Hello! And Merry belated Christmas! 😀 Hope you guys had a nice day! I had a lovely time with my family here in Italy, ate more than I thought I physically could and enjoyed some time off revision.
Not much time, I’m not gonna lie. But I’m used to it by now, as it has been the same story every year since I came to university. Not fun, not at all, as it is horrible having to spend most of my day locked up in my room, revising for hours (I do that, exams stress me out). But there is nothing to do about it, and it will all pay off in the end! 🙂 I try to stay positive! At least I am revising for things I actually care about, and find interesting (most of them anyway). Actually, in this post I wanted to talk to you about one of my favourite topics!
“False Confessions”, a topic we covered in my Legal Psychology module.
Absolutely fascinating, it’s the phenomenon that sees innocent people confessing to crimes they have not committed. Many people think that no one ever could do that, and that they definitely never would, but they are so wrong! Potentially, every one of us is capable of signing a false confession. All someone needs are the right (unfortunate) circumstances. There are so many reasons why someone could be pushed to sign a false confession, like promise of a lighter sentence, or social pressure. In these cases, the person knows they are innocent, but are led to believe that claiming the opposite will result in a better outcome. But the worst happens when people are convinced of their guilt. Research has shown that when we are under pressure (like during an interrogation!) and after being presented with evidence that can challenge our own memory (which might be forged!), we are almost defenseless against suggestions. Those can even override our memory, thus making us believe that the fact has actually happened!
There are many studies on this, and case studies as well. But those make me so sad. One downside of this module is that despite being SO interesting, it involves a lot of sad stories. I found this topic especially upsetting, since any innocent person admitting to a crime they didn’t commit, whether for (empty) promises, social pressure, suggestive evidence have their life completely ruined.
After such themes, I really needed some Christmas cheer!