Master's Theses

Date of Award

Summer 1998

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Psychology

Advisor

Robert Markley

Abstract

Previous studies have shown that people who are asked leading or suggestive questions are affected by the way the question was asked and can make erroneous responses (Stern, 1939; Harris, 1973; Loftus & Palmer, 1974). The present study examined the relationship between interrogative suggestibility and personality. Gudjonsson (1987) devised an instrument for measuring interrogative suggestibility (the GSS 2, which assesses the effect of leading questions and negative feedback) in clinical and research settings. Personality was assessed with the NEO-PI-R (Costa & McCrae, 1992) which highlights the five factor model of personality. This study is the first to use the NEO-PI-R to show that personality characteristics of the five factor model of personality are related to interrogative suggestibility. One hundred fifty-four college students completed the questionnaires. Surprisingly, the personality domain of Openness was related to lower total suggestibility. Vulnerability to stress and often experiencing a depressed affect were each found to be associated with giving in to leading questions more frequently. The results may have implications for attorneys protecting their clients involved in a criminal investigation.

Rights

Copyright 1998 William Carr

Comments

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