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Making A Case – How Psychology Can Inform the Investigative Process

Interviewing Suspects


2.3 False Confessions


–    The ‘Voluntary’ Confession – no obvious external pressure

–    The ‘Coerced Compliant Confession’ – after forceful or persistent questioning the suspect confesses to escape the interview situation.

–    The ‘Coerced Internalised Confession’ – the suspect becomes temporarily persuaded that they are guilty.

§       Persuasion is possible because memory is fragile.

§       The young, mentally ill and those with low IQ are examples of groups who may be more susceptible to this pressure.


Gudjohnsson et al. (1990) A Case of False Confession




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