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Lectures 1-6 (notes).doc

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York University
PSYC 3310
Gwen Jenkins

Intro to Psych and Law - Forensic Psychology* (pg. 2 of text) o Much debate over who should be involved in this and in what it includes o Not clearly defined and many disciplines - Developmental Psychology (e.g. child custody cases) o Need to know about kids to assess parents psychological abilities o E.g. depression in adults is expressed differently in kids; children are angry and then tend to act out when depressed; thus, need to know why kids are upset - Clinical Psychology (e.g. competence) Can they stand trial? - Social Psychology (e.g. jurors attitudes can be biased) - Cognitive Psychology (e.g. eye witness memory isnt always trustworthy) - Expectations vary o E.g. in UK only forensic psychologists required clinical training o E.g. US prefers legal and psychology background - Heilbruns Model: Clinical Training**(in text Pg. 5) Psychologist Roles (from Chapter 2) - 1. Advisors (e.g. trial consultant, expert witness) - Trial consultant o Identify major issues in a case, jury (de) selection, prepare witnesses for trial o E.g. get older women for jury in sexual assault case because benefits/helps (certain jury people work better for certain cases) o Comment on validity of an experts report o Often experts opinions conflict with what the lawyers say, so they arent too welcome in the courts - Expert Witness o E.g. competence o quality of psych evidence o E.g. was the interrogation suggestive? Were the psych tests used valid? o Expert Witness: Eye Witness Testimony -> we have 2 types of witnesses 1) Fact Witness = involved in case but not expert (eye witness) 2) Expert Witness = expert who gives evidence about eye witness testimony -> gives evidence of fallibility of eyewitness testimony Not all experts can be expert witnesses Inconsistency in admissibility of expert eye witness testimony E.g. testimony on eye witness accuracy Rare in Canada In US, some states do and some states dont R. v. Sophonow * [1982, 83, 85] may be key in introducing expert testimony in eyewitness accurate (for this case know the name and why; its available in the text) R. v. Sophonow : Eyewitness Evidence - Face eye witness Josh Doerksen - Saw person at cash register taking cardboard box, and followed then confronted him - Descriptions and (mis)identification 4 times: o After 5 beers he gave a statement and description to the police o Hypnotist got a different description out of Doerksen o When staying at two different hotels, he claimed to see Sophonow on those separate occasions - Doerksen didnt identify Sophonow in a line up, but later when Sophonow was taken to jail for unpaid fees (?) Doerksen recognized him - Misidentifications were not mentioned in the trial and no expert eye witness was present to call this out - During fight/flight -> emotions take charge, cognitions turn off o Therefore eyewitness memory reliable - Sophonow was charged in 1982, after 3 trials he was convicted and spent 4 years in prison - Had a 2001 inquiry Psychologist Roles (contd) - 2. Evaluator o E.g. evaluate effectiveness of social programs, rehab programs o Formative evaluations ongoing assessment during development/early stages make recommendations to increase effectiveness o Summative evaluation assess effectiveness of programs, make recommendations for changes or termination - 3. Reformer* o Advocates for change in the legal system (e.g. amicus curiae briefs) o Reformer: Prep. Of Briefs o Amicus Curiae (friends of the court) briefs: Information presented by a 3 party who may be influenced by the outcome of a case Rare in Canada (judges dont really like it) o MAJOR example is Brown v. Board of Education (1954) ** Historical US Case Desegregation in schools in the US Used amicus curiae to support argument o Psychologists opinions change biases may undermine objectivity, which evidence is presented o E.g. if all jurors are unbiased, theyd all come to the same conclusion, but each person have their own beliefs, biases, background, thoughts, and history Conflicts between Psychology and Law - Theres a general resistance to allow psychologists in courts, theres also a resistance to allow psychologists to give lawyers help or assistance - Early History (KNOW the names of the following people & their significance) - Csare Lombroso (1836-1909) o father of modern criminology o Criminal behavior is inherited identified by physical defects, character flaws (e.g. immortality) - Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) o Theories of personality and psychopathology influenced thinking that psychology could be useful to the legal system - Hugo Mnsterburg ** o founder of forensic psychology o Psychologists should serve expert witnesses (was his suggestion) o Police investigations and courtroom procedures required assistance of psychologists o He believed lawyers didnt really know what they were talking about -> which pissed many people off o His 3 main activities included: 1) Demonstrating the fallibility of memory Memory isnt really good when it comes to witnesses 2) Published On the Witness Stand (1908) Topics included eye witness accuracy, hypnosis, memory distortion, crime detection (?) 3) Offering testimony as expert witness in highly publicized trials promised more than he could deliver Court system wants definitives, but psychology only gives probability o Reaction from Legal Community
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