Why People Confess to Things They Didn’t Do. A lecture by Dr. Richard Ofshe

National Cassette Services

2001 NACDL seminar - Forensic and Psychological Aspects of Trial

Why People Confess to Things They Didn't by Dr. Richard Ofshe



Thanks to Mike M. for sending me this talk on cassette tape.

  6 comments for “Why People Confess to Things They Didn’t Do. A lecture by Dr. Richard Ofshe

  1. Paul Carpenter
    December 2, 2012 at 12:53 am

    This is a topic well worth thinking about. If you ever listened to Al Lewis on WBAI, he often went into exactly this topic.

  2. Ryan Caron
    December 2, 2012 at 5:28 am

    Very interesting.

    Thanks Jan.

  3. robert42
    December 2, 2012 at 6:41 am

    Very interesting, and a good accompaniment to the http://www.youtube.com/user/FlexYourRights videos.

    Just a couple of points:

    1. The references to “Supreme Court” decisions is an Argumentum ad Verecundiam no different in kind than appeals to “the Constitution,” although understandable given that he was speaking to an audience of attorneys.

    2. A couple of times he appeals to the prejudice of his listeners by using media-induced caricatures of southern-U.S. people: the courtroom in Arkansas was supposedly “like a scene out of Deliverance” and the Florida court was “like Arcadia” (an historical theme park).

    So, one extracts the useful parts and discards the superfluous.

    • Jan Irvin
      December 2, 2012 at 11:00 am

      Exactly, don’t throw the baby out with the bath water, don’t kill the messenger, don’t poison the well, and use critical thinking to take what’s of value and toss what isn’t.

      it’s amazing to me how so many people can’t grasp what you’ve so easily comprehended on your first post.

      • Aaron Garringer
        December 4, 2012 at 9:23 pm

        Hey Jan, this is my first post. I’ve been listening to your show for the last two years, and would like to say thanks and keep it up!

        I purchased the Trivium from your website, as well as a logic book; I hope you got some kick backs from that.

        After the exchanges you had with those trolls in the comment section of your previous article, I had to sign up and say, “fear not, whenever shit heads like that get you down, know that there are people you’ve never met, and likely haven’t heard from that enjoy your work”…”keep it up”

        I was prompted to write you after reading Robert42’s comment and your response; there are other fallacy hunters out there : )

        “Why People Confess to Things They Didn’t Do” was a great podcast by the way, thanks!

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