Year of Publication


Season of Publication


Paper Type

Master's Thesis


College of Arts and Sciences

Degree Name

Master of Arts in General Psychology (MAGP)



NACO controlled Corporate Body

University of North Florida. Department of Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Michael P. Toglia

Second Advisor

Dr. Christopher Leone

Department Chair

Dr. Michael P. Toglia

College Dean

Dr. Barbara Hetrick


Hamilton’s Rule (1964) involves the notion that the likelihood of an altruistic act being performed is predicted by the degree of relatedness between the recipient and the donor. Therefore, the extent to which people would be willing to lie for a defendant is a function of the degree of biological relationship between the defendant and the alibi witness. The researchers of the current study presented participants with one murder and one burglary packet containing a police report summary and a hypothetical scenario. The summary police report detailed case facts, evidence collected, and witness statements. Following their reading of the police report summary participants made judgments on witness’ credibility, defendant’s guilt and types of evidence. In the hypothetical scenarios, participants were asked to imagine their father or male friend is pleading with them to act as an alibi witness. Participants then agreed or disagreed to serve as an alibi witness. Overall, the researchers found participants were unwilling to provide false alibis, however, when they were, participants gave false alibis for their father more often than for their friend. Limitations may be a restricted sample, evidence certainty, and the yes or no decision to providing a false alibi. Future research should include an examination of individual differences and moral development.

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