Publication Date


Document Type



The Reid Technique is a police interrogation technique that relies on pressure to elicit information from people suspected of a crime. The Reid Technique optimizes the intense stress of being under interrogation to pressure people to confess, which leads to an unfortunate rate of false confessions. This paper draws on theories of systemic disinformation to articulate the effects of disinformation within the US justice system. Firstly, by encouraging interrogators to misinterpret their implicit biases as "intuition," the Reid Technique disproportionately affects people already vulnerable to the prejudices encoded within what is considered common knowledge. Secondly, by encouraging interrogators to falsely claim that they have evidence that, in fact, does not exist, the Reid Technique exploits vulnerable people by causing them to doubt their experiences as a legitimate form of knowledge.



Download Full Text (188 KB)

The Systemic Side of Disinformation: The Reid Technique as Exploitative Knowledge Production