Intelligence, Authority and Blame Conformity: Co-witness Influence Is Moderated by the Perceived Competence of the Information Source

Mojtahedi, Dara and Ioannou, Maria and Hammond, Laura (2019) Intelligence, Authority and Blame Conformity: Co-witness Influence Is Moderated by the Perceived Competence of the Information Source. Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology. ISSN 0882-0783

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Abstract

Previous research suggests that co-witness influence is heavily dependent on how eyewitnesses perceive the source of information, with perceived credibility, authority and memory accuracy identified as significant predictors. However, very little research has directly investigated the effects of perceived intelligence on co-witness influence. The present study used confederates to expose participants (N = 182) to misinformation about a witnessed event, prior to collecting their statements. Participants were paired up with a confederate who was presented as either a PhD student (high intelligence), police officer (high authority), neutral (no information provided) or completed the study individually (control). Results found that participants were significantly more likely to blame the wrong person for the crime if it had been suggested to them by a police officer or PhD student. Implications of the findings suggest that the characteristics and perceptions of co-witnesses can moderate the risks of statement contamination.

Item Type: Article
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11896-019-09361-2
Date: 11 December 2019
Uncontrolled Keywords: blame conformity, eyewitness, memory conformity, police
Subjects: C800 Psychology
Divisions: Faculty of Business, Law and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences > Dept. Psychology
REF UoA Output Collections > REF2021 UoA 04: Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience
Depositing User: Laura Hammond
Date Deposited: 31 Jan 2020 11:20
Last Modified: 14 May 2020 05:30
URI: http://www.open-access.bcu.ac.uk/id/eprint/8811

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