Can fabricated evidence induce false eyewitness testimony?
Article first published online: 20 AUG 2009
Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Applied Cognitive Psychology
Volume 24, Issue 7, pages 899–908, October 2010
How to Cite
Wade, K. A., Green, S. L. and Nash, R. A. (2010), Can fabricated evidence induce false eyewitness testimony?. Appl. Cognit. Psychol., 24: 899–908. doi: 10.1002/acp.1607
- Issue published online: 15 SEP 2010
- Article first published online: 20 AUG 2009
False information can influence people's beliefs and memories. But can fabricated evidence induce individuals to accuse another person of doing something they never did? We examined whether exposure to a fabricated video could produce false eyewitness testimony. Subjects completed a gambling task alongside a confederate subject, and later we falsely told subjects that their partner had cheated on the task. Some subjects viewed a digitally manipulated video of their partner cheating; some were told that video evidence of the cheating exists; and others were not told anything about video evidence. Subjects were asked to sign a statement confirming that they witnessed the incident and that their corroboration could be used in disciplinary action against the accused. See-video subjects were three times more likely to sign the statement than Told-video and Control subjects. Fabricated evidence may, indeed, produce false eyewitness testimony; we discuss probable cognitive mechanisms. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.