Abstract

Groups of individuals with or without mental retardation, all of whom were currently on probation, were tested with measures of comprehension of Miranda rights and of suggestibility. As in previous work, participants with mental retardation were found to be less able to comprehend their Miranda rights. In addition, they were significantly more likely to respond to suggestive questioning and to change their answers. Significant correlations were found between measures of comprehension of Miranda rights and measures of suggestibility. Implications of these results were discussed.

Portions of this manuscript were presented by the first author at the annual meeting of the American Association on Mental Retardation, San Antonio, May 1996, and by both authors at a poster session at the biennial conference of the American Psychology–Law Society, Hilton Head, SC, March 1996. The authors gratefully acknowledge Iva Sawtell, Miami University student, for her excellent assistance in data-collection, analysis, and project implementation; Leslie Rouse, Hamilton County probation officer, for her assistance in participant recruitment; and the Hamilton County Office of Probation for their cooperation with project implementation. We also thank Gisli Gudjonsson for permitting us to use a modified version of his instrument.

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