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Abstract

Presumptions of guilt could bias criminal investigators' interviews of suspects, reducing recall of exculpatory alibi information, and the label “alibi” could be enough to create a presumption of guilt. Participants (n = 285) viewed a videotaped narrative account; some participants knew prior to viewing that the account was an alibi whereas others discovered this after viewing. Also, some participants were given an expectation that the alibi provider was guilty or innocent. Results indicated participants with a presumption of guilt before viewing the alibi recalled less alibi-relevant information, found the alibi less believable, and viewed the alibi provider more negatively than did participants without such an expectation, and that a label of “alibi” was not enough to create a presumption of guilt.