Alibi Believability: The Impact of Salacious Alibi Activities

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Abstract:

We examined how alibi strength and a suspect's claim of engaging in salacious alibi activities impact alibi believability. Specifically, we investigated whether an alibi of watching an X-rated movie versus watching a regular movie caused differences in alibi believability, perceived likelihood of guilt, and ratings of various character traits. Undergraduates read a crime description and a mock transcript before completing a questionnaire (adapted from Olson & Wells, 2004). Alibis were rated as more believable when the suspect provided a salacious alibi. Suspects with salacious alibis were rated as more honest, open, and less likely to be guilty.

Keywords: ALIBI BELIEVABILITY; JUROR PERCEPTION; SALACIOUS ALIBI; STRENGTH OF EVIDENCE; SUSPECT CHARACTER

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2224/sbp.2012.40.4.605

Publication date: May 1, 2012

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