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Department
Psychology
Course
Psychology 2990A/B
Professor
All Professors
Semester
Fall

Description
Applications of PsychologyChapter1PsychologyandtheLawBarbaraStoppel16yearoldfoundstrangeledintheWinnipegdoughnutshopTalllankymanwearingacowboyhatseenthereduringthetimeofthecrimeBasedondescriptionstherewasasketchofhimmadeThomasSophonowatalllankyhoteldoormanfromVancouverwhowasinWinnipegatthetimeHewasseenleavingthedoughnutshopandwaschargedwithmurderIn1982histrialresultedinahungjuryjurymemberswereunabletoreachaverdictHewastriedasecondtimein1983andthejuryfoundhimguiltyofseconddegreemurderafteronlyfourhoursofdeliberationHewastriedathirdtimein1985andwasagainfoundguiltyofseconddegreemurderHespend4yearsinprisonforacrimeheclaimshedidnotcommitManitobacourtofappealarguedthatheshouldnotfaceafourthtrialandsethimfreebutdidnotdeclarehiminnocentIn1988thecasewasreopenedandDNAtestingconcludedthathewasnotthekillerHereceived26millionincompensationTheCanadianJusticeSystemCanadianJusticeSystemconsistsofCriminalandcivillawIncivilcasesonepartytheplaintiffbringsacomplaintagainstanotherthedefendantforviolatingtheformersrightsinsomewayCrownattorneysofficeusuallydecideswhetherthereisenoughevidencetopressformalchargesSometimesthereisapreliminaryhearingwhereajudgedecideswhethertherewillbeatrialThedefendantmaypleadguiltytoalesserchargeAquarterofthesecasesgototrialInfirstimpressionsofthecausedandofwitnesseshaveapowerfuleffectonpoliceinvestigatorscriminalcasesandjurorsPrejudicedbeliefsandstereotypicalwaysofthinkingaffectthoseattributionsEyewitnessTestimonyInCanadathelegalsystemassignsagreatdealofsignificancetoeyewitnesstestimonyIfyouarefingeredbyandeyewitnessastheculprityouarelikelytobeconvictedevenifconsiderablecircumstantialevidenceindicatesyouareinnocentSomewitnessescomeforwardbecauseofrewardsDespitelackofphysicalevidenceeyewitnesstestimonywasenoughtoconvictSophonowtwiceJurorsrelyheavilyandoverestimatetheaccuracyofeyewitnessesAndexperimentwasmadetoseehowaccuratelypeoplecanpickoutathieffromasetofsixphotographsThemorevisualinformationavailableaboutthethiefthehigherthepercentageofstudentswhocorrectlyidentifiedhiminaphotolineupInthenextstepoftheexperimenttheywerequestionedabouttheireyewitnessidentificationsAnewgroupofparticipantswhoplayedtheroleofthejurorsoverestimatedtheaccuracyofthewitnessesespeciallyintheconditionwherethethiefwasdifficulttoidentityGaryWellsexamined40casesinwhichDNAevidenceindicatedthatwassuspectwasinnocentIn36ofthesecasesandeyewitnesshadfalselyidentifiedthesuspectasthecriminalMistakeneyewitnessidentificationisresponsibleformorewrongfulconvictionsthatallothercausescombinedWhyareEyewitnessesOftenWrongAnumberofdistortionscanoccurinourmindsEyewitnessidentificationisaformofsocialperceptionThreestagesofmemoryareacquisitionstorageandretrievalAcquisitionistheprocessbywhichpeoplenoticeandpayattentiontoinformationintheenvironmentPeoplecannotperceiveeverythingthatishappeningaroundthemsotheyacquireonlyasubsetoftheinformationavailableStorageistheprocessbywhichpeoplestoreinmemoryinformationtheyhaveacquiredfromtheenvironmentRetrievalistheprocessbywhichpeoplerecallinformationstoredintheirmemoryAcquisitionApplications of PsychologyThereareanumberoffactorsthatlimittheamountofinformationaboutacrimethatpeopletakeinCrimesusuallyoccurundertheveryconditionsthatmakeacquisitiondifficultquicklyunexpectedlyandunderpoorviewingconditionsInOctoberof1997fouryoungmenwentonarampageattackingpassersbyatrandomBytheendofthenighttheyhadkilledateenageboyandseverelywoundedanoldermanFoursuspectswerearrestedandconvictedofthecrimeslargelyonthebasisofeyewitnesstestimonyPeopleexaminedrecordsofrobberyandfraudcaseshandledbytheRCMPtofindeyewitnesserrorsTheycomparedthedescriptionsofthecriminalsgivenbyeyewitnessesandvictimswiththecriminalsactualphysicalcharacteristics100percentofbystandersrememberedfacialhaircrimevictimsrememberedonly60percentofthetimes48percentofbystandersand38percentofthevictimsrememberedhaircolourEyewitnesseswhoarevictimsandareterriblyafraidwillhaveadifficulttimetakingineverythingthatishappeningThemorestresstheworsetheirmemoryisPeopletendtofocustheirattentiononanyweaponstheyseeandlessonthesuspectsfeatures73percentofeyewitnessescorrectlyidentifiedapolicesuspectwhennoweaponswaspresentduringacrimeThispercentdroppedto31percentwhenaweaponwaspresentInformationpeoplenoticeandpayattentiontoisalsoinfluencedbywhattheyexpecttoseePeoplearepooratnoticingtheunexpectedUnfamiliareventsorpeoplearealsomoredifficulttorememberthanfamiliareventsofpeopleOwnracebiasPeoplearebetteratrecognizingfaceswithintheirownfaceYoungestchildrenstillshowownracebiasWhenpeopleexaminesameracefacestheypaycloserattentiontoindividuatingfeaturethatdistinguishthatfacefromothersWhenpeopleseeafaceofapersonofanotherracetheytendtoclassifythefaceintermsofraceandstopatthatStorageFewofushavephotographicmemoryMemoriesinonealbumgetconfusedwithmemoriesinanotherReconstructivememorytheprocesswherebymemoriesforaneventbecomedistortedbyinformationencounteredaftertheeventhasoccurredInformationthatweobtainafterwitnessinganeventcanchangeourmemoryoftheeventMisleadingquestionscanchangepeoplesmindsThewayinwhichthepoliceandlawyersquestionwitnessescanchangethewitnessesreportsaboutwhattheysawDomisleadingquestionsalterwhatisstoresineyewitnessesmemoriesordothequestionschangeonlywhatthesepeoplearewillingtoreportwithoutretouchingtheirmemoriesMisleadingquestionscauseaproblemwithsourcemonitoringtheprocessbywhichpeopletrytoidentifythesourceoftheirmemoriesPeopleoftenbecomemixedupaboutwheretheyheardorsawsomethingWheninformationisstoredinmemoryitisnotalwayswelltaggedastowhereitcamefromEyewitnesseswhoareaskedmisleadingquestionsoftenreportseeingthingsthatwerenotreallythereEyewitnessesmaybeconfusedastowhyasuspectlooksfamiliarRetrievalFoilspeopleknownnottohavecommittedthecrimeIfawitnessidentifiesasuspectastheculpritthesuspectislikelytobechargedandconvictedofthecrimeLineupshaveahighersuccessratethanthealternativeofshowingeyewitnessesonlyonepersonIfonlyonepersonwasshownandthatpersonwasinnocentamistakenidentificationwasfourtimesmorelikelythanwhenthesamepersonappearedinasexpersonlineupErrorswereespeciallylikelyiftheinnocentpersonoreclothingsimilartothatwornbythepersonwhocommittedthecrimeApplications of PsychologyTheuseoflineupsappearstobebetterthanthealternativeofpresentingonlyonepersonandaskingeyewitnesseswhetherthatpersoncommittedthecrimeTherecanbeproblemswithhowpeopleretrieveinformationfromtheirmemoryWitnessesoftenchoosethepersoninalineupwhomostresemblesthecriminaleveniftheresemblanceisnotstrongToavoidthisbestguessproblemEnsurethateveryoneinthelineupresemblesthewitnessesdescriptionofthesuspectTellthewitnessesthatthepersonsuspectedofthecrimemayormaynotbeinthelineupFalseidentificationsaremorelikelytooccurwhenpeoplebelievethattheculpritisinthelineupDonotalwaysincludethesuspectinaninitiallineupIfawitnesspicksoutsomeoneastheculpritfromalineupthatincludesonlyfoilsyouwillknowthewitnessisnotreliableMakesurethatthepersonconductingthelineupdoesnotknowwhichpersoninthelineupisthesuspectPresentpicturesofpeoplesequentiallyinsteadofsimultaneouslyPresentwitnesseswithphotographsofpeopleandsoundrecordingsoftheirvoicesWitnesseswhobothseeandhearmembersofalineuparemuchmorelikelytoidentifythepersontheysawcommitacrimethanarepeoplewhoonlyseepicturesoronlyhearvoicerecordingsCompositefaceprogramsshouldperhapsbeavoidedTrytominimizethetimebetweenthecrimeandtheidentificationofsuspectsJudgingWhetherEyewitnessesAreMistakenThereisevidencethatconfidentwitnessesaremorelikelytobebelievedbypoliceinvestigatorsjudgesandjurorsDoesCertaintyMeanAccuracyNumerousstudieshaveshownthatawitnessesconfidenceisnotstronglyrelatedtohisorheraccuracyItisdangeroustoassumethatbecauseawitnessisveryconfidentheorshemustthereforebecorrectThecorrelationbetweenparticipantsconfidencethattheyhadmadeacorrectidentificationandtheaccuracyoftheiridentificationswasonly029Jurorsweremorelikelytobelieveconfidentratherthanunconfidentwitnesses32percentofthejudgesdisagreedwiththestatementattrialaneyewitnessesconfidenceisagoodpredictorofhisorheraccuracyinidentifyingthedefendantastheperpetratorofthecrimeSignsOfAccurateTestimonyAccuratewitnessestendedtosaythattheydidntreallyknowhowtheyrecognizedthemanthathisfacejustpoppedoutatthemInaccuratewitnessestendedtosaythattheyusedaprocessofeliminationwherebytheydeliberatelycomparedonefacewithanotherTakingmoretimeandthinkingmorecarefullyaboutthepictureswasassociatedwithmakingmoremistakesWeshouldthereforebemorewillingtobelieveawitnesswhosaysIknewitwasthedefendantassoonasIsawhiminthelineupthanonewhosaysIcomparedeveryoneinthelineupthoughtaboutitanddecideditwasthedefendantPeoplearemostaccuratewhentheymaketheirjudgementquicklyintensecondsorlessTheProblemWithVerbalizationAstudyshowedthattryingtoputanimageofafaceintowordscanmakepeoplememoryworseTryingtoputafaceintowordsisdifficultandimpairsmemoryforthatfaceWhenyouseethephotolineupifyoulookingforeyethataresquintydoingsointerfereswithyourattentiontothefinerdetailsofthefacesPerhapsthecriminallawsystemincanadashouldrelylessoneyewitnesstestimonythenitdoesnowThismightmeanthatsomeguiltypeoplegofreebutwouldavoidmanyfalseconvictionsJudgingWhetherEyewitnessesareLyingEvenifwitnesseshaveveryaccuratememoriesforwhattheysawtheymightdeliberatelyliewhenonthewitnessstandSomewitnessesadmittedthattheytestifiedbecausetheywantedarewardSometimesthetruthisneverestablishedWhereasPeoplearebetterthanchanceattellingliesfromtruthstheirlevelofaccuracyisnotimpressive
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