Behind the confession: Relating false confession, interrogative compliance, personality traits, and psychopathy

Journal article


Larmour, Simon R., Bergstrom, H., Gillen, Christopher T. A. and Forth, Adelle E. 2014. Behind the confession: Relating false confession, interrogative compliance, personality traits, and psychopathy. Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11896-014-9144-3
AuthorsLarmour, Simon R., Bergstrom, H., Gillen, Christopher T. A. and Forth, Adelle E.
Abstract

The present study further supports the established notion that personality traits contribute to the phenomenon of false confessions and compliance in an interrogative setting. Furthermore, the study provides an investigation into the more recent interest in the potential effect of psychopathic traits in this context. A sample of university students (N = 607) completed questionnaires measuring psychopathic traits, interrogative compliance, and the big five personality factors. Of these, only 4.9% (n=30) claimed to have falsely confessed to an academic or criminal offense, with no participant taking the blame for both types of offense. Across measures the big five personality traits were the strongest predictors of compliance. The five personality traits accounted for 17.9 % of the total variance in compliance, with neuroticism being the strongest predictor, followed by openness and agreeableness. Psychopathy accounted for 3.3% of variance, with the lifestyle facet being the only significant predictor. After controlling for the big five personality factors, psychopathy only accounted for a small percentage of interrogative compliance, indicating that interrogators should take into account a person’s personality traits during the interrogation.

KeywordsTaking the blame; Psychopathy; Interrogative compliance; False confession; Personality traits
Year2014
JournalJournal of Police and Criminal Psychology
PublisherSpringer
ISSN8820783
19366469
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1007/s11896-014-9144-3
Web address (URL)http://hdl.handle.net/10545/621286
hdl:10545/621286
Publication dates2014
Publication process dates
Deposited25 Jan 2017, 09:27
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Archived with thanks to Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology

ContributorsCarleton University and Institute of Criminology
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