Law and Human Behavior

, Volume 34, Issue 1, pp 66–78 | Cite as

The Role of Suggestibility in Determinations of Miranda Abilities: A Study of the Gudjonsson Suggestibility Scales

  • Richard Rogers
  • Kimberly S. Harrison
  • Jill E. Rogstad
  • Kathryn A. LaFortune
  • Lisa L. Hazelwood
Original Article


Traditionally, high levels of suggestibility have been widely assumed to be linked with diminished Miranda abilities, especially in relationship to the voluntariness of waivers. The current investigation examined suggestibility on the Gudjonsson Suggestibility Scales in a multisite study of pretrial defendants. One important finding was the inapplicability of British norms to American jurisdictions. Moreover, suggestibility appeared unrelated to Miranda comprehension, reasoning, and detainees’ perceptions of police coercion. In testing rival hypotheses, defendants with high compliance had significantly lower Miranda comprehension and ability to reason about exercising Miranda rights than their counterparts with low compliance. Implications of these findings to forensic practice are examined.


Miranda Suggestibility Compliance Voluntariness Waiver 



This study was supported by grants (#0418057, #0615934, and #0817689) from Law and Social Sciences Program, National Science Foundation to Richard Rogers as the principal investigator. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.


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Copyright information

© American Psychology-Law Society/Division 41 of the American Psychological Association 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard Rogers
    • 1
  • Kimberly S. Harrison
    • 2
  • Jill E. Rogstad
    • 1
  • Kathryn A. LaFortune
    • 3
  • Lisa L. Hazelwood
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of North TexasDentonUSA
  2. 2.South Carolina Department of Mental HealthColumbiaUSA
  3. 3.Oklahoma Indigent Defense SystemSapulpaUSA
  4. 4.Patton State HospitalPasadenaUSA

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