A suspect of a crime can avoid legal repercussions by creating a false alibi. We examined whether creating such a false alibi can have adverse effects on memory. To do so, participants watched a mock crime video and were either instructed to create a false alibi or to provide an honest account for what they actually saw in the video. After a 2-day and 1-month delay, all participants were instructed to come forward with the truth using a free recall task. Participants who initially created a false alibi had more commission errors after a 2-day and 1-month delay (vs. truth telling participants). Moreover, participants who created a false alibi reported fewer correct details after a 2-day and 1-month delay (vs. truth telling participants). Our study suggests that like other types of deception, creating a false alibi can elicit memory undermining effects in the form of commission and omission errors.

Creating a false alibi leads to errors of commission and omission

Mangiulli I.
2022-01-01

Abstract

A suspect of a crime can avoid legal repercussions by creating a false alibi. We examined whether creating such a false alibi can have adverse effects on memory. To do so, participants watched a mock crime video and were either instructed to create a false alibi or to provide an honest account for what they actually saw in the video. After a 2-day and 1-month delay, all participants were instructed to come forward with the truth using a free recall task. Participants who initially created a false alibi had more commission errors after a 2-day and 1-month delay (vs. truth telling participants). Moreover, participants who created a false alibi reported fewer correct details after a 2-day and 1-month delay (vs. truth telling participants). Our study suggests that like other types of deception, creating a false alibi can elicit memory undermining effects in the form of commission and omission errors.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11586/414797
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