The gestural misinformation effect: skewing eyewitness testimony through gesture

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)
780 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

The susceptibility of eyewitnesses to verbal suggestion has been well documented, although little attention has been paid to the role of nonverbal communication in misinformation. Three experiments are reported; in each, participants watched footage of a crime scene before being questioned about what they had observed. In Experiments 1 and 2, an on-screen interviewer accompanied identically worded questions with gestures that either conveyed accurate information about the scene or conveyed false, misleading information. The misleading gestures significantly influenced recall, and participants' responses were consistent with the gestured information. In Experiment 3, a live interview was conducted, and the gestural misinformation effect was found to be robust; participants were influenced by misleading gestures performed by the interviewer during questioning. These findings provide compelling evidence for the gestural misinformation effect, whereby subtle hand gestures can implant information and distort the testimony of eyewitnesses. The practical and legal implications of these findings are discussed
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)301-14
JournalAmerican Journal of Psychology
Volume126
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'The gestural misinformation effect: skewing eyewitness testimony through gesture'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this