False accusation  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

False accusations (or groundless accusations or unfounded accusations or false allegations or false claims) can be in any of the following contexts:

Contents

Types

When there is insufficient supporting evidence to determine whether an accusation is true or false, it is described as "unsubstantiated" or "unfounded". Accusations that are determined to be false based on corroborating evidence can be divided into three categories:

  • An allegation that is completely false in that the events that were alleged did not occur;
  • An allegation that describes events that did occur, but were perpetrated by an individual who is not accused, and in which the accused person is innocent.
  • An allegation that is partially true and partially false, in that it mixes descriptions of events that actually happened with other events that did not occur.

A false allegation can occur as the result of intentional lying on the part of the accuser; or unintentionally, due to a confabulation, either arising spontaneously due to mental illness or resulting from deliberate or accidental suggestive questioning, or faulty interviewing techniques. Researchers Poole and Lindsay suggested in 1997 applying separate labels to the two concepts, proposing the term "false allegations" be used specifically when the accuser is aware they are lying, and "false suspicions" (weasel word phrase; dissimulation) for the wider range of false accusations in which suggestive questioning may have been involved.

Rape

False accusation of rape

The statistics on false accusations of rape vary widely, from 2% to Eugene Kanin's (1994) figure of 41%, which derived from a case study of a police agency in a metropolitan city in the Midwest. John Bancroft states that a search of the literature on false rape reports reveals that Kanin's figure of 41% false rape reports is regarded as unusually high. FBI statistics for the annual rate of false reporting of forcible assault across the country have been a consistent 8%.

Child abuse

False accusations of child sexual abuse

A false allegation of child sexual abuse is an accusation that a person committed one or more acts of child sexual abuse when in reality there was no perpetration of abuse by the accused person as alleged. Such accusations can be brought by the victim, or by another person on the alleged victim's behalf. Studies of child abuse allegations suggest that the overall rate of false accusation is under 10%, as approximated based on multiple studies. Of the allegations determined to be false, only a small portion originated with the child, the studies showed; most false allegations originated with an adult bringing the accusations on behalf of a child, and of those, a large majority occurred in the context of divorce and child-custody battles.

Workplace bullying

Workplace bullying

Research by the Workplace Bullying Institute, suggests that "falsely accused someone of 'errors' not actually made" is the most common of all bullying tactics experienced, in 71 percent of cases.

Workplace mobbing

Workplace mobbing can be considered as a "virus" or a "cancer" that spreads throughout the workplace via gossip, rumour and unfounded accusations.

Münchausen syndrome by proxy

Münchausen syndrome by proxy

The case has been made that diagnoses of Münchausen syndrome by proxy, that is harming someone else to get attention for yourself, are often false or highly questionable.

Stalking

Main article: False claims of stalking, gang stalking and delusions of persecution

In 1999, Pathe, Mullen and Purcell wrote that popular interest in stalking was promoting false claims. In 2004, Sheridan and Blaauw said that they estimated that 11.5% of claims in a sample of 357 reported claims of stalking were false.

Narcissistic rage

Narcissistic rage

Rage by a narcissist is directed towards the person that they feel has slighted them. This rage impairs their cognition, therefore impairing their judgment. During the rage, they are prone to shouting, fact distortion and making groundless accusations.

Psychological projection

Psychological projection

Psychological projection can be established as a means of obtaining or justifying certain actions that would normally be found atrocious or heinous. This often means projecting false accusations, information, etc., onto an individual for the sole purpose of maintaining a self-created illusion.

See also




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "False accusation" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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