An investigation into the relationship between the reported experience of negative life events, trait stress-sensitivity and false confessions among further education students in Iceland

Drake, Kim, Gudjonsson, G. H., Sigfusdottir, I. D. and Sigurdsson, J. F. (2015) An investigation into the relationship between the reported experience of negative life events, trait stress-sensitivity and false confessions among further education students in Iceland. Personality and Individual Differences, 81. pp. 135-140. ISSN 0191-8869

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Abstract

This study investigates the interplay between the reported experiences of negative life events, reported levels of nerves, fear and tension experienced over the past 30 days, and reported false confessions. Data were obtained from 11,388 students in further education in Iceland, out of which 5439 participants were male and 5837 were female. Single level, random intercept, structural equation models were fitted showing that latent stress-sensitivity, indicated by levels of nerves, tension, fear, and the number of negative life events experienced exerted a significant direct effect on the likelihood of false confessions. Stress-sensitive interviewees (those reporting high levels of nerves, fear, tension and negative events) may be more susceptible to environmental influences, due to heightened physiological responsiveness towards and a negative perception of situations and social encounters, with false confessions being a direct consequence of this. A suggestion from the findings is that the type of false confession (the reason for it) may possibly dependent upon which contextual trigger has influenced the interviewee the most – those within the police interview itself and/or pressures from the wider environment within which they reside.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: false confessions, negative life events, stress-sensitivity, structural equation modelling
Subjects: Psychology
Depositing User: Marzena Dybkowska
Date Deposited: 23 Oct 2015 09:17
Last Modified: 23 Jun 2017 11:00
URI: http://repository.uwl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1292

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