What is Guilt Manipulation and a Critical Implication for Police

As a law enforcer, one of your chief duties is to reduce crime and to work toward getting those who are guilty off the streets. Police are often accused of using persuasive manipulation techniques when it comes to conducting interrogations, a process coined guilt manipulation. Learn more about what guilt manipulation is and one very important implications for police when it comes to interrogation.

What is the Mindset of a Police Officer?

Police use persuasive manipulation techniques when conducting interrogations in hopes of obtaining a confession. These can include lying about evidence, making suspects believe they are there to help them, or pretending to be the suspect’s friends. After enough time and persuasion suspects are likely to conform to the investigators’ demands for a confession, even if it was to a crime they did not commit.

The Danger of Guilt Manipulation

From the many studies which have been done on guilt manipulation, one theme has run through them all—that is that once guilt is introduced or “induced” in the subject, it can be directed into greater compliance with requests that are not necessarily related to the original source of guilt.

One Implication for Police Interrogations

Many police officers are given limited training when it comes to interview techniques, which may lead them to applying or developing their own techniques, blind to the outcomes or goals that are associated with guilt manipulation. One important implication is ensuring that those who do interrogate suspects are provided training on both how to interrogate suspects and interview witnesses and victims. After all, it’s not only the confessions that are important, but the complete story, and preventing innocent people from being false accused should be at the top of every law enforcer’s list.

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