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Lecture 6

PSYC 2400E - Lecture 6 - Jan. 24, 2013.docx

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PSYC 2400
Julie Dempsey

Thursday, January 24, 2013 PSYC 2400 - Winter 2013 Lecture 6 Coerced-Internalized False Confession - A confession that results from suggestive interrogation techniques, whereby the confessor actually comes to believe he or she committed the crime - The person starts the interrogation process not believing they have committed the crime, and end up believing that they did - Why? o History of substance abuse or other interference with brain function o Inability of people to see difference between what observe and what erroneously suggested to the them o Factors associated with mental state (e.g., anxiety, confusion, or feelings of guilt o Some people are just more susceptible to suggestibility Example: Paul Ingram - “Ingram was detained, hypnotized, provided with graphic crime details, told by a police psychologist that sex offenders typically repress their offenses and urges by the minister of his church to confess” - “I taught my children not to lie. I must have done it” - 5 months, interrogated 24 times - Confessed, pled guilty to 6 rapes - 20 year sentence - Ingram two older daughters accused him of murder, rape, sadist rituals - He was charged, interrogated for 23 hours - Very suggestive interrogation, ended up confessing, sentenced to 20 years in prison - After being in prison for a while, he realized he didn’t really commit the crime, eventually got out Evaluating a Potential False Confession 1. Was there transparency in interrogation process? a. Do we know everything that happened? 2. What interrogation methods used? a. Was it extremely coercive? 3. Analyze the confession itself a. Independent knowledge i. Not just the evidence police know (something they wouldn’t have known) b. Any new evidence? 4. Was defendant “vulnerable” to police coercion? a. Anxious, age, grief, stress b. Mental capacity c. Duration of the interrogation (each session) Scientific Study of Interrogation and Confessions - Field Study o Observational o Archival  Look at closed cases, try to determine the techniques used, what it led to o Survey of police, judges  Ask about process - Lab study (to increase control) o Experimental paradigm  Ie: Bring someone into lab, make them commit a crime, then try and make them confess o Scenario-based study False Confession Study (Drizin & Leo, 2004) - 125 proven false confessions o 35% juveniles o 19% “cognitively impaired” o 10% “mentally ill” - Majority charged serious offences o 81% murder o 9% rape - 91% went to trial o 35% convicted - Length of interrogation (avg. 16 hours, avg. is 2hrs for true confession) o 16% lasted less than 6 hours o 34% lasted 6-12 hours o 39% lasted 12-29 hours o 11% lasted 30 or more hours - Length of sentence o 30% served 1 to 5 years o 24% 6 to 10 years o 27% 11 or more years False Confessions in the Laboratory - Kassin & Kiechel (1996) - Really the first study to manipulate a scenario to prove false confession - Famous computer key study - Participants accused of committing a “crime” - Make you think you committed a crime, false evidence - Made them type words that are said to them, but they couldn’t press alt (would crash computer) - Made them think they did press the alt key, most people admitted they did it - The faster the words were said to them, the more apt they were to admit to the “crime” - Almost 100% of people said they did it when there was a witness saying they did it - Limitations: low stakes, confessing to get out, they actually don’t know if they pressed the alt key - Manipulated: o Suspect’s vulnerability o Presence of false evidence Suspect Safeguards - Protect individual during the transition into the interrogation phase o US  Miranda Rights o Canada  Charter of Right and Freedom - May not be enough Interrogation Practices and the Courts - Trial judge decides if confession evidence is admissible at trial - Must decide if… o Confession was made voluntarily o Defendant was competent when provided confession Not Admitted as Evidence - Confessions resulting from over form of coercion o Brute force o Prolonged isolation o Deprivation of food or sleep o Threats of harm or punishment o Promises of immunity or leniency o Not notifying suspect of constitutional rights Changes to Interrogation Practices - Reduce oppressive interrogation practices - Most obvious changes in England o PEACE model - No reduction in confessions - North America fewer changes o Video-recording interrogations Offender Profiling Objectives - What is offender profiling? - Goals of profiling - Types of offender profiling - Criticisms of offender profiling - Geographical profiling What is Offender Profiling? - Technique for identifying the personality and behavioural features of an offender based on an analysis of the crimes he/she committed (Douglas et al., 1986) Goals of Profiling 1. Suspect prioritization a. If there’s a lot of suspects, you want to try and find who would be most probable for committing the crime 2. New lines of enquiry 3. Interview strategies 4. Predict dangerousness
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