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PSYC 3020 (61)
Dan Yarmey (47)

Psych of Law 3020

79 Pages

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PSYC 3020
Dan Yarmey

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Chapter 1: An intro to forensic psychology • Forensic psychology can be defined in a narrow or broad fashion. Narrow definitions focus only on the clinical or experimental aspects of the field, wheras broad definitions are less restrictive and encompass both aspects o Forensic psychology: a field of psychology that deals with all aspects of human behaviour as it relates to the law or legal system. • Forensic psychologists can play different roles. Clinical forensic psychologists are primarily interested in mental health as they pertain to law. Experimental forensic psychologists are interested in studying any aspect of human behaviour that relates to the law (ie: eyewitness memory, jury decision making, risk assessment) o Clinical forensic psychologists: psychologists who are broadly concerned with the assessment and treatment of mental health issues as they pertain to law and the legal system  Clinical forensic psychologists might also be interested in: • Divorce and cild custody mediation • Determinations of criminal responsibility (insanity) and fitness to stand trial • Expert testimony • Personnel selection (ie for law enforcement agencies) • Conducting critical incident stress debriefings with police officers • Designing and conducting treatment programs for offenders o Forensic psychiatry: a field of medicine that deals with all aspects of human behaviour as it relates to the law or legal system o Experimental forensic psychologists: psychologists who are broadly concerned with the study of human behaviour as it relates to the law or legal system o Forensic anthropology: examine the remains of deceased victims to determine key facts about them (gender, age, appearance) o Forensic linguistics: examine the spoken and written word, can assess language in suicide notes to determine whether they’re fake or genuine o Forensic chemistry: study the chemical aspects of crime scenes, which can include the analysis of paint particles, dyes, fibres, etc o Forensic ondontology: study dental aspects of criminal activity, including identifying deceased victims through dental records, determining bite marks based on age, etc o Forensic pathology: examine the remains of dead bodies in an attempt to determine the time and cause of death (autopsy) o Forensic entomology: study how insects help to determine time of death (based on insect presence at different points in time, etc) • Psychology can relate to the field of law in 3 ways: o Psychology and the law: the use of psychology to examine the operation of the legal system o Psychology in the law: the use of psychology in the legal system as that system operates o Psychology of the law: the se of psychology to examine the law itself. • The history of forensic psychology is marked by many important milestones, in both the research laboratory and in the courtroom. Early research consisted of studies of eye-witness testimony and suggestibility, and many of the early court cases in Europe where psychologists appeared as expert witnesses dealt with similar issues o Hugo Munsterberg: father o forensic psychology: played a significant role in establishing the field of forensic psychology in North America, by the early 1900s, forensic psychologists were active in many different parts of the North American justice system. – wrote book “on the witness stand”  Currently, forensic psychology is viewed as a distinct and specialized discipline, with its own textbooks, journals and professional associations BOX 1.2: Biological, Sociological and Psychological theories of crime:  Biological: o Sheldon’s (1949) constitutional theory: crime is a product of an individual’s body build: endomorphs (pear shaped, hourglass, obese), mesomorphs (muscular) and ectomorphs (skinny) were linked to temperaments and therefore different types of crime:  Endomorph- jolly  Ectomorph- introverted  Mesomorph- bold and aggressive- predisposed to violent crime o Jacobs, Brunton, Belville, Brittan and McClemont’s (1965) Chromosomal theory: chromosomal irregularity is linked to criminal behaviour: a normal female has 2 X chromosomes, and a normal male has XY. Discovered that there exist men with 2 Y Chromosomes, which apparently made them more masculine and therefore more aggressive o Mark and Ervin’s (1970)dyscontrol theory: lesions on the temporal lobe and limbic system result in electrical disorganization in the brain, which can lead to dyscontrol syndrome. Symptoms include outbursts of physical violence, impulsive sexual behaviour and serious traffic violations  Sociological: o Merton’s (1938) strain theory): crime is largely a product of the strain felt by certain individuals (typically the lower class) who have restricted access to legitimate means to achieving valued goals of success (means such as education). While some individuals will be happy with lesser goals that are achievable, others will turn to illegitimate means such as crime in an attempt to achieve the valued goals o Sutherland’s (1939) Differential Association Theory: criminal behaviour is learned though social interactions in which people are exposed to values that can either be favourable or unfavourable to violations of the law. More specifically, people are likely to become involved in criminal activity when they learn more values (ie attitudes) that are favourable to violations of the law vs compliance o Becker’s (1963) Labelling Theory: deviance (ie antisocial behaviour) is not inherent to an act, but a label attached to an act by society. Thus, a “criminal” results primarily from a process of society labelling an individual as a criminal. This process is thought to promote the individual’s deviant behaviour through a self-fulfilling prophecy which is an originally false prediction that the person’s actions make true. (so a kid in class is labelled as a “bad kid” because of something they may have done or a bad first impression. Because the teacher (and other teachers) may treat this kid differently for being “bad” (ie not trusting them, more supervision, harder marking, etc)- the kid may continue to act badly, thus actually becoming a bad kid for real.  Psychological o Bowlby’s (19944) theory of maternal deprivation: early separation of children from their mothers prevents effective social development from taking place. Without this, children will experience long-term problems in developing positive social relationships and will instead develop antisocial behaviour patterns o Eysenck’s (1964) biosocial theory of crime: some individuals (ie: extraverts and neurotics) are born with cortical and autonomic nervous systems that influence their ability to learn from the consequences of their actions, especially the negative consequences experienced in childhood as part of the socialization and conscience-building process. Because of their poor conditionability, it is assumed that individuals who exhibit high levels of extraversion and neuroticism will have strong anti-social inclinations o Gottfredson and Hirschi’s (1990) general theory of crime: low self-control, internalized early in life, in the presence of criminal opportunities explains an individual’s propensity to commit crimes. • Expert Witnesses differ from regular witnesses in that Expert Witnesses can testify about their opinions, wheras other witnesses can testify only as to what they know to be fact. o Expert witness: a witness who provides the court with information (often an opinion on a particular matter) that assists the court in understanding an issue of relevance to a case o In Canada, the criteria for determining whether an expert’s testimony will be admitted into court relates to whether the testimony (1) is relevant, (2) goes beyond the common understanding of the court, (3) does not violate any exclusionary rules, and (4) comes from a qualified expert  Though he wasn’t a forensic psychologist, Kenneth Clark made an important contribution to this field. The citation of his work by the US supreme court in Brown v. Board of Education showed that psychological research could play a role in the courtroom. (this case challenged the constitutionality of segregated public schools)  General acceptance test: a standard for accepting expert testimony, which states that expert testimony will be admissible in court if the basis of the testimony is generally accepted within the relevant scientific community  Daubert criteria: a standard for accepting expert testimony, which states that scientific evidence is valid if the research on which it is based has been peer reviewed, is testable, has a recognized rate of error, and adheres to professional standards  Mohan criteria: a standard for accepting expert testimony, which states that expert testimony will be admissible in court if the testimony is relevant, is necessary for assisting the trier of fact, does not violate any exclusionary rules, and is provided by a qualified expert. Psychology of Law CHAPTER 2 Police Selection - Police selection is important to hire indiv. who have the highest potential for success. Police Selection Procedures – Set of procedures used by the police to either screen out undesirable candidates or select desirable candidates. - Police are now using social media to recruit young adults (i.e. Facebook, blogs etc…) A Brief History of Police Selection In 1917, Lewis Terman uses the Staford-Binet Intelligence Test for police selection processes.  Recommended a minimum IQ score  Also ended up using personality tests. 1960s and 1970s changes (United States)  Requirements for higher education for police officers  Formal selection processes (test to measure cognitive abilities) - Canada uses personality tests, medical exams, Police aptitude test, and cognitive ability tests. The Police Selection Process Stage One – Job Analysis Stage - Agency must define the knowledge, skills and abilities (KSA) of a “good” police officer. Stage Two – Construction and Validation Stage - Agency must develop an instrument for measuring the extent to which police applicants possess these KSAs. Must determine the instrument’s validity(scores on the instrument actually relate to measures of actual, on-the-job police performance. Conducting Job Analysis - A procedure for identifying the knowledge, skills and abilities that makes a good police officer. - Organizational psychologist does the job analysis. Problem for Analysts: - KSAs change when position in job changes (I.e. constable, supervisor and manager) - People may disagree and which KSAs are important The following KSAs are typically viewed as essential: Honest, reliability, sensitive to others, good communication skills, high motivation, problem- solving skills and being a team player. Constructing and Validating Selection Instruments - We are interested in predictive validity (our ability to use a selection instrument to predict how applicants will perform in the future.) - Defining good performance is hard because there is no way to measure which skills are better than others. The Validity of Police Selection Instruments The Selection Interview One of the most common selection instruments used by the police. - Take the form of semi-structured interview. o There is a list of Qs that are asked for each applicant (easier to compare applicants). - Main goal is to determine the extent to which the applicant possesses the KSAs that have been deemed important in a job analysis. - There is little research examining the predictive validity of selection interviews (research that does exist give mixed results) - Changing the way the interview is constructed/conducted changes its validity Psychological Tests - Measure cognitive abilities or assess applicant’s personality. - Thought to be helpful Cognitive Ability Tests Procedure for measuring verbal, mathematical, memory and reasoning abilities. - RCMP has an RCMP police aptitude test (RPAT) - Measure 7 core skills that are necessary, such as: written composition, comprehension, memory, judgment, observation, logic and computation. - Better at predicting police academy training that on-the-job performance. Personality Tests The most commonly used tests are: Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory – An assessment instrument for identifying people with psychopathological problems (MMPI). - Initially this test was invented to identify people with psychopathological problems (including depression, schizophrenia and paranoia. - Related with significant but low validity coefficients. Inwals Personality Inventory – An assessment instrument used to identify police work by measuring their personality attributes and behaviour patterns (IPI). - Was developed specifically for the law enforcement. - Measures personality attributes and behavioural patterns. - When testing a number of students in the police academy, a year after they graduated, job performance indicators were obtained from the police agency. IPI was a significantly better job performance indicator than MMPI or SILS. - MMPI and SILS were only good at predicting supervisor ratings. - IPI was able to predict 3/7 indicators (supervisor ratings, citizen complaints and overall composite of negative indicators). Assessment Centres A facility in which the behaviour of police applicants can be observed in a number of situations by multiple observers. - Uses a situational test – A simulation of a real-world policing task (trained observers evaluate performance). o Attempts to identify KSAs for affective policing o Have moderate levels of predictive validity Police Discretion A policing task that involves discriminating between circumstances that require absolute adherence to the law and circumstances where a degree of latitude is justified. Consider some of these decisions that police officers must make: - What street should I patrol tonight? - Should I stop that vehicle for a traffic violation? - Should I take this person to a psychiatric hospital or the police station? Why Is Police Discretion Necessary? - In modern society, if a police officer does not use discretion they will always be in the station or the court (may not know what to do when serious circumstances arise in the community). - Not everything needs to be strictly enforced all the time - Vague laws - Usually minor law violators - Overwhelm prisons if always arresting indiv. - Perform well with limited resources Disadvantage: Hard to use discretion with non-discriminatory manner (sometimes used inappropriately) Areas Where Police Discretion Is Used Will encounter youth, offenders with mental illness, domestic violence and use-of-force situations. Youth Crime - Use a great deal of discretion when handling young offenders o Handled informally by community services - In Canada, they are encouraged to use discretion o Use informal action with young offenders o Formal action may not be the most effective response (b/c around worse offenders) Resolution Conference – Involved an offender and his/her family coming together with the victim and the police in an attempt to solve a problem. (1) Compensate the victim (2) Penalize the youth (3) Provide support to the youth’s family (4) Establish monitoring scheme to ensure the youth complies with the program Offenders with Mental Illnesses - Apprehend an indiv. whenever they are a danger to themselves or others o Rely on their discretion to choose the appropriate form of action Three available options: (1) Transport the person to a psychiatric institution of some kind (2) Arrest the person and take them to jail (3) Resolve the matter informally Officers are usually forced to take actions not best for offender o This is often what happens (offenders then become criminalized) - Offenders with mental illness had more encounters with the police and were arrested more often compared to offenders with no mental illness ****DR. DROTHY COTTON PROFILE  PAFE 42 & 43**** Domestic Violence Now take domestic violence seriously: 1) Lawsuits were brought up again U.S. departments for not arresting indiv. involved in domestic violence 2) Research conducted on domestic violence showed that arresting offenders of domestic violence has a deterrent effect Arresting offenders now takes place - Other responses may include meditation, community referrals and separation (separation used most often). Use-of-Force Situations - Required to use force (only to the extent to accomplish a certain goal) In Calgary: - .07% experienced use of force - Most were men (if experienced force) - Most were under the influence of drugs (if experienced force) - The use of neck restraints, Tasers and batons rarely resulted in the need of medical attention Controlling Police Discretion - There are organisations monitoring police discretion Use-of-force continuum: A model that is supposed to guide police officer decision making in use-of-force situations by indicating what level of force is appropriate given the suspect’s behaviours and other environmental conditions. Department Policies - Decrease police shooting, injuries. Restrict inappropriate use of force. - Changed Taser laws after Vancouver airport death - If police department does not have discretion rules/laws implemented, these department policies don’t matter. The Use-Of-Force Continuum - Officer must use force one step higher than the suspect. NOT increasing in force. Police Stress - Have a lot of stressors in their lives - Have a negative impact on the officer and their families Sources of Police Stress Major stressors are: - Organizational Stressors, occupational stressors, criminal justice stressors and public stressors. Occupational Stressors – In policing, stressors relating to the job itself (Lack of career development) Organizational Stressors – Stressors relating to organizational issues (affect officers the most)  Irregular work schedule, human suffering. Criminal Justice Stressors – Ineffectiveness of corrections system, unfavourable court decisions. Public Stressors – Distorted press accounts, ineffectiveness of referral agencies. *Ten highest stressors on page 50* Consequences of Police Stress - Life-threatening situations have long term effects. - Constant stress exposure effect officers on a more chronic basis. - Physical health problems, psychological and personal problems and job performance problems. Physical Health Problems - Chronic activation off body’s stress response system which causes physiological breakdown. o Cardiovascular disease o Digestive disorders o Deaths due to cancer - Not enough research to be sure these stressors cause the affects. Psychological and Personal Problems - Depression, ptsd, drug and alcohol abuse, marital problems and suicide (when exposed to stressful situations). o Research can be contradictory (I.e. alcohol consumption reported to not be higher than firefighters, nurses etc...) o Some research has found indications of burn out o Some research show divorce rate is actually lower than general population Job Performance Problems - Stress reactions impaired by job performance - Decrease in work efficacy and productivity - Absences due to illness (possibly from stress) and Tardiness Preventing and Managing Police Stress - Stress programs have been created to combat the difficulties - Informal support networks, physical fitness programs, professional counselling services, family assistance programs and special assessments following exposure to critical events - Police stress is also a result of poor coping strategies/skills o Need adaptive coping skills (how to communicate effectively) • • Psychology of Law Unit 4: Police Procedures • Chapter 3 pp. 56 – 88 • -confession evidence is viewed as “a prosecutor’s most potent weapon” -police interrogation: a process whereby the police interview a suspect for the purpose of gathering evidence and obtaining a confession -overt acts of physical coercion have become less frequent and have been replaced with more subtle psychologically based interrogation techniques, such as lying about evidence, promising lenient treatment, and implying threats to loved ones -Mr. Big technique: involves undercover police officers who pose as members of a criminal organization and attempt to lure the suspect into the gang  has been used 350 times in Canada and has a 75% success rate and a 95% conviction rate -police officers in England and Wales are trained to use interrogation techniques much less coercive than those used in North America -Reid model: a 9-step model of interrogation used frequently in North America to extract confessions from suspects (1) suspect is immediately confronted with their guilt. If the police don’t have evidence against them then they can pretend evidence exists (2) psychological themes develop that allow the suspect to justify, rationalize, or excuse the crime (3) interrogator interrupts any statement of denial by the suspect to ensure the suspect doesn’t get the upper hand in the interrogation (4) the interrogator overcomes the suspect’s objections to the changes to a point at which the suspect becomes quiet and withdrawn (5) once the suspect has become withdrawn, the interrogator ensures that the suspect doesn’t tune out the interrogation by reducing the psychological distance between the interrogator and the suspect, such as by physically moving closer to the suspect (6) the interrogator exhibits sympathy and understanding, and the suspect is urged to come clean (7) the suspect is offered face-saving explanations for the crime, which males self- incrimination easier to achieve (8) once the suspect accepts responsibility for the crime, the interrogator develops this admission into a full confession (9) the interrogator gets the suspect to write and sign a full confession • -minimization techniques: soft sell tactics used by police interrogators that are designed to lull the suspect into a false sense of security (use of sympathy, excuses, justification) -maximization techniques: scare tactics used by police interrogators that are designed to intimidate a suspect believed to be guilty -problems with the Reid model: (1) Deception Detection: detecting when someone is being deceptive the issue of whether investigators are effective deception detectors because the actual interrogation of a suspect begins only after an initial interview has allowed the investigator to determine whether the suspect is guilty many individuals don’t understand their Miranda rights when they are presented to them (2) Investigator Bias: bias that can result when police officers enter an interrogation setting already believing that the suspect is guilty biases led to coercive interrogations that caused suspects to appear more guilty even if they aren’t -police agencies in England and Wales use the PEACE method to guide interrogations (planning and preparation, engage and explain, account, closure, and evaluation)  provides inquisitorial framework as opposed to accusatorial framework -false confession: a confession that is either intentionally fabricated or is not based on actual knowledge of the facts that form its content; “if it is elicited in response to a demand for a confession and is either intentionally fabricated or is not based on actual knowledge of the facts that form its consent” -retracted confession: a confession that the confessor later declares to be false (regardless of if it really is) -disputed confession: a confession that is later disputed at trial – arise because of legal technicalities, or because the suspect disputes the confession was ever made -different types of false confessions (a) voluntary false confession: a false confession that is provided without any elicited from the police – a morbid desire for notoriety; the person being unable to distinguish fact from fantasy; the need to make up for pathological feelings of guilt by receiving punishment; a desire to protect somebody else form harm (b) coerced-compliant false confession: a confession that results from a desire to escape a coercive interrogation environment or gain a benefit promised by the police even though they are innocent; most common type; may be given so the suspect can escape further interrogation, gain a promised benefit, avoid a threatened punishment; include making false evidence and threatening harm (c) coerced-internalization false confession: a confession that results from suggestive interrogation techniques, whereby the confessor actually comes to believe they committed the crime – individuals recall and confess to a crime they didn’t commit because they are exposed to highly suggestible questions, and end up believing they are responsible for the crime, associated with a history of substance abuse or some other interference with brain function; the inability of people to detect discrepancies between what they observed and what has been erroneously suggested to them; factors associated with mental state such as severe anxiety, confusion, or guilt -compliance: a tendency to go along with demands made by people perceived to be in authority, even though the person may not agree with them -internalization: the acceptance of guilt for an act, even if the person did not actually commit the act -confabulation: the reporting of events that never actually occurred -people more likely to confess when minimization tactics were used for both guilty and innocent subjects -criminal profiling: an investigative technique for identifying the major personality and behavioural characteristics of an individual based upon an analysis the crimes they have committed – used to help set traps to flush out an offender; to determine whether a threatening note should be taken seriously; to give advice on how best to interrogate a suspect; to tell prosecutors how to break down defendants in cross-examination -criminal profilers try to predict the offender’s age, sex, race, level of intelligence, educational history, hobbies, family background, residential location, criminal history, employment status, psychosexual development, and post-offense behaviour -predictions made by forensic psychologists and psychiatrists who have clinical or research experience with offenders -Origins of Criminal Profiling: Early Attempts -attempts to reconstruct various crime scenes and describe the wounds of the victims for purpose of gaining a greater insight into the offender’s psychological make-up in ‘Jack the Ripper’ case FBI -development of criminal profiling program in the FBI in 1970s -first time that profiles were produced in a systematic way by a law enforcement agency and that training was provided in how to construct criminal profiles -the development of the FBI’s Behavioural Sciences Unit in 1972, the National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime was opened for the purpose of conducting research in the area of criminal profiling and providing formal guidance to police agencies around the US that were investigating serial killer crimes Investigative Psychology -since the early 1990s, some of the most important advances in the area of criminal profiling have been made by David Canter, the founder of investigative psychology -Canter and his colleagues spent 20 years developing the field of profiling into a scientific practice -VICLAS: the Violent Crime Linkage Analysis System, which was developed by the RCMP to collect and analyze information on serious crimes from across Canada - one of the biggest problems the police encounter when they are faced with a possible crime series is linkage blindness (an inability on the part of the police to link geographically dispersed serial crimes committed by the same offender because of a lack of information sharing among police agencies) -equation of profiling: WHAT (material that profilers collect at the start of an investigation) + WHY (motivation for the crime) = WHO (actual profile) -Two Types of Profiling Methods (1) deductive criminal profiling: profiling the background characteristics of an unknown offender based on evidence left at the crime scenes by that particular offender - involves prediction of an offender’s background characteristics generated through evidence left behind, relies on logical reasoning, primary disadvantage is that the underlying logic of the argument can be faulty (2) inductive criminal profiling: profiling the background characteristics of an unknown offender based on what we know about other solved cases – involves the prediction of an offender’s background characteristics generated from a comparison, relies on a determination of how likely it is an offender will possess certain background characteristics given the prevalence of these characteristics among known offenders who have committed similar crimes, major problem is that it will never be possible to have a representative sample of serial offenders from which to draw profiling conclusions (3) organized-disorganized model: a profiling model used by the FBI that assumes the crime scenes and backgrounds of serial offenders can be categorized as organized or disorganized – organized: well-planned and controlled crime; disorganized: impulsive crime chaotic in nature Organized Behaviours Disorganized Behaviours Planned offence Spontaneous offence Use of restraints on the victim No restraints used on the victim Ante-mortem sexual acts committed Post-mortem sexual acts committed Use of a vehicle in the crime No use of a vehicle during crime No post-mortem mutilation Post-mortem mutilation Corpse not taken Corpse/body parts taken Little evidence left at the scene Evidence left at the scene High intelligence Low intelligence Skilled occupation Unskilled occupation Sexual adequate Sexually inadequate Lives with a partner Lives alone Geographically mobile Geographically stable Lives and works far away from crimes Lives and works close to crimes Follows crimes in media Little interest in media Maintains residence and vehicle Doesn’t maintain residence and vehicle • -profiling criticised because: many forms of profiling are based on a theoretical model of personality that lacks strong empirical power; many profiles contain information that is so vague and ambiguous they can potentially fit many suspects; professional profilers may be no better than untrained individuals at constructing accurate criminal profiles -geographic profiling: an investigative technique that uses crime scene locations to predict the most likely area where an offender resides – used mostly for serial homicide and rape, serial robbery, arson, and burglary used for prioritizin potential suspects (accomplished by rank ordering the suspects based on how close they live to the predicted home location) -geographic profiling systems: computer systems that use mathematical models of offender spatial behaviour to make predictions about where unknown serial offenders are likely to reside – used by police to prioritize their investigative activities -STUDY (Bennell, Taylor, & Snook) examined whether individuals trained to use heuristics (simple general rules that can be used to make decisions and solve problems, in some instances, a reliance on heuristics can result in biased decisions or reasonably accurate decisions) (predicting that serial offenders will live close to the locations of the majority of their crime) would make profiling predictions that are as accurate as computerized systems - before any training 50% of participants made predictions that were as accurate as a computerized system, after training there was no difference between average accuracy between the actual and predicted home location – results in a debate of whether profiling approaches have merit • • Chapter 4 pp. 87 – 117 The Polygraph Technique -polygraphy relies on deception being associated with physiological change -originated in 1917 to be used in the Frye vs. US case -polygraph: a device for recording an individual’s autonomic nervous system responses -measurement devices attached to the upper chest and abdomen to measure breathing, the amount of sweat on the skin is measured by attaching electrodes to the fingertips -polygraph disclosure tests: polygraph tests that are used to uncover information about an offender’s past behaviour -polygraphs do not detect lies because the physiological states associated with lying are similar to anxiety, anger, embarrassment, and fear – they rely on measuring physiological responses to different types of questions -Types of Polygraph Tests comparison question test: includes irrelevant questions that are unrelated to the crime, relevant questions concerning the crime being investigated, and comparison questions concerning the person’s honesty and past history prior to the event being investigated -includes a pre-test interview, followed by a series of questions administered while the suspect’s physiological responses are measured, the polygraph examiner then scores the charts and ends it with a post-test interview -accuracy rate of 55-78%  many innocent suspects classified as inconclusive -9-24% innocent suspects falsely identified as guilty -vulnerable to false-positive errors (falsely classifying innocent as guilty) concealed information test: designed to determine if the person knows details about a crime -each question has on correct option (critical option) and four options that are foils (alternatives) -an innocent person who doesn’t know the details of the crime, will show the same physiological responses to all options -not used in North America -vulnerable to false-negative errors (falsely classifying guilty suspects as innocent) -countermeasures: as applied to polygraph research, techniques used to try to conceal guilt (biting tongue, pressing toes on the floor, counting backward by 7 from 200) countermeasures worked for 50% of the guilty suspects (CIT) -US National Research Council (NRC) *the threshold rationale for the polygraph is weak, especially in terms of differential fear, arousal, or other emotional states that are triggered in response to relevant and comparison questions *the existing validation studies have limitations – lab test findings on validity are not a good guide to accuracy in field settings. They are likely to overestimate accuracy in field practice *there aren’t any field experiments designed to assess polygraph validity and satisfying minimal standards of research quality • Brain-Based Deception Research -researchers have attempted to use brain-based responses to detect deception - event-related brain potentials: brain activity measured by placing electrodes on the scalp and by recoding electrical patterns related to presentation of a stimulus -when using CIT procedures, guilty suspects should respond to crime-relevant events with a large P300 (type of ERP) response compared to non-criminals -using the P300, 18 out of20 participants were correctly classified in the guilty condition and 17 out of 20 were correctly classified in the innocent condition -limitations: guilty participants reviewed crime-relevant details just prior to taking CIT, there were no aversive consequences linked to performance in this study; the sample size was very small, can only be applied to laboratory settings -investigators beginning to use fMRI to determine which areas of the brain are associated with lying -lies that were part of a story and that had been rehearsed repeatedly produced a higher level of activation in the right anterior frontal cortex than did spontaneous isolated lies -spontaneous isolated lies produced a higher level of activation in the anterior cingulate and posterior visual cortices -limitation is that it is typically based on averaging fMRI data across multiple participants, which constraints its use for detecting deception in individuals -this methodology is important for examining neurological factors of disorders for which deception plays a prominent role (malingering or psychopathy) -the most common method of deception detection is through the analysis of verbal characteristics and non-verbal behaviour -focusing attention on the message source’s tone of voice was more successful at detecting deception -non-verbal behaviour such as gaze aversion, smiling, and self-manipulation (rubbing one’s hands) are not reliable indicators of deception -if a liar is not feeling excited, scared, or guilty, or when the lie is easy to fabricate behavioural cues to deception will not be present -people display inconsistent expressions of emotions during deception -for verbal strategies, the majority of truth-tellers claimed to “keep it real” (50%), whereas liars would “keep it simple” (46.7%) -liars provided fewer details and engaged in self-manipulations and smiled less when lying about emotional events -liars tend to speak in a higher-pitched voice than those telling the truth -liars have an increased use of speech disturbances (“ah”, “um”) and a slower rate of speech during deception, however if you ask participants only to conceal information or instruct them on what they should lie bout, deception is associated with fewer speech disturbances and a faster speech rate Verbal Characteristics Speech fillers (“ah”, “um”) Speech errors (word or sentence repetition, sentence change, sentence incompletion or slips of the tongue) Pitch of voice Rate of speech Speech pauses Non-Verbal Characteristics Gaze aversion Smiling Blinking Fidgeting Illustrators (gestures) Hand or finger movements Leg or foot movements Body movements Shrugs Head movements Shifting positions • -on average the accuracy rate for detecting deception for “professional life catchers” (police, judges, psychologists) was 55% which was no more accurate than other citizens  they share a belief in stereotypes that are not related to deception and most people have a truth bias (the tendency of people to judge more messages as truthful than deceptive) -a third of Secret Service agents were 80% accurate or better – relied on multiple cues to assess credibility rather than on any one cue -suspects who are highly motivated to lie under high-stakes are easier to detect than low-stake ones -in university students, detection accuracy was highest when the judge was left-handed (left-handers rely more on right-hemisphere processes which are associated with greater emphasis on processing facial cues rather than less informative cues), the target was unattractive (assumed to be more readily believed because of the activation of the stereotype that attractive people tell the truth), the target and judge were of opposite genders (arise via the activation of stereotypes), and if facial cues were relied on • Assessment of Malingering and Deception -factitious disorder: a disorder in which the person’s physical and psychological symptoms are intentionally produced and are adopted to assume the role of a sick person with an absence of external incentives may be aware that they are intentionally producing the symptoms, but they may lack insight into the underlying psychological motivation for example: Munchausen syndrome – a rare factitious disorder in which a person intentionally produces a physical complaint and constantly seeks physician consultations, hospitalizations, and even surgery to treat the nonexistent illness, often emerges at age 20, is difficult to treat and is chronic in nature -somatoform disorder: a disorder in which physical symptoms suggest a physical illness but have no known underlying physiological cause and the symptoms are not intentionally produced believe that they have a physical problem and consult with their physician for treatment are rare and usually co-occur with other disorders (like depression or anxiety) -malingering: intentionally faking psychological or physical symptoms for some type of external gain *a criminal may attempt to avoid punishment by pretending to be unfit to stand trial, to have a mental illness at the time of a criminal act, or to have an acute mental illness to avoid being executed *may seek drugs or want to be transferred to a psychiatric facility to do easier time *seek to avoid conscription to the military or to avoid certain military duties *may seek financial gain from disability claims, workers’ compensation, or damages from alleged injury *may seek admission to a hospital to obtain free room and board -opposite of malingering is defensiveness: conscious denial or extreme minimization of physical or psychological symptoms -Explanations for Malingering (1) the pathogenic model assumes that people are motivated to malinger because of an underlying mental disorder, the patient attempts to gain control over their pathology by creating bogus symptoms – rated least important (2) the criminological model focuses on “badness”, a bad person (antisocial personality disorder), in bad circumstances (legal difficulties), who is performing badly (uncooperative) malingering should be strongly suspected of 2+ of the following factors are evident: presence of antisocial personality disorder; forensic assessment; lack of cooperation; marked discrepancy between subjective complaints and objective findings (3) the adaptive model sees malingering as likely to occur when there is a perceived adversarial context; personal stakes are very high; no other viable alternatives are perceived – research findings support this model in that there are higher rates of malingering in adversarial settings or when the personal stakes are high – rated most important -research comprises 3 basic designs: case study, simulation, and known groups -most research on malingering uses a simulation design: as applied to malingering research, people are told to pretend they have specific symptoms or a disorder – main disadvantage is its limited generalizability to the real world -known-groups design: as applied to malingering research, it involves comparing genuine patients and malingerers attempting to fake the disorder the patients have – involves the establishment of the criterion groups (genuine patients and malingerers) and an analysis of the similarities and differences between these criterion groups but because of the difficulty with the reliable and accurate classification of criterion groups, this design is rarely used in malingering research -malingerers report rare or atypical symptoms, blatant symptoms, or absurd symptoms that are usually not endorse by genuine patients -malingerers more likely to report positive symptoms of schizophrenia (delusions and hallucinations) as opposed to negative/subtle symptoms (blunted affect, concreteness, peculiar thinking) -8 scales that represent different strategies that a person may employ when malingering (1) rare symptoms: not ones that a true patient endorses (2) symptom combinations: uncommon pairing of symptoms (3) improbable or absurd symptoms: unlikely to be true (4) blatant symptoms: items that are obvious signs of mental disorder (5) subtle symptoms: items that contain what most people consider everyday problems (6) selectivity symptoms: ratio of symptoms endorsed vs. those not endorsed (7) severity of symptoms: number of severe symptoms reported (8) reported vs. observed symptoms: discrepancy between self-report and observable symptoms -most widely used personality inventory to assess non-offenders and offenders is the MMPI-2 which includes several clinical scales to assess psychopathy and also includes several scales specifically designed to test “faking-bad” or malingering Chapter 5: Eyewitness Testimony Pages 118-145 • Rests on memory o Stages include:  Perception/attention  Encoding – perceive and pay attention to details in the environment  Short-term memory  Long-term memory  retrieval o not all information from an event is encoded • factors that affect memory and retrieval in eyewitness accounts o inattention o unexpectedness o amount of time to view environmental details o hearing others describe the same environmental details o wording of questions o amount of time elapsed between having witnessed the event and having to retrieve the information o type of lineup procedure used o relation between confidence and accuracy • Recall memory – reporting details of a previously witnessed event or person o E.g. describing what the culprit did or looked like • Recognition memory – determining whether a previously seen item or person is the same as what is currently being viewed o E.g. hearing a set of voices and identifying the culprit’s voice • A laboratory simulation study is the most common way used to study eyewitness issues o A participant views an event, such as a crime, though a slide sequence, video or live and is unaware that they will be questioned until after the event has been witnessed. They are then asked to describe what happened and the culprit involved • Estimator variables – variables that are present at the time of the crime and that cannot be changed o E.g. the age of the witness, amount of lighting o Independent variable • System variables – variables that can be manipulated to increase (or decrease) eyewitness accuracy o E.g. type of procedure used by the police to interview the witness o Under the control of the justice system o Independent variable • Open-ended recall – witnesses are asked to either write or orally state all they remember about the event without the officer (or experimenter) asking questions. Also known as a free narrative o Dependent variable • Direct question recall – witnesses are asked a series of specific questions about the crime or the culprit o E.g. asked the colour of the getaway car • Lineup – a set of people presented to the witness, who in turn must state whether o Examined for accuracy of decision and types of errors made Interviewing Eyewitnesses • In a study by Fisher et al., it was found that police officers often interrupted eyewitnesses when they were providing an open-ended recall report, limiting the amount of information the eyewitnesses have in their conscious memory by preventing them from speaking or distracting them with questions • Use very short, specific questions, resulting in very short answers • Tend to ask questions in a predetermined or random order that was inconsistent with information being provided by eyewitnesses at the time • Asked leading or suggestive questions • Misinformation effect – phenomenon where a witness who is presented with inaccurate information after an event will incorporate that misinformation in a subsequent recall task o Also called post-event information effect o Study by Loftus and Palmer  Students watched a video of a car accident  When asked about the accident (“about how fast were the cars going when they hit each other?”), hit was replaced with either smashed, collided, bumped, or contacted  Participants reported the greatest speed when smashed was used and lowest with bumped and contacted  Participants who heard smashed more likely to recall seeing broken glass in the videotape although there was none Explanation of the Misinformation Effect • Misinformation acceptance hypothesis – explanation for the misinformation effect where the incorrect information is provided because the witness guesses what the officer or experimenter wants the response to be • Source misattribution hypothesis – explanation for the misinformation effect where the witness has two memories, the original and the misinformation; however, the witness cannot remember where each memory originated or the source of each o When asked to recall, the witness chooses the incorrect memory • Memory impairment hypothesis – explanation for the misinformation effect where the original memory is replaced with the new, incorrect, information o Original memory has been replaced or altered with incorrect memory and is no longer accessible Procedures that Help Police Interview Eyewitnesses • Hypnosis o Hypnotized person may be able to produce a greater number of details, phenomenon called hypnotically refreshed memory o Details are just as likely to be inaccurate as accurate o Hypnotized individual seems to be more suggestible to subtle cues by the interviewer o Age regression  Type of hypnosis used  Witness goes back in time and re-experiences the original event o Television technique  Witness imagines that he or she is watching an imaginary television screen with the events being played as they were witnessed o Difficulty differentiating between accurate and inaccurate information • Cognitive Interview o Interview procedure for use with eyewitnesses based on principles of memory storage and retrieval o Not recommended for use with unwilling participants such as suspects o Based on:  Reinstating the context  Reporting everything  Reversing order  Changing perspective o Produces greater amount of accurate information without an increase in inaccurate details, compared to standard police interviews and hypnosis  30% increase o enhanced cognitive interview – interview procedure that includes various principles of social dynamics in addition to the memory retrieval principles used in the original cognitive interview  rapport building, supportive interview behaviour, transfer of control, focused retrieval, witness- compatible questioning – new components  does not produce results significantly different from original cognitive interview • hair colour and hairstyle most accurately reported in descriptions of culprits o sex and height most reported, height accurate only 52% of the time in study by Van Koppen and Lochun • the use of a standard to compare to did not increase accuracy of information Recognition Memory • Lineup Identification o Suspect – a person the police “suspect” committed the crime, who may be guilty or innocent for the crime in question o Culprit – the guilty person who committed the crime o Reduces the uncertainty of whether a suspect is the culprit beyond the verbal description provided o Provides police with information about the physical similarity between the lineup member chosen and the culprit o Foils (or Distractors) – lineup members who are known to be innocent for the crime in question  Can be matched based on similarity to the suspect’s appearance or based only on the items that the witness provided in his or her description o Fair lineup – a lineup where the suspect does not stand out from the other lineup members o Target-present lineup – a lineup that contains the culprit  Contains picture of the culprit  3 types of identification  the witness can identify the guilty suspect (correct identification), the witness could identify foil (foil identification), witness may state that the culprit is not present (false rejection) o Target-absent lineup – a lineup that does not contain the culprit but rather an innocent suspect  Substitute the culprit’s picture with another photo  3 types of identification  witness can state that the culprit is not present (correct rejection), witness can identify a foil, witness can identify an innocent suspect (false identification) o photo array – photographic lineup  less time-consuming, portable, suspect does not have right to counsel while witness views photos, static so suspect’s behaviour cannot draw attention to himself or herself, witness may be less anxious o simultaneous lineup – a common lineup procedure that presents all lineup members at one time to the witness  suggests that this encourages witness to make a relative judgment – witness compares lineup members to one another and the person that looks most like the culprit is identified o sequential lineup – alternative lineup procedure where the lineup members are presented serially to the witness, and the witness must make a decision as to whether the lineup member is the culprit before seeing another member. Also, a witness cannot ask to see previously seen photos and is unaware of the number of photos to be shown  reduces the likelihood that the witness can make a relative judgment o absolute judgment – witness compares each lineup member to his or her memory of the culprit to decide whether the lineup member is the culprit  more likely with sequential judgment o showup – identification procedure that shows one person to the witness: the suspect  absolute judgment is likely  Gonzalez, Ellsworth, Pembroke, found that witnesses more likely to reject showup than all members of a lineup  Witnesses more cautious when making decision, err on making rejection rather than identification  Only 2 acceptable uses:  Deathbed identifications or if a suspect is apprehended immediately at or near the crime scene o Walk-by – identification procedure that occurs in a naturalistic environment. The police take the witness to a public location where the suspect is likely to be. Once the suspect is in view, the witness is asked whether he or she sees the culprit o Biased lineups – a lineup that “suggests” who the police suspect and thereby who the witness should identify  Biases include:  Foil bias – the suspect is the only lineup member who matches the description of the culprit  Clothing bias – suspect is the only lineup member wearing similar clothes to that worn by the culprit  Instruction bias – police fail to mention to the witness that the culprit may not be present Voice Identification • Identification accuracy higher with longer voice samples • Whispering significantly decreased identification accuracy • Distinctiveness interacted with whispering, influencing identification accuracy • Exposing witnesses to more than one lineup, each consisting of different aspects of the suspect, increased ability to determine the reliability of an eyewitness’s identification of the suspect Estimator Variables in Recognition Memory • Age o older adults make similar correct identifications but fewer correct rejections than do younger adults o older adult witnesses may have more difficulty than younger adult witnesses in making correct rejection decisions • Race o Cross-race effect – the phenomenon of witnesses remembering own-race faces with greater accuracy than faces from other races. Also known as the other-race effect and the own-race bias o When studied in First Nations people, individuals from different bands may experience the cross-race effect o Explanation for the cross-race effect  Attitudes  People with less prejudicial attitudes may be more inclined to distinguish among members of other races • No research to date to support this  Physiognomic Homogeneity  Explanation of the cross-race effect, some races have less variability in their faces • Not much empirical support  Interracial Contact  The more contact you have with other races, the better you will be able to identify them • Some support for this • Weapon Focus o Weapon focus – the term used to describe the phenomenon of a witness’s attention being focused on the weapon rather than on the culprit  Witness will remember less about the crime and culprit when a weapon is present o Explanations  Arousal  Cue-utilization hypothesis – proposed by Easterbrook (1959) to explain why a witness may focus on the weapon rather than other details. The hypothesis suggests that when emotional arousal increases, attentional capacity decreases  Unusualness  Weapons are unusual and distract a witness’s attention Expert Testimony on Eyewitness Issues • Criticisms include whether or not results of laboratory simulations can be applied to the real world o Also that information provided is common sense and not necessary for the fact-finder • Weaknesses o Studies examining the same issue produce different results o Most of the studies use university students; real-life witnesses vary in age and other demographic variables o Most studies allow a witness to view the culprit for approximately six seconds; in reality, witnesses may view the culprit for five or more minutes Public Policy Issues and Guidelines • In terms of lineup guidelines, Wells et al. proposed that guidelines be limited to: o The person who conducts the lineup or photo array should not know which person is the suspect o Eyewitnesses should be told explicitly that the criminal may not be present in the lineup and, therefore, witnesses should not feel that they must make an identification o The suspect should not stand out in the lineup as being different from the foils based on the eyewitness’ previous description of the criminal or based on other factors that would draw extra attention to the suspect o A clear statement should be taken from the eyewitness at the time of the identification and prior to any feedback as to his or her confidence that the identified person is the actual criminal Chapter 6 Child Victims and Witnesses Forensic Psychology by Pozzulo, Bennell & Forth PSYC * 3020 DE Introduction • How do we interview children? Can the justice system rely on children’s memory? History • Salem witch trials in 1692 – children told falsehoods and claimed to have witnessed the defendants perform supernatural feats o Several years later many children recanted their testimonies • For the most part, the prevailing legal attitude toward child witnesses for the following 300 years was that of skepticism • Europe in the early 20 century – research testing the validity of negative attitudes toward child witnesses o Reviews concluded young children were highly suggestible, has difficult separating fact from fantasy, and provided inaccurate testimony o Yet little is known about the details of the research and how these conclusions were made • 1970’s – a “flurry” of research on children’s witness abilities started • Ceci and Bruck (1993) outlined 4 factors that led to the renewed interest in child witnesses 1. Expert psychological testimony was becoming more acceptable in the courtroom. 2. Social scientists were interested in research that could be applied to real-world problems. 3. Studies on adult eyewitness testimony were increasing. 4. The legal community became interested in behavioural science research regarding child witnesses. • Increasing number of reported sexual and physical abuse cases where a child was a victim or a witness Recall for Events • Are children able to recall events accurately? • The Martensville Babysitting Case (see Box 6.1) o May suggest that children do not make very reliable witnesses, even about events they supposedly experienced • Studies have shown that children are capable of recalling forensically relevant details • The challenge is determining when children are recalling accurately and when they are fabricating • Research suggests that the accuracy of children’s reporting is highly dependent on how they are asked to report Free Recall versus Directed Questioning • When children are asked to report using a free narrative approach, their accuracy in reporting is comparable with that of adults o Yet children report very little information using this approach • Direct questions or probes, such as “What else do you remember?” or “Tell me more about what you remember” are often necessary to elicit the required information • When children are asked leading, direct questions, they are more likely to produce an erroneous response than when they are asked nonleading, direct questions • Older children are more resistant to leading questions than younger children (adults being more resistant than older children) • Dr. Maggie Bruck – key researcher in eyewitness memory and suggestibility (see Box 6.2) • Direct questions that require yes/no responses or use a forced-choice format are particularly problematic for preschoolers • Waterman, Blades and Spencer (2004) o Interviewed children between 5 and 9 o Their study (p.149) found that yes/no questions are particularly problematic • Melnyk, Crossman and Scullin (2006) o Suggest that yes/no questions are problematic for children because these questions rely on recognition rather than recall, thus increasing the likelihood of error • Using recall may elicit brief responses, but the responses are more likely to be accurate Why Are Children More Suggestible Than Adults? • Social Compliance or Social Pressure • Changes to the Cognitive System Social Compliance or Social Pressure • Children respond to interviewers in the manner that they feel the interviewer desires • Children may respond to suggestive influences because they trust and want to cooperate with adult interviewers • Children may infer the desired response in keeping with the “gist” or general idea of the question • Hughes and Greive (1980) o Children between 5 and 7 asked nonsensical/illogical questions that don’t have correct responses o Many children provided yes/no answers instead of saying “I don’t know” Changes to the Cognitive System • Research has found developmental differences in the ways children and adults encode, store, and retrieve memories • Differences have also been found in terms of forgetting and retention • Notion that children “misattribute” where information came from • Currently, researchers believe that an interaction of social and cognitive factors is likely responsible for children’s suggestibility and their reporting of false information • The content and format of questions posed to child witnesses should be considered carefully o Interviewers need to balance asking direct questions with the risk of obtaining false information o Many researchers recommend relying on free recall as much as possible Anatomically Detailed Dolls • Props may be useful if children have difficulty providing verbal accounts of events • Anatomically detailed dolls used by mental health professionals for interviewing children suspected of being sexually abused • Dolls are consistent with male or female anatomy • Assumption underlying use of the dolls is that children may have difficulty verbalizing what occurred • They demonstrate what they experienced using the dolls • Thierry, Lamb, Orbach and Pipe (2005) o Examined the impact of anatomically detailed dolls on reports provided by 3- to 12-year-old alleged sexual abuse victims o (See p. 152) o 7- to 12-year-olds reported more details verbally, while younger children were more likely to use the dolls and contradict details that were reported verbally o Both younger and older children reported proportionally more “fantastic” details with the dolls than without • Goodman, Quas, Batterman-Faunce, Riddlesberger, and Kuhn (1997) o Found that 3- to 10-year-olds who had been touched during an examination were more likely to report such touching with dolls than when questioned orally • Saywitz, Goodman, Nicholas and Moan (1991) o 5- to 7-year-old girls failed to report where they’d been touched during a medical examination using the dolls, but when asked directly where they had been touched, they provided yes/no responses • A number of difficulties have been identified for using these dolls to determine if sexual abuse occurred o No specifications or guidelines are available for manufacturers of these dolls o Wide variation exists, and some mental health professionals even make their own dolls o No standard procedures exist for scoring the behaviours that children exhibit when interacting with the dolls o Research isn’t available to answer how nonabused versus abused children play with the dolls, and whether the groups of children play with the dolls differently Other Techniques for Interviewing Children • Criterion-Based Content Analysis • Step-Wise Interview • Narrative Elaboration • National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) Interview Protocol • Cognitive Interview Criterion-Based Content Analysis • Developed in Germany in the 1950’s by Udo Undeutsch to facilitate distinguishing truthful from false statements made by children • CBCA • Revisions have been done by Stellar and Kohnken (1989), and Raskin and Esplin (1991) • Part of a more comprehensive protocol called statement validity analysis (SVA) for credibility assessment for sexual abuse allegations • SVA consists of three parts: 1. A structured interview with the victim 2. A systematic analysis of the verbal content of the victim’s statements using CBCA 3. The application of a statement validity checklist • Underlying assumption of CBCA is that descriptions of real events differ in quality and content from memories that are fabricated • 18 criteria were developed to discriminate between true and fabricated events of sexual abuse (Table 6.1 p. 153) • Ruby and Brigham (1997) o Difficulties with CBCA: inconsistencies with the number of criteria that need to be present to conclude truthfulness, the different decision rules for reaching a conclusion • Age of interviewee is positively correlated with scores on the CBCA • Younger children don’t possess the cognitive abilities and command of the language to provide as detailed statements as older children • Pezdek et al. (2004) o Concerns about the forensic suitability of the CBCA for discriminating between children’s accounts of real and fabricated events • CBCA scores are calculated by using a truth-lie classification that requires the assessor to classify the statement as truthful or untruthful, based on his or her own interpretation • Highly subjective, doesn’t insure inter-rater reliability Step-Wise Interview • Aims to keep false claims at a minimum • Developed by Yuille and colleagues • Consists of a series of “steps” designed to start the interview with the least leading and directive type of questioning, and then proceed to more specific forms of questioning as necessary (see Table 6.2 p.155) • Objective is to provide the child with lots of opportunity to report using a free narrative before other types of questioning are used • Lindberg, Chapman, Samsock Thomas and Lindberg (2003) o Tested the step-wise procedure and the procedure they developed - the modified structured interview – in addition to a procedure developed by Action for Child Protection in West Virginia that uses doll play o The three procedures are similar in terms of rapport building and the general question phases o The major difference is in terms of specific questioning o (See pg. 154 for details) • Overall, the step-wise procedure is consistent with what we know about children’s recall abilities and how to elicit accurate information • Commonly used in Canada Narrative Elaboration • Developed in the United States by Saywitz and Snyder (1996) • Children learn to organize stories into relevant categories: o Participants, Settings, Actions, Conversation/affective states, Consequences • Visual cues (cards) for each category help children to remember to state all that they can • They practice telling stories with each card (each card has a line-drawing on it) before they’re questioned about the critical events • First asked for a free narrative – answering “what happened?” • (See p.156 for additional info) National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) Interview Protocol • Developed by Dr. Michael Lamb after he and his colleagues examined a number of interviewing protocols for use with children • Relies on open-ended questioning with two types of prompts available to interviewers • Time prompts o Have the child fill in details and a timeline o E.g. “What happened next?” • Cue question prompts o Details that the child has reported are used in the question and children are asked to elaborate o E.g. “You said ___________, tell me more about that” • This protocol also provides direction on how to start the interview and how to introduce the topic of abuse • Dr. Kim Roberts at Wilfred Laurier University o Has collaborated with Dr. Lamb on a variety of research studies examining children’s reporting abilities and factors that may influence children’s reports, such as report-building style Cognitive Interview • From Chapter 5 • Can be adapted and used with children • Meta-analysis found that children interviewed with the cognitive interview reported more accurate information than children interviewed in control conditions Recall Memory Following a Long Delay • Heated debate about memory repression: is it possible to forget a traumatic event, such as abuse, only to recall it many years later? • Some argue childhood sexual abuse memories are so traumatic for some individuals that they repress them in their unconscious • Others argue that it is only through therapy and the use of suggestive techniques that clients come to believe that they were sexually abused as children when in fact they were not o Referred to as false memories o Loftus (researcher in Chapter 5) is among the proponents of this group • False memory syndrome was a term coined to describe a client’s false belief that he or she was sexually abused as a child Can Traumatic Memories Be Forgotten? • Can traumatic memories be forgotten in the first place, only to be recalled in adult life? • Porter and Birt (2001) o Asked university students to describe their most traumatic experience and their most positive experience o (See p.158) • Lindsay and Read (1995) o Suggest 5 criteria to consider when determining the veracity of a recovered memory: 1. Age of complainant at the time of the alleged abuse 2. Techniques used to recover memory 3. Similarity of reports across interview sessions 4. Motivation for recall 5. Time elapsed since the alleged abuse • The courts are seeing a number of cases where there has been a delay in reporting the abuse (Box 6.4 p. 159 Historic child sexual abuse (HCSA)) Recall For People • Children don’t only have to describe events, they may also be asked to describe the culprit, especially if he or she is a stranger • Culprit descriptions are also known as recall for people Describing the Culprit • Davies, Tarrant and Flin (1989) o Found that younger children recalled fewer items than older children o Older children recalled more interior facial features, such as freckles and nose, than younger children • The exterior feature of hair seems to be a dominant descriptor focused on by both children and adults • Interior facial features were problematic for both youth and adults • Height, weight and age are descriptors commonly reported o If they aren’t, police often ask about them directly • Davies, Stevenson-Robb and Flin (1988) o Found that children/youth were inaccurate when asked to report about the height, weight and age of an unfamiliar visitor • Pozzulo and Warren (2003) also found that accuracy for body descriptors such as height and weight were consistently problematic for youth • Children and youth may not understand the relation between height and weight, or may lack experience with height and weight o It is only in later adolescence that people become body conscious and more familiar with weight (and height proportions) • Leichtman and Ceci (1995) o Examined the effect of stereotypes and suggestions on preschooler’s reports o Children between 3- and 6-years-old were assigned to one of four groups: Control, Stereotype, Suggestion, Stereotype + Suggestion o (See p.161) • Memon, Holliday and Hill (2006) o Found that children were more likely to accept positive, inaccurate information than negative, inaccurate information o Negative information was more likely to be rejected, and positive information more likely to be accepted • It’s important for interviewers not to introduce their own biases or inaccurate information when interviewing children • Free narratives are again the most preferred method of getting accurat
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