To the top

Page Manager: Webmaster
Last update: 9/11/2012 3:13 PM

Tell a friend about this page
Print version

Asymmetrical scepticism t… - University of Gothenburg, Sweden Till startsida
To content Read more about how we use cookies on

Asymmetrical scepticism toward criminal evidence: The role of goal- and belief-consistency

Journal article
Authors Tamara Marksteiner
Karl Ask
Marc-André Reinhard
Pär-Anders Granhag
Published in Applied Cognitive Psychology
Volume 25
Pages 541-547
Publication year 2011
Published at Department of Psychology
Pages 541-547
Language en
Subject categories Psychology


Previous demonstrations of asymmetrical scepticism (i.e., that investigators perceive evidence inconsistent [vs. consistent] with the focal hypothesis of a case as less reliable) have failed to account for the underlying mechanism. This study examined whether inconsistent evidence is discredited due to its inconsistency with a prior belief or because it conflicts with the goal to reach closure in a case. Police trainees (N = 107) were presented with a homicide case and judged the reliability of incriminating or exonerating evidence while entertaining a ‘guilty’ or ‘innocent’ hypothesis concerning a suspect. Asymmetrical scepticism was observed in the guilty condition, but not in the innocent condition, partially supporting the goal-consistency explanation. Implications for the organization of criminal investigations are discussed.

Page Manager: Webmaster|Last update: 9/11/2012

The University of Gothenburg uses cookies to provide you with the best possible user experience. By continuing on this website, you approve of our use of cookies.  What are cookies?