New Bachelor Thesis Assignments

What went well, was done well: Testing the outcome bias when judging the quality of police interrogations


People’s judgements of behaviour is often coloured by the outcomes of that behaviour, whereas, in fact, it should be coloured by the behaviour only. This tendency is referred to as the outcome bias (Baron & Hershey, 1988). Imagine that you are asked to hold a baby for a few minutes while the mother is putting on her coat. The baby lies quietly in your arms, and you are praised for being a great babysitter. But what if the baby would have started crying? You would probably not have received the same compliment despite your behaviour being factually the same. This is an innocent example of how outcomes can influence behavioural assessments. In the legal arena, however, the outcome bias can have more profound consequences. Consider judges who need to determine the negligence of a neighbour whose burning candles caused a serious fire in the flat. Despite severe consequences, it is the behaviour and not the outcome that must be assessed. Moreover, consider a police officer who elicited a confession from a murder suspect who later turned out to be innocent. An internal investigation might be requested to examine the police officers role in the false confession. The investigators should disregard the false confession in their examination of the police officer’s behaviour. But will they be able to do so?

This project examines the influence of outcome knowledge on assessments of interrogation quality

This project is open to more than one student

Research Questions

How does outcome knowledge impact assessments of interrogation quality?

It is predicted that an interrogation is judged more positively when the interrogation results in a true confesses compared to a false confession.

type of Research

Experimental research


Please contact Jan Gutteling ( when you are interested in this assignment.


2017/2018 Semester 2


Ask, K., & Granhag, P. A. (2010). Perception of line‐up suggestiveness: effects of identification outcome knowledge. Journal of Investigative Psychology and Offender Profiling, 7, 214-230.

Baron, J., & Hershey, J. C. (1988). Outcome bias in decision evaluation. Journal of personality and social psychology, 54(4), 569.