A2 Psychology - Forensics

All forensic studies included. 

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  • Created on: 02-05-13 19:43
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Turning to crime
Disrupted Families ­ Farrington
Learning from others ­ Sutherland/Bandura
Poverty and Disadvantaged neighborhoods - Wikstrom
Criminal thinking patterns ­ Yochelson and Samenow
Moral development ­ Kohlberg
Social cognition ­ Gudjohnson
Brain Dysfunction ­ Raine
Genes and Serotonin ­ Brunner et al.
Gender ­ Daly and Wilson
Reaching a verdict
Persuading a jury
Effects of order of testimony ­ Pennington and Hastie
Persuasion ­ Cutler
Evidence being ruled in admissible ­ Pickel
Witness appeal
Attractiveness of the defendant ­ Castellow et al.
Witness confidence ­ Penrod and cutler
Child as a witness ­ Ross et al.
Reaching a verdict
Steps in decision making ­ Hastie et al.
Majority influence - Asch
Minority influence ­ Nermeth and Watchler
After a guilty verdict
Planned behaviour once freed from jail ­ Gillis and Nafekh
Depression and suicide risks ­ Dooley
Roles and prison situation ­ Haney and Zimbardo
Alternatives to imprisonment
Probation ­ Mair and May
Restorative justice ­ Sherman and Strang
Looking deathworthy ­ Eberhardt
Treatment programmes
Cognitive skills programmes ­ Cann
Anger management ­ Ireland

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Ear acupuncture for drug rehabilitation ­ Wheatley
Disrupted Families ­ Farrington:
Aim: to measure the start, duration and end of criminal behaviour/acts from childhood to adulthood
in families. To see whether there are integenerational transmition
Sample: 411 working class male from East London, who were mostly White.
Method: Longitudinal study, self-report method was used, criminal records were looked at and
participants started off at ages 8-9 years and were interviewed of 48 years.…read more

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Conclusion: Family's social position; individual characteristics; social situation' lifestyles and routine
activities and community contexts influence criminal behaviour.
Criminal Thinking Patterns ­ Yochelson and Samenow
Aim: to understand the make-up of criminal personality;
to establish techniques that could be used to alter the personality disorders that produce crime;
to encourage an understanding of legal responsibility;
to establish techniques that can be effective in preventing criminal behaviour.
Sample: 255 males from various backgrounds ­wealthy, poor, middle class, working class, black and
white.…read more

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English sample.
Sample: 80 criminals who were serving sentences in Northern Ireland. They were divided into groups.
First group of 20 Ps aged 29years had committed violent offences (homicide, bodily harm). The second
group of 40 Ps aged 41years and 28years were sex offenders (paedophiles, rapists, sexual assault).
Final group of 20 Ps aged 29years had committed property offences.…read more

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However, this condition is very rare and even in this family, those who did suffer from
mental retardation, did not resort to violence.
Gender ­ Daly and Wilson
Aim: to find out if homicide rates would vary as a function of local life expectancy in Chicago.
Method: Correlational study using survey data from criminal records and local demographical records
collected by census. The study examined local communities in Chicago which had lower than average
male life expectancies, varying from 54.3 to 77.…read more

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Persuasion ­ Cutler et al.
Aim: to investigate whether hearing about psychological research from an expert witness would affect
a juror's decision making by making them more sceptical about such testimony.
Sample: 538 undergraduates who were given credits for their introductory psychology course.
Method: Laboratory experiment which involved using a videotape mock trial that was based on
robbery. Questionnaire contained dependent measures: verdict, memory test, rating scales on how
confident they are with their decisions.…read more

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Results: Analysis of the ratings revealed that physically attractive defendants and victims were rated
positively on other personality variables as well. When the defendant was attractive, guilty verdicts
were found 56% of the time against 76% for an unattractive defendant. When the victim was
attractive, the guilty verdict followed 77% of the time with 55% for the unattractive victim. Both
genders were equally influenced by appearance.
Conclusion: It seems that appearance does affect the jury's verdicts.…read more

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Reaching a verdict
Stages in decision making ­ Hastie et al.
Orientation Relaxed and open discussion
period Set the agenda
Raise questions and explore facts
Different opinions arise
Open Fierce debate
confrontation Focus on detail
Explore different interpretations
Pressure on the minority to conform
Support for the group decision is established
Reconciliation Attempts to smooth over conflicts
Tension released through humour
Majority influence ­ Asch
Aim: to investigate the effects of conformity to a majority when the task is unambiguous.
Method: Laboratory experiment.…read more

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Results: The confederate experts influence when he is consistent and when he is perceived as
autonomous because he has chosen his seat, whereas when seated by the experimenter he has little
influence. Moreover, when he has been influential, this effect continuous into a second case. When he
sits at the head of the table he is seen as more confident and consistent.
Conclusion: This has interesting repercussions for the jury room where people sit around a long table.…read more

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Racial bias ­ too black prisoners (48%)
- Drug offenders over represented
- Super max prisons
Part Two ­ Suggestions of changes that still need to be made:
- More resources
- Individual differences
- Psychological harm
- Violent prisoners more dangerous
Alternatives to Imprisonment
Probation ­ Mair and May
Aim: to investigate the experiences of offenders on probation orders in a cross-section of offices in
England and Wales.…read more


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