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PSYC*3020 Unit 1.doc

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PSYC 3020
Dan Yarmey

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Friday, January 18, 2012 Unit 1: An Introduction To Psychology of Law Introduction - formal interactions between psychology and law have existed since the middle of the 19th century and can even be traced back to the writings of the early Greek philoso- phers when physiology was identified as part of the discipline of philosophy - not all legal professionals are convinced that what psychology has to offer is necessar- ily valuable Psychology and Law Law - the sum of all the rules governing behaviour that is enforceable in courts - the law is concerned with control of human behaviour and social justice - laws reflect values, and values are basic psychological concepts Values - standards for decision making - laws are created, amended or discarded because society has established standards for what is acceptable and unacceptable behaviour - legal issues often involves questions that have been or could be studied for their basic psychological foundations and implications Common “Understandings” of the Criminal Justice System - people believe the criminal justice system operates much like a set of well-oiled ma- chines connected one to another Law-Passing Machine - (the government), acts like a thermostat which measures the temperature of society and passes laws against anything which raises society’s anger or indignation beyond some reasonable or tolerable threshold point Enforcing Machine - (the police), goes to work surveying the city and countryside for any signs of disturbance and reaches out which its long arm to capture whoever seems to be responsible for committing dastardly deeds Justice-Dispensing Machine - (the courts), checks the enforcing machine has func- tioned properly, matches the evidence of guilty and relevant law, then dispenses a just decision Culprit-Processing Machine - responsible for punishment and rehabilitation so that he or she will not offend on release from prison - if the picture described above was accurate there would be no need for forensic psy- chology, or psychology of law Friday, January 18, 2012 - “justice” in reality is a human product - psychology is center stage in its contribution to the systematic analysis of the actions, motives, thoughts and feelings of all of the peopled situations involved in this process - forensic psychology attempts to facilitate the various branches of the justice system through objective analyses, recommendations and treatment of factors which may de- tract from the objectivity of the legal process Read Textbook Chapter 1 Chapter 1: An Introduction to Forensic Psychology Forensic Psychology - a field of psychology that deals with all aspects of human be- haviour as it relates to the law or legal system - the way the media portray forensic psychology is usually inaccurate What is Forensic Psychology? - experts in the area don’t even agree on what the field should be called, some refer to it as legal psychology or criminological psychology - a narrow definition might focus on clinical aspects (forensic assessment, treatment and consultation) while ignoring experimental research - this definition means the only individual who should call themselves forensic psycholo- gists are those who engage in clinical practice, not researchers - a broad definition is “(a) the research endeavour that examines aspects of human be- haviour directly related to the legal process and (b) the professional practice of psychol- ogy within, or in consultation with, a legal system that embraces both civil and criminal law - this textbook adopts a broad definition The Roles of a Forensic Psychologist The Forensic Psychologists as a Clinician Clinical Forensic Psychologists - psychologists who are broadly concerned with the assessment and treatment of mental health issues as they pertain to the law or legal system Friday, January 18, 2012 - can include both research and practice in a wide variety of settings such as schools, prisons, and hospitals - issues they are be interested in: divorce and child custody mediation, determinations of criminal responsibility (insanity), providing expert testimony on questions of a psycho- logical nature - personnel selection, conducting critical incident stress debriefings with police officers, and designing and conducting treatment programs for offenders - Alberta, Saskatchewan, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island require a master’s degree in Psychology - New Brunswick, British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec required a Ph.D in psychology Forensic Psychiatry - a field of medicine that deals with all aspects of human behav- iour as it relates to the law or legal system - the biggest difference between forensic psychiatry and psychology is that psychiatrists are medical doctors who can prescribe medication - psychologists tend to view mental illness more as a product of an individual’s physiolo- gy, personality and environment The Forensic Psychologists as a Researcher Experimental Forensic Psychologists - broadly concerned with the study of human behaviour as it relates to the law or legal system - research issues of interest include: examining the effectiveness of risk-assessment strategies, determining what factors influence jury decision making, developing and test- ing better ways to conduct eyewitness lineups, evaluating offender and victim treatment programs, studying the impact of questioning style on eyewitness memory recall and ex- amining the effect of stress management interventions on police officers - most have undergone Ph.D level graduate training The Forensic Psychologist as a Legal Scholar - far less common - forensic psychologists who are much more informed about the legal process and legal system - engage in scholarly analyses of mental health law and psychologically oriented legal movement - applied work would most likely center around policy analysis and legislative consulta- tion Friday, January 18, 2012 The Relationship Between Psychology and Law - according to Craig Haney, there are 3 kinds of ways psychology and the law can relate to each other: 1. Psychology AND the Law - the use of psychology to examine the operation of the legal system - psychology is viewed as a separate discipline to the law, examining and analyzing vari- ous components of the law and the legal system from a psychological perspective - examining the assumptions made by the law or legal system e.g. are eyewitnesses ac- curate? are judges fair in their sentences? 2. Psychology IN the law - the use of psychology in the legal system as the system op- erates - the use of psychological knowledge in the legal system - e.g. psychologist in court providing expert testimony concerning some issue of rele- vance to a particular case - or a police officer using his or her knowledge in an investigation 3. Psychology OF the Law - the use of psychology to examine the law itself - the use of psychology to study the law itself - examining questions such as “What role should the police play in domestic disputes? Does the law reduce the amount of crime in our society? - the challenge is that a set of skills from multiple disciplines is often important and sometimes crucial - in the future more research will focus on this The History of Forensic Psychology - forensic psychology, when it is broadly defined, has a relatively short history, dating back roughly to the late 19th century - in the early days it was not actually referred to as forensic psychology Early Research: Eyewitness Testimony and Suggestibility - James McKeen Cattell did some of the first experiments called the Psychology of Eye- witness Testimony where he asked people to recall things they had witnessed inn their everyday lives and found their answers were often incorrect - other psychologists began studying eyewitness testimony and suggestibility Friday, January 18, 2012 - Alfred Binet conducted studies which showed that the testimony provided by children was highly susceptible to suggestive questioning techniques - William Stern began conducting studies examining the suggestibility of witnesses, one was the “reality experiment” that is now commonly used by eyewitness researchers - participants are exposed to staged events and then are asked to recall information - Stern was the first to demonstrate that a person’s level of emotional arousal can have an impact on the accuracy of that person’s testimony Early Court Cases in Europe - around this time, psychologists in Europe also started to appear as expert witnesses in court, much of the testimony dealt with issues surrounding the accuracy of eyewitness testimony - Albert von Shrenck-Notzing testified on what he called Retroactive Memory Falsifica- tion - a process whereby witnesses confuse actual memories of events with the events described by the media Advocates of Forensic Psychology in North America - one of the most important landmarks was the publication in 1908 of Hugo Munster- berg’s On The Witness Stand - Munsterberg is considered by may to be the father of forensic psychology - he discussed how psychology could assist with issues involving eyewitness testimony, crime detecting, false confessions, suggestibility, hypnotism, and even crime prevention - he received a lot of criticism, due to the way he wrote, but his biggest critic was JOhn Henry Wigmore, a well-respected law professor in Chicago - Wigmore put Munsterberg on “trial” where he was sued, and found guilty of “claiming more than he could offer” Forensic Psychology in Other Areas of the Criminal Justice System - after Munsterberg’s book, forensic psychology in North America gradually caught up to what was happening in Europe - forensic psychologists were instrumental in establishing the first clinic for juvenile delin- quents in 1909, psychologists began using psychological testing for law enforcement se- lection purposes in 1917 and in 1919 the first forensic assessment lab was set up in a US police agency Landmark Court Cases in the United States Friday, January 18, 2012 - the first time an expert provided testimony in courts in the US was 1921 (State vs. Den- ver) but this was only a partial victory - the best known case in forensic psychology is Brown vs Board of Education - this case challenged the constitutionality of segregated public schools - opponents argued that separating children based on their race creates feelings of infe- riority, affecting their motivation to learn - this was important because of a footnote that was attached to the last sentence of the ruling, the famous footnote 11, which was the research in the social sciences demon- strating the detrimental effect of segregation - on the references was the work of Kenneth Clark, an African-American psychologist - some have argued that this validated psychology as a science - another court case was Jenkins vs United States which involved charged os breaking and entering, assault, and intent to rape - the defendant pled not guilty by reason of insanity - 3 clinical psychologists were presented each supporting the insanity defence on the bases that the defendant was suffering from schizophrenia - at the end of the trial, the judge instructed the jury to disregard the testimony from the psychologists because “psychologists were not qualified to give expert testimony on the issue of mental illness” - the case was appealed and the American Psychological Associated provided a report stating their view that clinical psychologists are competent to provide opinions concern- ing the existence of mental illness - the court reversed the conviction and ordered a new trial stating that some psycholo- gists are qualified to testify on mental disorders but that must depend upon the nature and extent of his knowledge not simply not the title “psychologist” - this helped to increase the extent to which psychologists could contribute directly to the legal system as expert witnesses Signs of a Legitimate Field of Psychology - a growing number of high-quality textbooks in the area provide the opportunity to teach students about forensic psychology - a large number of academic journals are now dedicated to various aspects of the field and more mainstream psychology journals are beginning to public research from the forensic domain at a regular rate Friday, January 18, 2012 - a number of professional associations have now been developed to represent the in- terests of forensic psychologists and to promote research and practice in the area, the largest being the American Psychology-Law Society (AP-LS), founded in 1968-69 - in Canada, forensic psychologists can belong to the Criminal Justice Section of the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) - new training opportunities at both the undergraduate and graduate level are being es- tablished in North America and existing training is being improved - in 2001, the American Psychological Association (APA) formally recognized forensic psychology as a speciality discipline Modern-Day Debates: Psychological Experts in Court - the variety of topics that forensic psychologists testify about is very broad indeed, in- cluding competency to stand trial, custody issues, malingering and deception, the accu- racy of eyewitness identification, the effects of crime on victims, and the assessment of dangerousness - it is important for forensic psychologists to become more knowledgeable about the law, legal system, the role of an expert witness, the various ways in which psychology and the law differ from each other, the criteria that courts consider which determining whether psychological testimony should be admitted The Functions of the Expert Witness 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 - generally serves 1 or 2 functions: (1) provide the court with information that assists them in understanding a particular issue, (2) provide the court with an opinion - contrast to other witnesses in court, who can testify only about what they have directly observed, expert witnesses can provide their personal opinion on matter The Challenges of Providing Expert Testimony - difficulties arise because of the inherent differences that exist between the fields of psychology and law - psychology and law differ among at least 7 different dimensions: 1. Knowledge - psychology: gained through cumulative research, law: comes through legal precedent, logical thinking and case law 2. Methodology - psychology: nomothetic, uncovering broad patterns and general trends through controlled experiments and statistics, law: idiographic, case-by-case Friday, January 18, 2012 3. Epistemology - psychology: assume it is possible to uncover hidden truths if the ap- propriate experiments are conducted, law: truth is defined subjectively and based on who can provide the most convincing story of what happened 4. Criteria - psychology: cautious to accept something as true, law: decides what is true based on a single case and criteria that are often more lenient 5. Nature of Law - psychology: describe how people behave, law: prescriptive, tells people how they should behave 6. Principles - psychology: always considers alternative explanations, law: always con- vince the judge and jury that their explanation of the findings are the only correct expla- nation 7. Latitude - psychology: the behaviour when acting as an expert witness in court is se- verely limited by the court, law: imposes fewer restrictions on the behaviour of lawyers - judges often have difficulty seeing how psychologists can assist in court proceedings Criteria for Accepting Expert Testimony - until quite recently, the admissibility of expert testimony in the US was based on a deci- sion handed down by the courts in Frey vs United States - Frey was being tried for murder and the court rejected his request to admit the results from a polygraph exam he passed - on appear, the court also rejected the requests to allow the polygraph expert to present evidence - the court indicated that, for novel scientific evidence to be admissible in court, it must be established that the procedures used to arrive at the testimony is generally accepted in the scientific community - while courts will go a long way in admitting expert testimony deduced from a well-rec- ognized scientific principle or discovery, the thing form which the deduction is made must be sufficiently established to have gained general acceptable from the particular field in which it belongs - this criterion criteria came to be called the General Acceptance Test - it’s major criticism centers on the vagueness of the terms general acceptance and the particular field in which it belongs and whether trial judges are able to make appropriate determinations of what these terms mean - the issue of vagueness was addressed during Daubert vs Merrell Dow Pharmaceuti- cals, Inc. Friday, January 18, 2012 - the US Supreme stated that for scientific evidence to be admitted into court, it must (1) be provided by a qualified expert, (2) be relevant, (3) be reliable (meaning scientifically valid) Daubert Criteria - scientific evidence is considered valid if the following 4 criteria are met: 1. the research has been peer reviewed 2. the research is testable (falsifiable) 3. the research has a recognizable rate of error 4. the research adheres to professional standards - during Kumho Tire Company vs Carmichael, the US Supreme Court ruled that the Daubert criteria apply to all expert testimony - in Canada, during R vs Mohan, the rules for admissibility were laid out Modan Criteria - a standard for accepting expert testimony, which states that expert testimony will be admissible in court if the testimony is: 1. Relevant - it makes a fact at issue in the case more or less likely 2. Necessary for assisting the trier of fact - must be about something that goes beyond the common understanding of the court 3. Must not violate any other rules of exclusion (rules that would otherwise exclude the admissibility of evidence) 4. Must be provided by a qualified expert, expertise in a court of law is typically deter- mined by considering the type and amount of training and experience a witness pos- sesses - shoutout to the prof - Case of R. vs. Mcintosh and McCarthy where the judge ruled Dr.- Yarmey’s testimony was inadmissible according to the Mohan criteria - the judge was wrong Back to the Course Manual Historical Perspectives - scientific psychology can be traced back to the founding laboratory of Wilhelm Wundt in 1879 - forensic psychology began with the emergence of applied psychology, in particular the “psychology of testimony” - Sigmund Freud proposed that psychology could assists the legal system by offering its methods and understandings to the testing of the truthfulness of reported events Friday, January 18, 2012 - Hugo Muensterberg in his book On the Witness Stand argued (without supporting em- pirical evidence) that insights from experimental research on the psychology of percep- tion and memory could address the accuracy and credibility of eyewitness testimony - his viewpoints were heavily criticized by both legal and psychological communities - he failed to appreciate that the court was more concerned with the validity and reliabili- ty of verdicts than the reliability of witnesses - Alfred Binet demonstrated the power of suggestibility on children’s memory - William Stern provided evidence on the psychology of verbal reports as it occurs in law - Professor von Liszt was the first to perform drama or reality experiments in which an actor would break into a public lecture, yell at the speaker, draw a revolver and shoot his gun and shoot off. Participants would immediately write down their observations and then in a few days they had interviews - their accuracy decreased as time went on - in the 1970s there was a renewed interest in psychology and law Science and Methodology Philosophy and Methodology - how do people develop knowledge of the world? Four general principles have been of- fered by Charles Pierce: 1. The Method of Tenacity - people hold steadfast to their beliefs about others and how the world operates because they “know” them to be true and correct based on their ex- perience. They believe in these truths even when they face contradictory evidence. 2. The Method of Authority - people believe and have knowledge about things be- cause individuals in authority or institutions declare it to be so. Education is based on what authorities proclaim with authority originating from teachers, scholars, and experts. 3. The A Priori Method - an idea is believed to be correct and true because “it only stands to reason” or because it can be logically deduced as Th.e way to knowledge. Logical thought and reasoned deduction ultimately reveals universal truths of “natural laws” regarding what is fair and just. Based on positive law and is the dominant ap- proach to knowledge in the legal process 4. The Method of Science - the testing of statements through observations and sys- tematic research. Dominant approach to obtaining knowledge in psychology. - psychology refers to the systematic study of behaviour whether it be public, observable behaviour or private, internal mental activity - legal psychology draws its theoretical based from several fields of research - scientific theories must be testable, logically consistent, precise, comprehensive, and parsimonious Friday, January 18, 2012 - any application of science to solve one problem of society as opposed to another in- volves a value judgment - science is best defined as: a quest for theoretical knowledge and has 2 essential char- acteristics: (1) it seeks general explanatory principles in nature which accounts for an in- determinate range of phenomena, (2) the scientist is prepared to subject these explana- tory principles, and theories, to the test of experience and to inter-subjective criticism Social Framework - scientific psychology does not present the truth, science only brings us images or rep- resentations of the truth - knowledge is almost always the result of both observation and inference (theory) and not of observation alone - empirical facts that are replicable and explain theoretical models can yield generaliza- tions that provide a “social framework” for understanding legal questions Read 1.1 in Course Reader 1.1 Logic and Methodology of Experimental Research in Eyewit- ness Psychology - Maass - why experimenting? Not all of the things you might want to study occur in the natural environment - this article discusses the advantages and limits of experimental eyewitness psychology Logical Foundations of Experimental Research - laboratory research in psychology has emerged form 2 very different scientific fields: physics and agriculture - the idea of experimental control emerged so that researchers are in a positive to create and systematically manipulate experimental conditions - experimental control of psychological researchers is seriously limited by the fact that the human targets of their research are distinct individuals - the problem can be solved by applying random assignment - the combination of experimental control and randomization enables the psychological researcher to draw conclusions about causality Friday, January 18, 2012 Basics of Experimental Design Hypotheses - either derived from a larger theoretical model or reflects a practical problem - the testability of a hypothesis is restricted by practical, logical and ethical issues - there are ethical guidelines that places limits on the testing of some hypotheses which means many problems of eyewitness psychology cannot be investigated experimentally - experimental research can test hypotheses that cannot be tested with real police inves- tigations, due to legal constraints - a hypothesis contains a statement of the association between one or more indepen- dent variables and one or more dependent variables Operationalization of the Independent Variables - the independent must at least have 2 different levels or degrees, deciding these is called operationalizing that variable - an interaction is is theoretical considerations suggest that one independent variable may influence another Construct Validity - complex concepts such as instructional bias or arousal of the witness are called con- structs - the IV has to be operationalized in a way that represents the underlying construct as broadly as possible and is not confounded with any other constructs - these conditions constitute construct validity - the construct must be validly represent- ed - it is important that the subjects perceive the experimental procedure according to the experimenter’s intentions - construct validity can also be established by invest
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