Genuine and simulated suicide notes: An analysis of content

Maria Ioannou, Agata Debowska

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The present study examined genuine and simulated suicide notes aiming to identify the measures of content that best differentiate between the two. Thirty-three genuine and thirty-three simulated suicide notes were content-analysed and data subjected to smallest space analysis (SSA), a Multidimensional Scaling Procedure. The core of all suicide notes was discovered to be constructed with the use of three variables: expressions of love, positive construction of partner and apologies. Furthermore, four different genuine suicide note themes ('planned escape', 'negative affect and self-mitigation', 'positive affect and failed relationship', 'lack of self-acceptance') and three simulated suicide note themes ('escape', 'positive affect and self-blame', 'purposeless life') were identified revealing that authentic suicide note themes were more internally consistent and clearer to interpret.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-160
Number of pages10
JournalForensic Science International
Volume245
Early online date1 Nov 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2014

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