FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGY- MAKING A CASE

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Interviewing witnesses- Frowd (facial recognition)

Experiment 1:

  • 30 people paid £2
  • 10 celebrities and 40 composite images made by E-FIT.
  • Whole composites and external features sorted similarly at 35%, Internal features sorted at 19.5% correctly

Experiment 2:

  • 48 participants
  • Photo line up with foils and the participant had to pick the celebrity face
  • External features correctly identified 42%, Internal features identified 24%

Experiment 3:

  • 8 particpants
  • Familiar/ unfamiliar target faces presented who then made PRO-FIT composites
  • Sorting accurate 57%, External 53.3%, Internal 32.6%

Internal features don't work when creating a reconstruction 

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Interviewing witnesses- Loftus (weapon focus)

  • 36 students aged 18-31
  • 2 sets of 35mm slides- queueing in a taco restaurant
  • Control- personal B hands the cashier a cheque
  • Experimental- person B pulls out a gun
  • 20 item questionnaire, 12 head shots and confidence rating of 1-6
  • Control group chose correct person 38.9%
    Experimental group chose the correct person 11.1%
  • The experimental group spent longer looking at the gun and had more difficulty chosing the suspect from the line up 
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Interviewing witnesses- Fisher (cognitive intervie

  • Field experiment
  • 16 detectives from Florida- minimum of 5 years with the division
  • Recorded interviews (robberies and bag snatches) over 4 months- 88 interviews
  • Randomly assigned to the Cognitive interivew conditon
  • CI training- 4 x 60 minute sessions
  • Next 7 months- interviews recorded, Uni of California analysed
  • 7 trained detectives got 47% more information than before
  • 85% of statements correct in all conditions
  • Strong support for the cognitive interview in the field 
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Interviewing suspects- Mann (police officers)

  • 99 Kent police officers (78 detectives)
  • Video clips of 14 suspects ranging from 6-145 seconds)
  • Mean lie detection accuracy- 66.2%
  • Mean truth accuracy- 63.6%
  • Detect lying through gaze, movements, vagueness, contraditions of stories and fidgeting
  • Police officers can detect liers above the level of chance
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Interviewing suspects- Inbau (interrogation techni

  • Direct confrontation
  • Shift the blame
  • Not allowed to deny the guilt
  • Give reasons why they couldn't have committed the crime
  • Reinforce sincerity keeping the suspect receptive
  • Suspect becomes quiet, offer alternatives
  • 'Alternative question'
  • Get suspect to admit guilt in front of witness
  • Document their admission 
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Interviewing suspects- Gudjonsson and Mackeith (FC

  • 17 year old accused of two murders (FC)
  • 1987- two elderly women found battered to death
  • 1st interview- 14 hours long, FC denied being at the scene
  • 2nd interview- duty solicitor, retracted statement, confessed under pressure
  • 3 further interviews
  • Coerced compliant- gave into pressure to admit guilt
  • Scored 10 on Gudjonsson Suggestability Scale
  • IQ of 94
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Creating a profile- Canter (top down)

  • Content analysis- multidimensional scaling
  • 100 cases
  • Accounts of serial killers in the USA
  • 2 times as many disorganised crime scene actions
  • Body concealed in 70% of cases
  • Sexual activity occured in 75% of cases
  • Sex acts and **** occured in 2/3 of disorganised crimes
  • All crimes have an organised element
  • Better to look at personality differences between offenders
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Creating a profile- Canter and Heritage (bottom up

  • 66 sexual offences commited by 27 offenders
  • 33 offence variables
  • 5 most central variables: vaginal intercourse, no reaction to victim, impersonal language, surprise attack, victims clothing disturbed
  • Shows an understanding of how offenders behaviour changes over a series of offences 
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