U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Evidence of the Camera Perspective Bias in Authentic Videotaped Interrogations: Implications for Emerging Reform in the Criminal Justice System

NCJ Number
Legal and Criminological Psychology Volume: 14 Issue: 1 Dated: February 2009 Pages: 157-170
G. Daniel Lassiter; Lezlee J. Ware; Jennifer J. Ratcliff; Clinton R. Irvin
Date Published
February 2009
14 pages
Two experiments are reported in answering the question of whether camera perspective bias occurs when authentic videotaped interrogations are evaluated.
The investigations were the first to demonstrate that the camera perspective bias found previously with simulated videotaped interrogations/confessions also emerged when authentic videotapes (recorded by police and depicting actual suspects and interrogations) were evaluated. Numerous previous experiments had established the existence of a camera perspective bias in evaluations of videotaped interrogations/confessions: videotapes that made the suspect more visually conspicuous than the interrogator by virtue of focusing the camera on the suspect yielded assessments of voluntariness and judgments of guilt that were greater than those found when alternative presentation formats were used. However, a limitation of this the research was that all the interrogations/confessions used were simulations. Through two experiments: comparing judgments of voluntariness based on viewing two authentic videotaped confessions and comparing judgments of voluntariness and guilt of an originally equal-focused videotaped confession that was edited to produce suspect-focus and interrogation-focus versions, this study addressed the issue of camera perspective bias in relation to authentic videotapes recorded by police and depicting actual suspects and interrogations. Tables and references