In this study the psychological characteristics of 62 prison inmates, who claimed to have made a 'false confession' during a police interview, were compared with those of other inmates. The personality tests administered were the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire (EPQ), the Gough Socialisation Scale, the Gudjonsson Suggestibility Scale (GSS 1), the Gudjonsson Compliance Scale (GCS), and the self-deception (SDQ) and other-deception (ODQ) questionnaires of Sackeim and Gur. In addition, Ravens' Standard Progressive Matrices were administered. The results showed that the 'false confessors' were significantly more antisocial in their personality, compliant and emotionally labile, than the other inmates and had lower self-deception and other-deception scores. A subgroup of coerced-internalized 'false confessors' was identified and they differed from the others in terms of elevated suggestibility and confabulation scores as measured by the GSS 1. In a parallel study of 108 juvenile offenders it was found that none of them reported having made a 'false confession', in contrast to 12% of the prison inmates. Overall, the results indicate that 'false confession' in Iceland may be largely confined to persistent offenders who possess antisocial personality characteristics.
- Psychological Tests
- Criminal Psychology