"Midnight Confessions": The Effect of Chronotype Asynchrony on Admissions of Wrongdoing

Kyle C. Scherr, Jeffrey Conrath Miller, Saul M. Kassin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Confession evidence is highly incriminating in court. We examined the interaction between chronotype and time of day on the confession decisions of 60 participants using an experimental paradigm. Pre-identified morning- and evening-type people were randomly assigned to participate in morning or evening sessions. Results supported an interactional asynchrony hypothesis that individuals are more likely to confess during "off-peak" periods (i.e., evening-types in the morning and morning-types in the evening). This interaction was obtained for both high- and low-seriousness transgressions. These results suggest that chronotype asynchrony constitutes a significant risk factor for false confessions and the wrongful convictions that often follow.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)321-328
Number of pages8
JournalBasic and Applied Social Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2014


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