Forensic Psychology Evaluations

Evaluations (strengths and weaknesses of studies and theorists)

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Genes and Serotonin (Brunner)

Strengths:
- Scientific: Urine samples = objective way of collecting data of genes. Scientific measure increases reliability of data so study can easily be replicated. Also increases validity as it is objective and does not involve interpretation.
- Useful in Application to Everyday Life: this research highlights the brain's possible deficits, which can lead to aggressive behaviour and crime. Highlights that some individuals should be monitored. Allows for insight into MAOA and development of treatments balancing out serotonin and MAOA.
- Nature vs. Nurture: this research favours nature side of debate. Focuses on biological factors.

Weaknesses:
- Correlational: data was correlational. No cause and effect; not proven deficits in MAOA enzyme causes the aggressive behaviour. Could be aggression causing the chemical imbalance.
- Ethics: unethical to label people as potential criminals and monitor their behaviour. May lead to self-fulfilling prophecy, making them more inclined to turn to crime.
- Generalisability: research based on one family in the Netherlands. Not possible to generalise to all crimes and every person in the world. Women? does not account for why females turn to crime.
- Reductionist: purely focuses on contribution of genes to turning to crime, but this was only one family. Possible it was something in their environment.  

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Cognitive Interview (Geiselman and Fisher)

Strength:
- Useful application to everyday life: highlights that cognitive interview techniques gain more information from witness. More officers should be trained in this technique.

Weakness:
- Reliability: Cognitive interview may not be accurate for all types of crimes. A **** crime may cause extreme distress to the witness, whereas a ****** and run crime may not be appropriate for the CI as it's a very brief encounter.  
- Study lacks usefulness: compared it to hypnosis which is no longer legal to use.

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