Techniques such as Good Cop / Bad Cop are popular among police and police tv shows such as Law & Order. Other techniques, such as those used by the CIA, include waterboarding or others forms of coercion. Yet, being the good cop may be the best way to get a confession according to new research from the University of Montreal.
University of Montreal researcher Nadine Deslauriers-Varin analyzed the conditions under which 221 prisoners from a federal penitentiary did or did not confess.
Deslauriers-Varin found that when the police has strong evidence, the confession rate increases regardless of sociodemographic or criminological factors. However, in the cases where there is a lack of evidence, the suspect is more likely to confess when he or she feels guilty about the crime, is single at the time of interrogation, has prior convictions and was convicted of a more serious crime.
“Confessions mostly rely on how the interrogation is conducted and it’s nothing short of an art form,” St-Yves said. “It’s an art that must be practiced with finesse seeing as the accused is never obliged to answer questions and that all coercive methods or promises used by police will eventually be rejected by the courts.”
So if you think your friend is up to no good, instead of yelling accusations or getting mad, consider making him or her feel super guilty instead.
Have you ever confessed to something because you felt guilty?
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