forensic psychology

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Pessimistic emphasis on memory (easily corrupted)..
it is fragmentary, schema driven, reconstructive, prone to distortion
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Optimistic emphasis on memory (permanent record)..
easily mislaid, availability vs accessibility, triggered by cues, indestructible
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Wells (1997) estimator variables..
uncontrolled conditions under which witness sees the crime (duration;lighting, etc)
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Wells (1997) system variables..
conditions over which the investigator has control (interview and identification procedures)
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Estimator variables in the encoding phase..
situational, witness, attention, attitudes & beliefs.
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Estimator variables in the storage phase..
rates of forgetting, traumatic events, impact of post-event information
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Estimator variables in the retrieval phase..
accessing memory + questioning skills)
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System factors - Interviewing 1) Cognitive interview..
(mnemonic techniques derived from cognitive psychology &
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System factors - Interviewing 2) Achieving best evidence
interview to minimise suggestive questioning and maximise free narrative. child abuse complaints.
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Identification techniques - virtual or video parade..
witnesses see 9 video clips, 1 is the suspect, the remainder are 'foils'.
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Advantages of virtual parades..
fairer, less stressful, reduced delays, lower costs
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arise from observing a developing problem, inferring existence of an underlying problem, give rise to plausible hypotheses.
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refers to a scientific analogy or metaphor e.g. describing the heart as a pump
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Theory appraisal (7 ways)
predictive accuracy and scope, internal coherence, external consistency, unifying power, fertility/heuristic value, simplicity and explanatory depth.
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Effects of early separation (Newcastle thousand Family birth cohort study)
Kolvin et al, 1988. risk for conviction up to age 32 doubled for boys who experienced maternal deprivation or privation.
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Effects of early separation (Cambridge study)
Harrington et al, 2009. 60% of boys separated from parent by 10th birthday convicted up to age 50, compared with 36% of boys who weren't separated.
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Dismissive attachment and offending (Allen et al, 1996)
linked with hard drug use and criminality in hospitalised adolescents.
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Dismissive attachment and offending (Rosenstein and Horowitz, 1996)
associated with diagnoses of ASPD and self reported antisocial personality traits.
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Dismissive attachment and offending (Frodi et al, 2001)
most characteristics style among psychopathic offenders.
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Ward et al, 1996. Rapists and paedophiles are..
dismissive type.. characterised by need for intimacy and fear of abandonment. children may fulfil social/emotional/sexual needs.
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Evaluation of attachment theory..
provides a context fir understanding the link between parent relationships & future behaviours. However strong emphasis on mother, fair?
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Learned crime (Jeffrey 1965)
criminal behaviour develops through operant conditioning.
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attention, retention, reproduction, motivation
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Role of parents (Heapasalo & Pokela, 1999)
harsh parenting predictive of later offending.
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Role of parents (Newson & Newson, 1989)
parents use of physical punishment at ages 7 and 11 predicts later antisocial deviance.
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Role of parents (Robins, 1979)
longitudinal study - delinquency predicted by poor and harsh parental supervision
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History - Franz Josef Gall
founder of phrenology, study of personality and behaviour based on the shape of the skull.
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History - Cesare Lombroso
founding father of criminology, noted a small indention in base of patient's skull. 'anthropological criminology'. born criminals identified on basis of physical defects.
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MZ twins
only around 8% of twins are MZ.
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Baker et al, 2007 studied twins.
Heritability was 96%, only 4% of influence was environment.
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Genetic influences on aggression (Plomin et al, 1990)
review of 11 twin studies showed evidence for heritability.
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Genetic influences on aggression (Miles and Carey, 1997)
meta-analysis suggesting that genetics account for up to 50% variability in aggression.
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Hot/reactive aggression
a reaction to a perceived wrong.
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Cold/instrumental aggression
personal gain, psychopathy
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Monoamine oxidase A (warrior gene)
brunner syndrome, male relatives with MAOA gene showed impulsive violence and aggression.
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enzyme responsible for degrading neurotransmitters known as monamines.
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Other genes may contribute to ASB..
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Other genetic explanation for ASB
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Oxytocin (OT) and Argine Vasopressin
dendritic release to limbic system (esp. amygdala)
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Fries et al, 2005. Neurobiology of attachment.
Romaninan orphans demonstrated decreased levels of AVP. Also OT following interaction with mother.
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Oxytocin - 'love hormone'
Intranasal OT linked with increased trust in game situation, increased generosity, better performance in reading mind in eyes test.
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Mitchell et al, 2013. Neurobiology of attachment.
urine samples from patients with severe sexual/violent history. elevated levels of OT.
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De Wall et al, 2014. Neurobiology of attachment.
OT interacts with personality trait to predict Intimate Partner Violence.
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What percentage of abused and neglected children at home are never referred for professional help?
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Examples of child protective factors to child maltreatment
good relationships with other relatives, peers, attachment style
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Examples of family protective factors to child maltreatment
consistent sensitive parenting, high parental education, consistent parental employment, middle-higher socio economic class
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Examples of environmental protective factors to child maltreatment
supportive and good relations to other adults (i.e. teachers)
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Maltreatment significantly increases the risk of..
depression, anxiety/ptsd, conduct and personality disorders, substance misuse
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Genetic factors on maltreatment summary
small variations in our genotype produces changes in our brain structure which can make us more vulnerable to environmental stressors.
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Children exposed to family violence showed ___ activity when looking at angry faces
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____ grey matter volume for children who have been through maltreatment
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What percentage of woman make up England & Wale's prisons?
5.9%. General increase of 18% in juvenile (violent) female criminality.
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Women's liberation theory as an explanation for rise in female crime..
More confidence, higher esteem, leading to more masculine crimes.
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Hirschi's social control theory on crime
attachment, commitment, involvement, belief & conformity
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Agnew's general strain theory..
coping strategies, higher tolerance for negative life events in women
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6 risk factors more prevalent in female violent offenders..
abuse and witnessing violence, parental, family conflict, academic achievement, depression, levels of empathy, esteem and guilt
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Mental health among female prisoners
5x more likely to have a mental health concern, 28% likely to self harm, 37% attempted suicide, 51% severe / enduring mental illness
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Two techniques used for examining structural integrity of different areas of the brain
Computerised Axial Tomography (CAT) and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
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Five techniques used to examine the functional aspects of different areas of the brain
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Anti social personality disorder
3.6% of general population, suggested 80-85% of incarcerated offenders could have it
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Larsson, Andershed & Lichtenstein - genetic basis for psychopathy using ACE
A= genes, C=shared family environment, E=environmental risk factors unique to individual (i.e. head injury)
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Abnormalities in foetal development MPAS (genetic)
shown to be correlated with aggressive behaviours in children as young as 3 years
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Exposure of the developing brain to stress hormones exerts consequences by..
affecting gene expression, myelination, neural morphology, neurogenesis and synpatogenesis
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Cawson, Wattam, Brooker & Kelly - % of child abuse UK
16% girls, 7% boys sexually assaulted before 13. likely to be someone they know.
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Fraction of all sexual offence's committed by adolescents
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Hanson and Busier found ****** sexual offence recidivism rate was
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Functional analysis..
determines the underlying motives and functions of offending behaviour.
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Approach/Treatment sexual offenders
RNR principles 'what works best', Risk, need, responsivity
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Subtypes of schizophrenia
paranoid, hebephrenic, catatonic, residual
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People with learning disabilities have IQ lower than
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UK Homicide stats 2011/12
540 homicides, 2/3rd victims male, female victims more likely to know perpetrator (78%) & killed by current or ex partner (51%)
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___ % of homicide perpetrators had a mental disorder
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Biological/medical treatments for mental health
medication, antipsychotic, antidepressant medication, mood stabiliser medication, ECT
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Psychological assessments for mental health
weschler adult intelligence scale, wais-iv, neurological & personality assessments e.g. MCMI-111, TOMS
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Cognitive empathy
ability to take another's perspective, understand their thoughts and beliefs. autism, struggle to understand another's perspective
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Affective empathy
refers to feeling what another person is feeling, or 'emotional resonance'. psychopaths struggle to feel what another person is feeling
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Advantages of crime linkage (suggest 2 or more crimes may be committed by same offender)
efficient deployment of limited police resources, pool witness descriptions and evidence, increase in victim credibility, protection for multiple offences
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Factors that affect consistency with crime
type of behaviour, whether behaviour is proactively displayed or reaction, objectivity, age,
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Analysis of Jaccard's
to determine if linked crime pairs can be differentiated from unlinked crime pairs
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Youden's Index..
the optimal decision threshold at which the proportion of hits is maximised while the proportion of false alarms is minimised
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C-Link network
internation network of academics and practitioners, multi country dataset and analysis
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Optimistic emphasis on memory (permanent record)..


easily mislaid, availability vs accessibility, triggered by cues, indestructible

Card 3


Wells (1997) estimator variables..


Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4


Wells (1997) system variables..


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Card 5


Estimator variables in the encoding phase..


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