Forensic Psychology: From Classroom to Courtroom
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Report broken links here. Mock jury scenario - an online interactive scenario. New eyewitness recommendations from the Department of Justice - good example of applying psychological research to the real world. Various activities and other resources - Some of you may have seen this resource found at the American Psychology-Law Society website. It describes a number of law related activities, demonstration materials, Internet resources and other teaching materials.
The Memory Factory 1: The fiction of memory - The entire first episode, "Brains on trial: Deciding punishment," is available for viewing at the above link. The research he discovers poses the controversial question: Possible mistakes in death penalty cases - Wrongful convictions - The section of her talk on this topic begins about Lie detection - How accurate is visual memory?
The link takes you to the full episode of that show. The segment on eyewitness testimony starts at Here is a transcript and a brief video clip from the show, but it is worth watching Elizabeth Loftus describe the Bugs Bunny at Disney World study. Documentary of an entire criminal case - 1: Anatomy of a criminal case" is now available for viewing online. The documentary first shown on ABC News quite a few years ago follows a single case from beginning to end. Scroll down and you will find this interesting assignment using the National Registry of Exonerations website.
Portrayal of jury decision-making in popular culture - In her Social Psychology in the Courtroom course, Kristi Costabile assigns her students to "choose a film or TV show focused on the courtroom and analyze whether the theories and strategies discussed in class are represented accurately in the film. Pretrial publicity assignment - In her Psychology and Law course, Amy Posey ask her students to imagine they are a team of trial consultants who have been hired to "conduct research that will determine whether there is sufficient local bias against their client to warrant the change of venue.
What happens if the mayor is your jury foreman? Majority influence - Story of a woman who was a "holdout juror" until she finally went along with the majority. She felt so guilty about it that she paid the fine of the convicted person. This link is to an interview of someone who is similarly applying social psych research to help the "Pittsburgh police confront their racial biases. I'm trying to get in on the above twitter thread. Contaminated forensic evidence is unreliable.
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Black law associates viewed as less competent - interesting study in which partners judged Black associates' writing more harshly than that of White associates. Genetic defense could backfire - "Genetic explanations for violent crime may encourage jurors to support an insanity defense, but jurors may also believe the defendant is a persistent threat who will commit more crimes in the future, according to new research published by the Society for Personality and Social Psychology. Attractive mug shot goes viral - "Jeremy Meeks is a convicted felon, an alleged gang member and is currently being held in jail on more felony weapons charges.
Yet, Meeks has a Facebook page with over , fans. And the hashtag FreeJeremyMeeks is trending on Twitter. Are the experts biased? Very interesting test of experienced, practicing forensic experts.
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You could have predicted the results, right? Is it always bad? Once this occurs, confirmation bias may lead police to seek information that validates their presumption of guilt, such as focusing on defensive behavior that stems from stereotype threat. The literature also indicated that once a suspect is classified as guilty, police are more likely to use coercive methods, and that the desire to escape from these coercive methods may lead to false confessions.
Rape myths impede justice - Blog entry covering an international conference on sexual violence discusses certain myths that block the justice system from getting more convictions and what to do about it. The blog entry also contains a public service video from New Zealand pushing "the idea that everyone is responsibility for the safety of those around them.
Legal barriers to economic inclusion for women - "Women, Business and the Law Judges grant paroles far more after a bite to eat - Interesting study reviewing 1, parole board hearings in Israeli prisons -- the differences are dramatic. Right after a lunch break or a snack break potential parolees were much more likely to be granted parole than those considered right before a break. Here is another blog entry about the study.
The value of metaphors - Interesting study looked at how metaphors can shape jurors' interpretations and preferences. Agreement was a bit lower -- 61 percent -- in cases where defendants were being reevaluated after undergoing competency restoration treatment. Memory for our prior intentions is unreliable - "Nearly six hundred undergrads answered open-ended questions about why they'd purchased, downloaded or copied their most recently acquired album the vast majority had acquired one within the last two weeks , and then they provided the same information again six months to a year later.
The participants' answers fell into five main categories: The key finding was that only one in five participants gave a consistent reason or reasons at both time points Unsurprisingly perhaps, participants who recalled more reasons at the first time point tended to be more prone to forgetting reasons when quizzed again later.
This was also true of participants who reported liking their CD more, perhaps because they'd felt less need to dwell on their motives at the time they acquired the album. A subset of 82 of the participants also gave their reasons at a third time point, approximately six months to a year after the second time of questioning. Although still evident, changes in memory between the second and third time points were far reduced compared with between the first and second time points. This is important for real-life legal situations because consistency of answers across later interviews could be interpreted as a sign of memory reliability.
The Arizona shooting - This blog entry does a nice job of examining some of the analysis and solutions that followed the shootings in Arizona, and some of the myths surrounding events like this one. Should I remove my tattoos first? You must cheer for your rapist - Did you hear about this case? A girl was kicked off her high school cheerleading squad because she refused to cheer for her alleged rapist.
Manipulating memory - Slate magazine has an excellent eight-part series on how memory can be manipulated. The real story here though is of the use and misuse of evidence, psychological and forensic, and its effect on a jury and a criminal justice system. Using the N-word and hate crimes - Very interesting article about the question of whether a white using the N-word toward a black is automatically the sign of racial animus.
It begins with a very interesting court case on this subject. The use of experts - interesting article about how the U. Here is the research study. Race and the death penalty - a blog about some research: When something that harms them was nearly avoided, or when they narrowly escape being harmed by something, or when they almost acquire something they want, but nevertheless fail to do so, they tend to react more strongly than when a harm that befalls them was unavoidable or when a potential harm never came close to occurring, or when they miss getting the thing they want by a lot.
In this article, we explore these psychological phenomena and their implications for legal policy and process. The Wonderlic test, stereotype threat and the law - "The Wonderlic is a twelve-minute, fifty-question exam designed to assess aptitude for learning a job and adapting to solve problems.
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Sometimes it is viewed as an IQ test of prospective professional football players. This paper looks at whether stereotype threat is in play when players take the test, and it examines some of the legal implications of this process. Lots of good resources included. Forensic "science" - I can't recommend this series enough. This five-part series published by the Chicago Tribune does a fantastic job of exposing the lack of scientific support for many forensic techniques such as fingerprinting, arson investigation, and firearm and bite mark identification.
It also describes quite well how the justice system and juries so easily fall for the claims of supposed "experts," how they became "experts," and why it is so easy for many of them engage in confirmation bias and belief perseverance. Documentary of an entire criminal case - "The shooting of big man: The 1 hr, 40 min. Justice Information Center - extensive set of reports, articles and links related to the judicial system.
Federal Justice Statistics Resource Center - search "database to find data about specific events and outcomes, such as the number of defendants prosecuted, convicted, and sentenced in a given year; download Federal criminal justice datasets for more in-depth analysis"; and more. Police interrogation - This article takes you through historical methods of interrogation up to the newer ones proposed or used now.
The Central Park Jogger case - a brief review of the case and the interrogation techniques used to draw the false confessions. False confessions, lie detection, and mental illness - This article reviews some research presented at the APS convention. You can be led to falsely believe you committed a crime - Yes, I mean you. The research, published in Psychological Science , a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, indicates that the participants came to internalize the stories they were told, providing rich and detailed descriptions of events that never actually took place.
Videotaping interrogations - Blog entry reviews some recent research and discussion of the pros and cons of such videotaping. A case of false confession in Iceland - "The BBC News site has a special multimedia feature on a case of false confession to murder that has been troubling Iceland from the s and has recently erupted again. False confessions - This brief article reviews some research on false confessions. False confessions and eyewitness misidentifications - Here is another good essay on common errors in the court system. Why do people confess to crimes they didn't commit?
Interrogation and false confessions - This interesting study "compares two types of interrogation technique and found that it is so-called 'minimising' questions and remarks - those that downplay the seriousness of the offence, and which blame other people or circumstances - that are the most likely to lead to a false confession. And what can be done to stop it? Will jurors use genetic background of defendants to lessen their guilt or sentence? Jury consultant "Bull" - This real-life jury consultant reflects on the problems with the TV portrayal of a character many of your students might watch.
I know, crazy right? After TV is spot-on with its portrayal of every other group in society, this would be the one it gets wrong! Slow-motion video increases jurors' belief that an act is intentional - fascinating and scary research. Jurors are identifying as multiracial more frequently.
Responding to juror holdouts - Interesting study found that if the one holdout juror was a MALE and expressed anger the other jurors started doubting their original position. However, if the holdout was FEMALE and expressed anger the other jurors became more confident in their original judgments. Changing political ideology of jurors - interesting review of recent research on how jurors are describing themselves.
Death-qualified juries - Since a growing number of people oppose the death penalty, and those who oppose it are often kicked off juries considering it, are such juries unfair to the defendents? Wishing versus believing - This blog entry describes some interesting research that compared what people wish for versus what they believe. Half of the subject were conflicted about the issue and indicated that they intended to use day care for their children.
The subjects were motivated to believe that day care was as good as home care. The un-conflicted group indicated that they intended to use only home care. The subjects were given two fictional studies. Half the subjects were led to believe study 1 favored day care and study 2 home care; the other half of the subjects were led to believe the opposite for studies 1 and 2.
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After reading the studies, the subjects evaluated which of the two studies provided more valid conclusions, listed the strengths and weaknesses and evaluated the persuasiveness of each study. The results of the study dramatically showed subjects were more persuaded by scientific evidence that confirmed what they wished to be true than what they initially believed to be true. Stereotypes and peremptory challenges - "Rather than denying the existence of stereotyping or asking people to continually suppress a basic human instinct, there is a better way to help reduce demographic profiling in forbidden areas.
The simple answer is to increase the time for voir dire and utilize jury questionnaires. Sharing initial preferences - This blog entry summarizes the research by recommending "don't start group discussions by sharing initial preferences. Nope, not going to tell you. You have to go read it. Racial biases in memory of judges and juries - "In this article, I claim that judges and jurors unknowingly misremember case facts in racially biased ways.
Drawing upon studies from implicit social cognition, human memory research, and legal decisionmaking, I argue that implicit racial biases affect the way judges and jurors encode, store, and recall relevant case facts. A fascinating case of possible juror bias - Sam Sommers, in his always interesting blog, Science of Small Talk , relates a fascinating tale: This was supposed to be the final chapter in a murder drama that had captured attention regionally and nationally.
But within days of the verdict, three different jurors came forward with concerns about the jury's verdict as well as the process by which it was reached. These concerns would serve as the impetus for an extraordinarily rare legal hearing in which the jurors from the case were called back to the courthouse more than one year after the verdict.
One-by-one, they would take the stand and answer questions about what had transpired in the jury room. Specifically, the hearing examined whether particular jurors had made racially biased statements during deliberations, and, if they had, whether such statements had influenced the trial's outcome. Currently, there are three installments. Here is the fourth and final segment. As you will read, Sam also appeared in court in this case as an expert witness. I love the first question he was asked as he describes it: O'Keefe during my cross-examination: Did you wear the glasses in court as opposed to going sans glasses in your blog photo to appear younger, more authoritative, or both?
Lots of possible uses for this well-told story in your course. A poll on juries and jury duty - This blogger addresses this new survey through the "lens of race. Juries coming to Japan - I didn't know Japan didn't have juries. They will starting in according to this fascinating story, and they are going through some very interesting cultural adjustments.
New research shows that a sales pitch is more persuasive when it confuses the customer. Spotting UFO jurors before they enter the jury room," describes what was learned from "initially silent prospective jurors" and how they learned it.
Lying and Lie Detection. Lie detection approach foiled by made-up alibi - Using the idea that lying is more mentally demanding than telling the truth, techniques using speed of response are used to detect lying.
This research suggests that that technique can be beaten. Liars, lies, and lying - summary of a few studies. How to tell if someone is lying - some suggestions from experts. An update on lying and lying research. Do you need to see someone's whole face to detect deception?
In fact, you might be more accurate if you can just see a person's eyes. A reanalysis of the data brings this conclusion into question. The power of self-deception - When participants were "accidentally" given the answers on a first test, they predicted they would do better than a control group predicted for its performance on a second test even though no answers were available this time around. The new lie-detection signal?
Everyday liars and prolific liars - "As the researchers say, 'it is normal for people to tell a few lies, and many lies are minor transgressions or simply efforts to avoid being hurtful'. The prolific liar whether in the US or the UK operates outside the norms for lying and thus needs to be studied separately. Why is it so hard to detect lying? Detecting artful dodging - Can you tell when someone is dodging a question, in the courtroom or elsewhere? This interesting article applies inattentional blindness research to explain why we sometimes don't recognize the dodge.
Lie detection through drawings - Very cool study -- "Aldert Vrij's new study involved 31 police and military participants going on a mock mission to pick up a package from another agent before delivering it somewhere else. Afterwards the participants answered questions about the mission. Crucially, they were also asked to draw the scene of the package pick-up. Half the participants acted as truth-tellers, the others played the part of liars. Vrij's team reasoned that clever liars would visualise a location they'd been to, other than where the exchange took place, and draw that. They further reasoned that this would mean they'd forget to include the agent who participated in the exchange.
This thinking proved shrewd: Download e-book for iPad: Psychic Assaults and Frightened Clinicians: This publication is probably going to problem readers' understandings in their personal activities and reactions. Evaluating Eyewitness Identification Best Practices for.
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