Perjury: Establishing a Better Understanding of the Forgotten Crime
Crank, Stephanie Dayle
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Research in the forensic psychology field has primarily focused on eye-witness testimony. Although eye-witness testimony is an important topic to review, it leaves many issues in the legal system, such as perjury, to rely on precedence. Perjury is the willful presentation of false information as truth. Perjury is deception within the legal system, and research indicates that legal personnel, including police officers, detective, and secret service agents, detect deception slightly above chance levels. Little research has been done to determine how often and why perjury occurs. Two studies were conducted to address the rate and incentive of perjury. Study one was an online survey which measured perjury frequencies. Study two was designed to replicate perjury-like behaviors. The results indicated that perjury occurs in 29.9% of the interactions with legal personnel. Individuals who received money as an incentive and individuals who did not were equally likely to engage in perjury behaviors.