Brief Report: Suggestibility, compliance and psychological traits in autism spectrum disorder

Katie L Maras, Dermot M Bowler

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Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) may be over-represented within the criminal justice system; it is therefore important to understand how they fare under police questioning. The present study examined interrogative suggestibility and compliance in individuals with ASD, and whether this is associated with certain psychological traits. Adults with ASD and their typical counterparts completed the Gudjonsson Suggestibility Scales (GSS), Gudjonsson Compliance Scale (GCS), and measures of state-trait anxiety, selfesteem, fear of negative evaluation by others and paranoia. In contrast to previous research (North, Russell, & Gudjonsson, 2008), there was no difference between the ASD and comparison groups on the measure of compliance, and groups also did not differ on any of the GSS measures, despite the ASD group reporting significantly higher paranoia. Findings indicate that individuals with ASD may be no more likely to succumb to interrogative pressures than their typical counterparts.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1168–1175
JournalResearch in Autism Spectrum Disorders
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • autism spectrum disorder
  • memory
  • suggestibility
  • leading questions
  • recall
  • eyewitness
  • individual differences


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