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Lecture 3

PSYC 3P53 Lecture 3: Unit 3- Police Investigations

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Unit 3: The Psychology of Police Investigations Week 1: May 1-5 Introduction Outline - False Confessions - Police Interrogations and the Reid Technique - Problems with Reid and Confession Admissibility - PEACE Model of Investigative Interviewing - Criminal Profiling - Problems with Criminal Profiling and Geographic Profiling Section 1: FalseConfessions False Confessions – Definition - False Confession: o Intentionally fabricated or… o Not based on actual knowledge of facts that form content o Fully or partially not true - Retracted Confessions: o Claim confession false at later date whether or not it was actually false - Disputed Confessions: o Occur when the admissibility of the confession is disputed in court o Legal Technicality o Claimed never confession never made False Confessions – Incidence - Do they actually occur? o Yes they do occur - Self report o ~1% to 12% - Wrongful Convictions o ~25% contain false confession False Confessions – Types - Voluntary false confession o No prompting by police o Confesses to a crime they they did not commit by no pressure from the police o Reasons: ▪ Protect real offender ▪ Notoriety ▪ Need to relieve guilt ▪ Cannot distinguish fact from fantasy - CoercedComplaint o Caused by police interrogation tactics o Confessor know they are innocent o Reasons: ▪ Escape interrogation situation ▪ Gain promised reward/escape threatened punishment o Arguably most common - Coerced-Internalized 1 o Believe they committed crime o Highly suggestive interrogations o Reasons: ▪ Substance abuse ▪ Vulnerable mental state (anxious, confused, etc.) ▪ Highly suggestible questions False Confessions –Research - Type without hitting “Alt” Key - All computers crashed and people “interrogated” o False evidence o Vulnerability - Experimenters measure level of: o Compliance o Internalization o Confabulation No False Evidence False Evidence False Confession Not Vulnerable Vulnerable Not Vulnerable Vulnerable Type (Slow Pace) (Fast Pace) (Slow Pace) (Fast Pace) Compliance 35 65 89 100 Internalization 0 12 44 65 Confabulation 0 0 6 35 - Russano/Cheating Paradigm o Participants perform individual and group problems o Guilty condition ▪ provide help on “individual” problem o Innocent condition ▪ not asked to provide help o Accused of cheating by experimenter o Large minority falsely confessed (20%) ▪ Offered a deal (8% increase) ▪ Minimization tactics (12% increase) ▪ Both (37%) False Confessions – Consequences - Innocent people sent to jail (or executed) o Juries ignore how confession was obtained - Guilt person not apprehended - Waste of time and resources - Impact on victim Section 2: PoliceInterrogations andtheReidTechnique PoliceInterrogation – Goals - Main goal – obtained a confession o Powerful evidence in court - Gain information to further the investigation o Location of evidence 2 o Co-conspirators o Exact details of crime PoliceInterrogation – Historical - Mid-1900s – ThirdDegree o Whipping o Rubber hoses and phone books - 1980– stun gun usedby NYPD - Today – subtlepsychological tactics andtrickery o Lie about physical evidence o Use of hypotheticals o Imply threats to family members o Minimize seriousness of crime PoliceInterrogations – Reid - Most widely used approach - Involves 3 stages: o Gather evidence o Conduct a non-accusatorial interview to assess guilt (detecting deception) o Conduct an accusatorial interrogation to obtain a confession - 9-step interrogation o goal - confession! 9 Step Interrogation 1. Direct PositiveConfrontation o State certainty in guilt ▪ Use fabricated or real evidence o Pause, observe, repeat confrontation o Passive reaction = deception o State purpose of interview is to figure out “why” o 2 Types of Suspects Emotional Non-Emotional Feels Distress/Remorse Nothing Particularly Interrogator Approach Sympathetic Factual Analysis Appeal to… Conscience Reasoning/Common Sense 2. ThemeDevelopment o Offer excuses/explanations for offence ▪ Allow for justification and rationalization o Possiblethemes for emotional suspects: ▪ Anyone in situation would have done same ▪ Minimize crime’s moral seriousness ▪ Suggest morally acceptable reasons ▪ Condemn others (e.g., victim) ▪ Praise and flattery o Possiblethemes for non-emotional suspects: ▪ Catch them in a lie ▪ Get suspect associated with crime scene ▪ Non-criminal intent behind act ▪ No point in denying involvement 3 ▪ Play one co-offender off the other 3. DoNotAllowDenials o Interrupt any attempted denials ▪ Repeated denials = less likely to confess o Innocent suspect ▪ Spontaneous, forceful, eye-contact o Guilty suspect ▪ Hesitant and defensive 4. Overcoming Objections o Allow objection and return to theme ▪ “I don’t own a gun” o Innocent suspect ▪ Continues with original denials o Guilty suspect ▪ Moves from denial to objections 5. Retain Suspect’s Attention o Deal with withdrawal by suspect o Use variety of behaviours to re-engage suspect ▪ Move closer ▪ Lean forward ▪ Mention first name ▪ Touch lightly ▪ Make eye contact 6. Handling Passiveness o Suspect is about to give in and confess ▪ Slumped shoulders ▪ Crying and/or blank stare o Focus on main theme & urge suspect to come clean ▪ Use sympathy and understanding 7. AlternativeQuestion o Present 2 explanations for crime ▪ One reprehensible, one face-saving ▪ Both produce a confession! o Most important component of Reid ▪ Problem for many suspect o Timing is critical 8. Relate OffenceDetails o Full details of crime 9. CreateWritten Confession o Written and signed confession more incriminating o Less important with videotaped interrogations Psychology BehindReid 4 - Confessing is difficult and unnatural o Internal and external concerns - Goals: o Reduce concerns through minimization and rationalizations Section 3: Problems withReidandConfession Admissibility ReidProblem 1: DetectingDeception - Behavioural Analysis Interview (BAI) initial step o Purpose is to decide if guilty o If yes, confession or bust - Reid technique based on deception detection o People can’t do it! o Training only increases confidence - Innocent person undergoes coercive interrogation ReidProblem 2: Investigator Bias - Assumption of guilt by interrogator o Ask more guilt-presumptive questions o More coercive o More persistent o More pressure - Suspect gets defensive – looks guilty by Reid ReidProblem 3: CoerciveTactics - Minimization: “Soft Sell” techniques o False sense of security o May imply leniency - Maximization: “Scare Tactics” o Intimidate suspect o False claims about evidence o Exaggerate seriousness of offence ReidProblem 4: Vulnerabilities - Current mental state - Mentally weak (IQ < 80) - Drugged/Intoxicated - Sleep Deprivations - Compliance & Suggestibility - State of Anxiety - Understanding of legal rights BeyondFalse Confessions - Inadmissible confessions that are TRUE! - Coerced confessions resulting in resentment - Coercion resulting in PTSD - Undermining public confidence - The “boomerang effect” 5 Admissibility of Confessions - For confessions to be admitted into court they must: o Be given voluntarily o Be given by a person who is competent - Terms rather ague and open to interpretation o Rely on legal rulings - Overtly coercive tactics not acceptable o Denying the suspect food, water, clothes, etc. o (R. v. Hoilett, 1999) - More subtle forms of coercion are acceptable o Exaggerating evidence, minim
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