Criminal Psychology

Physiological explanations for crime
Low arousal in the pre-frontal cortex, low MAOA activity combined with an abusive childhood
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Non-physiological explanations for crime
Immature level of moral reasoning, family criminality, low school attainment, poverty, poor parenting
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Aim of Raine's study
To look at direct measures of both cortical and subcortical brain functioning, using PET scans in a group of murderers who are pleadings NGRI
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Participants in Raine's study
The experimental group (the murderers) and the control group consisted of 41 subjects. They had been charged with murder or manslaughter and were pleading NGRI
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Procedure in Raine's study
The control group were matched by age and gender. 10 minutes before the injection of FDG, suspects were allowed to practice the CPT task so they knew what to expect. They then completed the CPT task which required the participant to search for target
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Findings of Raine' study
The NGRI's had more activity in their occtipal areas and no differences in their temporal areas
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Conclusions of Raine's study
The authors suggest that this study provides preliminary but not complete evidence that murderers pleading NGRI have different brain functions compared to non-murdering controls
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Biological strategies for preventing criminal behaviour
Biosocial risk factors: smoking during pregnancy, poor nutrition and early maternal care. Research suggests that omega 3 may partly reverse the brain dysfunction that predisposes children to antisocial behaviour and aggression leading to crime
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Observer or expectancy bias
The expert anticipates the outcome as a result of information from an initial observer and therefore has pre-conceived ideas about the outcome
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Selective attention
Prior expectation can lead to the filtering out of ambiguous elements in a partial or ambiguous print where a 'close call' has to be made to create the perfect match
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Conformity effect
If a fingerprint expert is asked to validate the decision of a peer, this effect may unconsciously bias them to agree with the original decision if they are aware of it
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Need-determination perception
This bias arises from a strong desire to solve a particular crime
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Overconfidence bias
This makes experts believe they are always right
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Aim of Hall and Player's study
Aimed to answer 2 questions. Does the written report of a crime, as routinely supplied with fingerprint evidence, affect a fingerprint experts identification of a poor quality print? & Are fingerprint experts emotionally affected by the circumstances
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Participants in Hall and Player's study
70 volunteer fingerprint experts working for the Metropolitan Police Fingerprint Bureau
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Procedure of Hall and Player's study
See notes
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Findings of Hall and Player's study
57/70 of the participants said they had read the crime scene report, 30 of these in the high condition. 52% of the 30 who read the report in the high condition said they believed it had influenced their decision, compared to the 6% in the low
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Conclusions of Hall and Player's study
The authors conclude that this study suggests that emotional context did not detract from the fingerprint experts capacity to make a final decision
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Strategies for reducing bias in the collection and processing of forensic evidence
Educating detectives, judges, juries and the general public to the strengths and weaknesses of forensic science, training forensic examiners to acknowledge and minimise bias, proper protocols and procedures
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The Reid Nine Steps of Interrogation
See notes
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Other cards in this set

Card 2


Non-physiological explanations for crime


Immature level of moral reasoning, family criminality, low school attainment, poverty, poor parenting

Card 3


Aim of Raine's study


Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4


Participants in Raine's study


Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5


Procedure in Raine's study


Preview of the front of card 5
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