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11.09.2013 08:33 Age: 221 days
Category: In the News

Stress and False Confessions


Stephanie Madon and Max Guyll.
Photo by Bob Elbert

Stephanie Madon and Max Guyll featured in the Iowa State News.

AMES, Iowa – Imagine if you were wrongly accused of a crime. Would you be stressed? Anyone would be, but Iowa State University researchers found the innocent are often less stressed than the guilty. And that could put them at greater risk to admit to a crime they didn’t commit.

To better understand what leads to false confessions, Max Guyll, an assistant professor of psychology, and Stephanie Madon, an associate professor of psychology, measured various indicators of stress, such as blood pressure, heart rate and nervous system activity. In the study, published in Law and Human Behavior, stress levels increased for all participants when they were first accused. However, the levels for those wrongly accused were significantly lower. Researchers said that’s a concern because it can make the innocent less likely to vigorously defend themselves in a real interrogation.

Read more at: http://www.news.iastate.edu/news/2013/09/10/falseconfessions