Lecture 2 Thursday, January 6, 2011
- First question: b (Judges currently use findings from psychological research to
decide whether witness on the stand is lying or not—b) psychology in the law)
- Second question: e (What is the main difference between clinical forensic
psychologists and forensic psychiatrists?—a)psychologists can’t provide expert
testimony in court, b)psychiatrists cannot prescribe medication, c)psychologists
cannot prescribe medication, d)psychiatrists focus on a medical model, e) c and d.
- Schrenk-Notzing, role of media in influencing public
o Serial murder—huge amount of pretrial publicity
o He was asked to testify about credibility of witnesses who had knowledge
of the homicides
o Retroactive memory falsification: eyewitnesses who were exposed to the
media contaminated their memory. Falsified things.
o This is why we have bans on media coverage before case (Ex. Marshall
If you have relatively small community, everyone knows each
other, they can move trial to somewhere else—change in venue
- Binet—suggestibility in children
o HUGE area of research: how children are impacted by misleading
o Kids 4-6 years old, shown objects on the board, asked to remember what
objects were on the board
o Kids have a yes bias
o Direct questioning, more misleading, highly misleading
o Most of them were mislead
o With free recall, did really well. That’s where you get most accurate
information with child witnesses.
o *Misleading question: some children fabricated details when asked what
was on the button (nothing was on the button)
o Leads to humongous miscarriages of justice—sexual abuse cases with
bizarre stories told by children, due to suggestibility.
o Psychologist teaching group of law students
o Eyewitness testimony research
o Colleagues bring students into lab for experiment—not realistic
o Ecologically valid experiment (realistic)
o Had a class, two confederates.
o Confederates started arguing, got louder and louder. Everyone else was
looking back. The confederate pulled out a handgun and started waving it
around, threatening the other one, fired it into ceiling.
o You’ve just witnessed a mock event. Write down exactly what happened,
step by step. (task) o No one knew he was part of the experiment
o When do you think the students made more recall errors?
Before handgun was pulled out or after?
Extreme emotional arousal results in poor memory
- **Suggestibility and eyewitness testimony: main subjects of research in late 19 th
century, early 20 century.
o Guy came up to children playing in playground, took one girl, raped and
o 8-9 year olds
o Case was based on two kids testifying in trial
o He said they were very unreliable when testifying
o Varendonck—asked misleading question (didn’t a bearded man come to
the school?)—they answered yes. This provided evidence for his
- Karle Marbe
o First time testimony was used in civil case
o Train conductor was drunk, couldn’t stop train in time from crashing
o Measured reaction times for different levels of drunkenness
o Experimental research
o Didn’t really matter anyway. Train couldn’t have stopped in time even if
he was not drunk.
- North America: Cattell
o Columbia University
o First forensic research in NA
o Wanted to see memory of events that happened in students’ lives
o Wanted to measure confidence and accuracy
o Father of forensic psychology, brought it to the forefront
o Extremely well-known
o Thought that psychologists should be asked to come into the court room
all the time to testify
o “On the Witness Stand”
o Lawyer, really annoyed by Munsterberg
o Overstepped his bounds, psychologists have not conducted enough
empirical evidence to meet any standard of testimony
o Shouldn’t mess with judges’ or juries’ decisions
o Critique of Munsterberg—put him on the stand for liable, acted as cross-
examination lawyer, asking him questions
- Judge Foster on the side of Wigmore
- Impression of scientific/psychological experts—not well-respected
- People vs. Hawthorne o What should we expect in an expert?
o Someone murdered his wife’s lover
o Defence lawyer said he was not guilty by reason of insanity
o Wanted to call a psychologist to testify about the mental disorder
o Trial judge refused-- said only a medical doctor could testify
o Michigan Supreme Court said psychologist should have