What is it about?

In the present study, the intuitive ability of police to discriminate between real and false statements of people with mild and moderate (IQ range = 50–80, average = 60.0) intellectual disabilities (ID) was analyzed. The assessments issued by groups with different levels of experience in police techniques (psychology students, and police officers) were compared.

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Why is it important?

The results showed no differences between the two groups in their ability to discriminate (d′ = 0.785 and d′ = 0.644, respectively). When the experience of the police was taken into consideration, no differences were found between “experienced” and “novice” police officers (d′ = 0.721 and d′ = 0.582, respectively). No differences were found in response criteria, which were neutral in all cases. Moreover, 34.73% of cases evaluated by the inexperienced group were incorrectly discriminated, in comparison to the 37.75% of incorrect assessments made by police. The implications of the limited ability of intuition to discriminate between real and simulated victims with ID, which did not yield significant differences between experienced and inexperienced assessors in obtaining and assessing statements, are discussed.


In light of the results of this study, it is concluded that adequate resources and standardized procedures to properly address people with ID who come into contact with the police and judicial institutions need to be provided.

Antonio L. Manzanero
Universidad Complutense de Madrid

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: (The null) Importance of police experience on intuitive credibility of people with intellectual disabilities, Research in Developmental Disabilities, January 2015, Elsevier,
DOI: 10.1016/j.ridd.2014.10.009.
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