Forensic Psychology

HideShow resource information
  • Created by: Elishiaa
  • Created on: 11-03-16 18:36


  • Turning to Crime: Upbringing: Disruptive Families
  • 411 boys aged 8-9 from 6 state schools in East London, mostly British and working class - they were interviewed again at 48
  • Prospective longitudinal study
  • Sample attrition rate: 11.2%
  • 161 had convictions
  • If boys committed a crime between 10 and 13, re-offending rates were 90%, with 91% having more than one conviction 
  • 'Persisters' (those who had a conviction before and after their 21st birthday) shared common childhood characteristics
  • Risk factors included: criminality in the family, poverty, impulsiveness, poor child rearing, poor school performance
1 of 36


  • Turning to Crime: Upbringing: Learning from Others
  • Background: Bandura's Social Learning Theory - vicarious learning, learn from models, learning does not always result from direct actions
  • 9 principles of criminal behaviour
  • All criminal behaviour is learnt
  • The behaviour is learnt through intimate interactions i.e. not the media (temporal validity?)
  • Differential association
  • Criminal behaviour cannot be explained by need
  • Lack of evidence to support this 
2 of 36


  • Turning to Crime: Poverty and Disadvantaged Neighbourhoods: Wilkstrom
  • 1957 students from 13 state schools in Peterborough
  • Cross-sectional snapshot
  • 92% response rate 
  • Space-and-time-budget analysis
  • 20% of original sample was interviewed about a week's activity
  • Data obtained from the 1991 census
  • Propensity induced: It is a personality characteristic to offend
  • Lifestyle dependent: Those with a high-risk lifestyle will offend, those with a low-risk lifestyle rarely do
  • Situationally limited: Well-adjusted youths who only offend when they get into bad situations
  • Messner (1988): The higher the structural poverty, the higher the crime rate
3 of 36


  • Turning to Crime: Cognition: Social Cognition
  • Heider: Attributions can either be situational or dispositional. They can lead to a fundamental attribution error
  • 80 criminals from Northern Ireland, mean age 28
  • 42-item Gudjonsson Blame Attribution Inventory
  • Guilt, mental element, internal/external
  • Violent (20), sexual (40) and property crimes (20)
  • Sex offenders felt the most guilt (12.7)
  • Cross validated earlier findings of an English sample
  • Violent Irish prisoners attributed their crimes more to external factors
  • Links to Rotter's locus of control 
4 of 36


  • Turning to Crime: Cognition: Criminal Thinking Patterns
  • Cornish and Clark: Criminal behaviour is a result of a rational thinking process; criminals have reasoned and thought about committing their crimes prior to committing them
  • 255 male criminals, half of which had pleaded NGRI
  • Longitudinal study, which lasted over 14 years, during their time working in a mental hospital
  • Only 30 completed all of the interviews (attrition)
  • Freudian-based therapy to find a root cause of behaviour did not work
  • 52 thinking errors created instead e.g. lacking empathy, habitually aggressive, feeling under no obligation to anyone or anything except their own interests
5 of 36


  • Turning to Crime: Biology: Brain Dysfunction
  • Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity (NGRI)
  • Reasons for insanity included schizophrenia, head injury and personal disorders
  • 39 men, 2 women + control group
  • Participants matched for age and sex
  • Participants with schizophrenia were matched with other people with the same diagnosis but had no history of murder
  • All participants were kept medication free for the two weeks before the brain scanning
  • Injected with a glucose tracker
  • Positron Emission Tomography - compared on glucose metabolism
  • Continuous performance task performed for 32 minutes
  • Less activity in the prefrontal cortex (controls primal urges)
  • Less activity in the left side of the amygdala (controls fear) and hippocampus
  • Less activity in the corpus callosum (inability to grasp long-term implications of a situation)
  • Increased activity in the right side of the amygdala, thalamus and hippocampus
6 of 36


  • Turning to Crime: Biology: Sex Differences
  • Typically an 80/20 split between the males and femaled who are convicted of committing a crime
  • Evolutionary theory
  • Male role of hunter and gatherer predisposes them to more risky behaviour
  • Cross-sectional snapshot (varying levels of social and economic prosperity) 
  • Data analysis of homocide cases in Detroit from police records
  • Overwhlemingly committed by unmarried, unemployed, young males
  • Most concerned showing off, retaliation or jealousy
  • Young male offenders had a 'short term horizon'
7 of 36


  • Turning to Crime: Biology: Genes and Serotonin
  • MonoAmineOxidaseA deficiency caused an excess of serotonin
  • 5 males from a family in the Netherlands
  • 2 carrier females and 1 non-carrier female were used as a control group and compared to 3 clinically affected males
  • Quasi experiemnt
  • Urine samples
  • Inability to control aggression caused criminal behaviour
  • Not all the men in the family were afflicted with the inability to control their aggression, even if they suffered mental retardation
  • Price: Male chromosome becomes XYY (The Super Male Gene). 28% in the hospitals had this compared to 0.1% in the population
8 of 36


  • Making a Case: Interviewing Witnesses: Cognitive Interview
  • An interview attempts to elicit as much valid and accurate person from a person or witness as possible
  • Incorrect eyewitness testimonies have led to more miscarriages of justice than all other factors combined
  • Interview similarity
  • Focused retrieval
  • Extensive retrieval
  • Witness-compatible questioning
  • 16 detectives from Florida
  • 7 trained in CI techniques
  • Extracted 63% more accurate information
9 of 36


  • Making a Case: Interviewing Witnesses: Recognising Faces
  • Experiment 1: 30 participants from Stirling University
  • Had to match composites with target photos
  • Group 1 - complete, group 2 - internal features, group 3 - external features
  • Experiment 2: 48 participants from Stirling University
  • Had to match composite to face in line-up
  • Group 1 - internal features, group 2 - external
  • External features were more accurately matched
10 of 36


  • Making a Case: Interviewing Witnesses: Factors Influencing Identification
  • Participants were told the study aimed to research proactive interference - deception
  • Experiment 1: 36 participants from Washington University
  • 18 35-mm slides of a queue in TacoTime. They took out a gun/cheque
  • Each slide was shown for 1.5 seconds
  • 20-item multiple choice questionnaire
  • Had to choose criminal from a 12-person lineup and rate how confident they were (1-6)
  • Eye movements measured with a corneal reflection device
  • Experiment 2: 80 participants
  • Gun group focused on the weapon for longer, making it harder for them to then identify the witness
  • Low ecological validity
11 of 36


  • Making a Case: Interviewing Suspects: False Confessions
  • Types of confession: voluntary, coerced complaint, coerced internalised
  • Gudjonsson Suggestibility Scale: measured yield and shift
  • Narrative paragraph is read to the subject. They report everything they can remember (some leading questions). Told they did it wrong. Do it again. 
  • FC's confession was coerced compliant
  • He was 17 years old
  • Accused of two murders
  • He was of slightly below average intelligence (IQ of 94)
  • His first interview was 14 hours long with no breakes and 5 officers
  • He was a stable extravert, yet he scored 10 for suggestibility
12 of 36


  • Making a Case: Interviewing Suspects: Interrogating Techniques
  • The Reid Technique
  • Direct confrontation
  • Offer chance for justification
  • Interupt denial of guilt
  • Stay close and keep eye contact
  • Pose the 'alternative question'
  • Have a witness to the confession
  • Document admission
13 of 36


  • Making a Case: Interviewing Suspects: Detecting Lies
  • 99 police officers from Kent (24 females, 75 males)
  • Asked to judge truthfulness of interview videos (54 clips) and how confident they were
  • Given a questionnaire about their experience in detecting lies
  • Asked what cues they used
  • Correlation between accuracy and experience
  • Better lie detetors used story cues instead of body cues
  • Body cues included gaze and fidgeting
  • Story cues included vaguness and contradictions
14 of 36


  • Making a Case: Creating a Profile: Case Study
  • Canter's circle theory and bottom-up approach
  • Operation Hart
  • Victims were always women, aged between 15 and 32 and targeted near railway stations in and around London
  • John Duffy - confessed to committing 25 offences 
  • Many similarities between profile and real life
  • Lived in Kilburn
  • Marital issues
  • Few friends
  • Martial artist
  • Knowledge of railways
  • Right handed
  • Small and unattractive
  • Duffy was caught out of 2000 suspects using this method
15 of 36


  • Making a Case: Creating a Profile: Top-down Typology
  • Content analysis of 100 cases of serial killers in the US
  • The third crime committed by each serial killer was analysed using the Crime Classification Manual
  • Used Douglas' typology
  • In 70% of cases the body was concealed
  • In 75% sexual activity occurred
  • Statistical analysis failed to separate the variables for organised and disorganised offences clearly
  • All of the crimes had to have an organised element to them as they hadn't been caught after three killings
  • Personality variables would be a better factor to research
16 of 36


  • Making a Case: Creating a Profile: Bottom-up Approach
  • 42 students from Liverpool University
  • Given spatial displays and asked to mark where they thought the serial killer lived
  • Experimental group were then given feedback
  • Both groups completed the task again
  • Experimental group were significantly more accurate
  • Dragnet was more accurate than either group
17 of 36


  • Reaching a Verdict: Persuading a Jury: Persuasion
  • Over 500 undergraduates
  • Shown video tape of robbery trial
  • WIC: good/poor
  • Witness confidence: good/poor
  • Expert opinion expressed: yes/no
  • Expert testimony: descriptive/statistical
  • Questionnaire asked if they thought the defendant was guilty and how confident they were as well as testing how much they could recall
18 of 36


  • Reaching a Verdict: Persuading a Jury: Effect of Order of Testimony
  • 130 college students from Northwestern and Chicago University
  • Real trial - 119 statements composed
  • Listened to this on a tape recording
  • Prosecution: story/witness order
  • Defense: story/witness order
  • Had to reach a verdict and rate confidene on a 5-point scale
  • Story order was the most convincing
19 of 36


  • Reaching a Verdict: Persuading a Jury: Inadmissbale Evidence
  • Three types of inadmissable evidence: hearsay, previous convictions and evidence obtained illegally 
  • 236 psychology students from Bali State University
  • Listened to tape of trial - accused of stealing $5000 from manager's office
  • Witness mentioned past conviction - objection: overruled, sustained and continued, sustained and explained
  • Objection should be sustained, but no explanation given
  • Broeder: Reactance theory or the 'boomerang effect.' Being instructed to disregard evidence increase the importance of it
20 of 36


  • Reaching a Verdict: Witness Appeal: Attractiveness of Defendant
  • 145 participants (71 male, 74 female) from East Carolina University
  • Read sexual harassment case with photos attached: attractive/unattractive defendant, attractive/unattractive victim
  • The photos had previously been classed as attractive or unattractive by a panel of people who rated them on a scale of 1 to 9 
  • 'Do you think Mr. Radford is guilty of sexual harassment?'
  • 11 bipolar scales e.g. dull-exciting, nervous-calm, warm-cold - halo effect
  • Attractive defendant - less guilty
  • Attractive witness - more guilty
21 of 36


  • Reaching a Verdict: Witness Appeal: Witness Confidence
  • Estimator variables: affect the accuracy of eyewitness identifications but cannot be controlled by the criminal justice system e.g. lighting during the crime
  • System variables: affect the accuracy of eyewitness identifications but the criminal justice system can control them e.g. instructions given prior to a line-up
  • Lab experiment - mock trial
  • Shown video of robbery trial 
  • 9 different variables 
  • Disguise: heavy/minimal
  • Weapon focus: high/low
  • Retention interval: 14/2 days
  • Confidence: 80/100%
  • Witness confidence was the only significant variable that affected the verdict given (guilty/not guilty)
22 of 36


  • Reaching a Verdict: Witness Appeal: Effect of Shields and Videos on Children Giving Evidence
  • Researched credibility inflation and deflation 
  • Giving evidence can be like a second abuse
  • 300 psychology students (150 male, 150 female) - white, middle class
  • Mock trial based on actual court transcript - professional film crew recorded actors playing the roles
  • Alleged abuse with the child's father as the defendant
  • Participants watched 2-hour court case
  • Judge read a warning directing the jury not to assume guilt by the use of the shield or the video
  • Control, shield or video
  • No significant difference unless trial stopped early
23 of 36


  • Reaching a Verdict: Reaching a Verdict: Majority Influence
  • Informative and normative conformity 
  • 123 male college students - paid $3 for participation
  • Groups of 7-9, only 1 naive
  • Had to match target line to 1 of 3
  • 12/18 trials - group gave a unanimous wrong answer
  • 75% conformed at least once
  • 68% of answers given were correct cmopared to 98% in the control
  • Reasons for conforming included both distortion of perception and demand characteristics
  • Kalven: 7/225 criminal cases moved in the direction of the original minority
24 of 36


  • Reaching a Verdict: Reaching a Verdict: Stages in Decision Making
  • Social loafing: When individuals in the group are less likely to think for themselves because they are in a group
  • Orientation period: The jury engages in a relaxed and open discussion. The agenda is set. Questions are raised
  • Open confrontation: Fierce debate. Focus on the details. Explore different interpretations. Pressure to conform and make a group decision
  • Reconciliation: Jury smooths over conflicts that have arisen. Tension is released through humour
25 of 36


  • Reaching a Verdict: Reaching a Verdict: Minority Influence
  • 116 male volunteers from Northwestern University - paid $1.50 for participation
  • Had to decide how much compensation to give plantiff
  • Minority: head seat/not, autonomy/no autonomy
  • Head seat didn't make a significant difference
  • Autonomy did make a significant difference
  • Moscovici: 2 of the 6 participants were confederates. Shown 36 blude slides. 32% of participants in the consistent condition called at least one sldie green.
26 of 36


  • After a Guilty Verdict: Imprisonment: Depression/Suicide risk
  • Suicide in prison is 4x the rate in the general population: inescapable, intolerable, intermiable
  • Factors influencing death: prison situation, outside pressures, guilt for offence, mental illness
  • 442 inmates that died an unnatural death
  • Content analysis
  • More females in CSI group
  • Fewer on remand 
  • Fewer in the night
  • Fewer by hanging
27 of 36


  • After a Guilty Verdict: Imprisonment: Plans After Jail
  • 23,500 offenders from Canada
  • 65% reoffend
  • Matched pairs content analysis
  • Matched on gender, sentence length, release year, substance use, marital status etc.
  • Experimental group employed on special programme
  • Employed men and women less likely to recommit
  • Azjen: Theory of Reasoned Action and Theory of Planned Behaviour. A prisoner's intention to stay out of prison is key to success. Their intention will be influenced by the value of thier life outside the prison
28 of 36


  • After a Guilty Verdict: Imprisonment: The Prison Situation and Roles
  • 24 well-adjusted males paid $15 a day
  • Uniforms caused deindividuation
  • Guards had a khaki shirt, trousers, wooden baton and reflective sunglasses
  • Prisoners had a muslin smock with identification number, no underwear, flimsy sandals
  • Guards became more and more aggressive - "pathology of power"
  • Prisoners experienced extreme emotional depression
29 of 36


  • After a Guilty Verdict: Alternatives to Imprisonment: Looking Deathworthy
  • African-Americans - 12% of population, 41% of those executed
  • 51 participants, mostly white from Stanford University
  • Rated 44 faces for "blackness" on a scale of 1-11
  • Photographs were standardised and shown in a different order to prevent order effects
  • Each face shown for 4 seconds
  • 24% in lower half sentenced to death
  • 58% in upper half 
30 of 36


  • After a Guilty Verdict: Alternatives to Imprisonment: Probation
  • Almost 2,00 offenders (61% response rate)
  • Study piloted with a survey on 7 different probation offices - questionnaire improved
  • Interviews conducted by an independently employed researcher
  • Mainly closed questions e.g. Likert scales or multiple choice
  • 88% said they found thier probation officer useful
  • 37% said it would stop them from re-offending
31 of 36


  • After a Guilty Verdict: Alternatives to Imprisonment: Restorative Justice
  • Meta-analysis - Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada, UK
  • Advantages of RJ:
  • Reduced reoffending for violent crimes
  • Reduced post-traumatic stress for victims
  • Preferred by both victim and offender
  • Costs less than criminal justice
32 of 36


  • After a Guilty Verdict: Treatment Programmes: Cognitive Skills Programmes
  • 180 offenders: ETS or R&R
  • 540 particpants as control group
  • Expected and actual reconviction rates calculated for 2 years after they left
  • Did not make a significant difference
  • Friendship found that there was a significant difference for men
33 of 36


  • After a Guilty Verdict: Treatment Programmes: Anger Management
  • Calming Anger and Learning to Manage it
  • 50 male prisoners that had completed calm
  • 37 male prisoners that were suitable but had not completed it
  • Wing Behavioural Checklist: 29 angry behaviours, rate 0,1 or 2
  • Self-report questionnaires
  • 92% showed improvement in at least one
  • 48% in both
34 of 36


  • After a Guilty Verdict: Treatment Programmes: Ear Accupuncture
  • Volunteer sample of 350 men in high-security prisons + a control group
  • Four week period
  • Experimental group got ear accupuncture 2x a week + FOCUS programme
  • Control group only got the care programme
  • Experimental group more calm, better sleep etc.
  • 25% v. 43% improved symptoms
35 of 36


  • Turning to Crime: Cognition: Moral Development
  • 58 boys from Chicago of w/c and m/c
  • Aged 7, 10, 13 and 16
  • Boys followed up at 3 year intervals, hence the study is longitudinal
  • 2-hour interview
  • 10 dilemmas, including the Heinz Dilemma
  • Pre-conventional level: Driven by punishment and self-interest
  • Conventional level: Interpersonal-conformity and authority
  • Post-conventional: Social contract and universal ethical principle
  • The older the boys got, the further up the stages they reached
  • There was no support for the 6th stage
36 of 36


No comments have yet been made

Similar Psychology resources:

See all Psychology resources »See all Forensic resources »