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Lecture 2

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Department
Psychology
Course
PSYC 2400
Professor
Adelle Forth
Semester
Winter

Description
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 Williams case) o Solutions:  If you have relatively small community, everyone knows each other, they can move trial to somewhere else—change in venue  Sequester jury - Binet—suggestibility in children o HUGE area of research: how children are impacted by misleading questions 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. - Stern 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?  Answer: after.  Extreme emotional arousal results in poor memory - **Suggestibility and eyewitness testimony: main subjects of research in late 19 th century, early 20 century. - Varendonck o Guy came up to children playing in playground, took one girl, raped and murdered her. 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 argument. - 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 - Munsterberg 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” - Wigmore 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 Hawthorne had o Trial judge refused-- said only a medical doctor could testify o Michigan Supreme Court said psychologist should have
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