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So Misunderstood: The Alt Key Experiment and False Confessions

Researchers instructed college students to type on a computer keyboard, but students were warned that hitting the ALT key would cause the computer to crash. Later the researchers falsely accused the students of hitting the forbidden key. What percentage of students, presented with bogus evidence, confessed and supplied details about an act they did not commit? Some courts have ruled that the ALT key experiment has no merit, but in appropriate false confession cases defense counsel must educate courts about the experiment’s value.