence is considered the most incriminating form of evidence that can be presented at trial, a belief that is supported by its effects on jury ...

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