Test 1: Chapter 1 Flashcards Preview

Psychology 3224 > Test 1: Chapter 1 > Flashcards

Flashcards in Test 1: Chapter 1 Deck (66):

Forensic psychology

Field of psychology that deals with all aspects of human behaviour as it relates to the law or legal system


What is the problem with forensic psychology in the media?

Ie. TV show cops: selective cutting and reorganization which biases viewers towards legal system and away from suspects


Beginning of forensic psychology

19th century
Did not consider themselves forensic psychologists
Foundational research


James Cattell

Psychology of eyewitness testimony
Measurements of the Accuracy of Recollection
Found answers to often be inaccurate, and imperfect relationship between confidence and accuracy


Alfred Binet

Susceptibility of suggestive questioning techniques in children
Experiment: write what they saw, answer mildly suggestive questions, answer very suggestive questions
Children were most accurate when they were told to describe what they saw


William Stern

Reality experiment
Participants exposed to stage events when someone pulled a revolver
Memory was inaccurate and worse for exciting parts of event


Albert von Schrench-Notzing

Provided testimony in court about affect of pretrial publicity on memory
Retroactive memory falsification


Retroactive memory falsification

Confuse actual memories with those in the media


Julian Varendonck

Expert witness
Showed unreliability of children witnesses and proneness to susceptive questioning in case of Cecile murder


Hugo Munsterberg

Expert witness
Testified in two cases, both times were ignored
1. Richard Ivens: was mentally incompetent and coerced into confessing, later executed
2. Harry Orchard: found he was telling truth about murdering someone, but was acquited
Press objected to his involvement, said psychology was a fad for cheating justice
Wrote On the Witness Stand


On the Witness Stand

Written by Hugo Munsterberg
How psychology could help the legal system
Much criticism, based on how it was written
Criticized by John Henry Wigmore


Bartol & Bartol: contributions of psychologists in early 20th century (3)

1. Clinics for juvenile delinquents
2. Laboratories for pretrial assessments
3. Psychological testing for law enforcement selection purposes


Biological theories of crime (3)

1. Sheldon's constitutional theory
2. Jacobs, Brunton, Melville, Brittain and McClemont's chromosomal theory
3. Nevin's theory of lead exposure


Sheldon's constitutional theory

Crime is a produce of body type (somatotype) which was thought to be linked to individuals temperament
Endomorphs (obese) are jolly
Ectomorphs (thin) are introverted
Mesomorphs (muscular) are bold
Mesomorphs are more likely to be involved in crime due to their aggressive nature


Jacobs, Brunton, Melville, Brittain and McClemont's chromosomal theory

Chromosome irregularity is linked to criminal behaviour
Men with XYY are more more masculine, and therefore more aggressive


Nevin's theory of lead exposure

Childhood lead exposure (paint, gasoline) and criminal behaviour are related
Lead exposure can impact brain development in regions responsible fo emotional regulation, impulse control, leading to an increased change in antisocial behaviour


Sociological theories of crime (3)

1. Merton's strain theory
2. Sutherland's differential association theory
3. Becker's labelling theory


Merton's strain theory

Product of strain felt by certain members of society
Typically lower class who have restricted access to legitimate means of achieving valued goals of success
Some are happy when lesser goals are achieved, others turn to crime in attempt to achieve those goals


Sutherland's differential association theory

Criminal behaviour is learned through social interaction in which people are exposed to values that are favourable or unfavourable violations of the law
More likely to be involved in crime when they learned more favourable violations of the law


Becker's labelling theory

Deviance is not inherent to an act, but a label attached to an act by society
Criminal results primary from a process of society labelling them as a criminal - promotes deviant behaviour, self-fulfilling prophecy


Psychological theories of crime (3)

1. Eysenck's biosocial theory of crime
2. Aker's social learning theory
3. Gottfredson and Hirschi's general theory of crime


Eysenck's biosocial theory of crime

Some individuals are born with nervous systems that influence their ability to learn from consequences of behaviour - especially negative consequences from childhood, socialization and conscience-building processes
Extraverts and neurotics will develop strong antisocial inclinations due to reduced conditionability


Aker's social learning theory

Crime is a learned behaviour
Likelihood of becoming a criminal increases when one interacts with individuals who favour antisocial attitudes
Role models who exhibit antisocial behaviour, define antisocial behaviour as sometimes justifiable, or rewards for antisocial behaviour


Gottfredson and Hirschi's general theory of crime

Low self-control internalized early in life in the presence of criminal opportunity explains propensity to commit crimes


State v. Driver, 1921

West Virginia
Attempted rape of young girl
Expert evidence regarding juvenile delinquency
Court rejected psychologist testimony that girl was a moron and could not be believed
Court: do not know if psychological and medical tests are practical and detect lies of witnesses


People v. Hawthorne, 1940

Psychologists gives opinion of mental state of defendant at time of offense


Jenkins v. USA, 1962

Reinforced that psychologist could provide admissible opinion regarding defendants mental health
3 psychologists testified that Jenkins was not guilty due to schizophrenia
Court said they could not witness re: mental state, told jury to disregard
Appealed: some psychologists are qualified to render expert testimony on mental disorders


Why were Canadian courts slower than USA courts to allow expert psychologist testimony?

Canada relied on physicians
Due to differences in educational standards
US: doctorate
CA: masters


Forensic psychology as legitimate field of study

Growing number of textbooks
Academic journals, growing number of publications
Professional associations promoting research and practice
New training opportunities
Formal recognition of forensic psychology as a discipline in 2001


Issues with narrow definitions of forensic psychology

May focus on clinical aspects
Ignores experimental research - does not include forensic psychologists who do forensic research


Other names for forensic psychology (2)

1. Legal psychology
2. Criminological psychology


Broad definition of forensic psychology

Research endeavour that examines aspects of human behaviour directly related to the legal process and the professional practice of psychology within or in consultation with a legal system that embraces both criminal and civil law and the numerous areas they intersect


Roles of forensic psychologists (3)

1) Clinician
2) Researcher
3) Legal scholar


Forensic psychologist as clinician

Mental health issues as they pertain to the legal system, assessment and treatment
Assessment of an offender
Private practices, prisons, hospitals
In Canada, licensed clinical psychologist specialized in forensic area (graduate level)


Forensic psychiatry

Field of medicine that deals with all aspects of human behaviour as it relates to law or legal system
Medical doctor


Forensic psychologist as researcher

Mental health issues as they pertain to the legal system
PhD level training, sometimes in other areas of psychology


Forensic psychologist as legal scholar

Less common than other two
Program at Simon Fraser
Scholarly analyses of mental health law and psychological oriented legal movements
Policy analysis and legislative consultation


Ways psychology and law work together (3)

1. Psychology and the law
2. Psychology in the law
3. Psychology of the law


Psychology and the law

Use of psychology to examine the operation of the legal system
Psychology is a separate discipline to law
Examines assumptions made by legal system (are eyewitness testimony accurate? Do some interrogation techniques make people wrongly confess?) - try to answer these questions to inform legal bodies


Psychology in the law

Use of psychology in the legal system as that system operates
Expert testimony of psychologist (eyewitness research, accuracy of police line ups)


Psychology of the law

Use of psychology to examine law itself
ie. Does law reduce amount of crime in society?
Needs engagement of multiple disciplines, psychology, criminology, sociology, law, etc


R v. Hubbert, 1975

Ontario Court of Appeals
Jurors must be impartial - limits on media broadcasting before trial


R v. Sophonow, 1986

Manitoba Court of Appeals
Overterns conviction of Sophonow due to problems with eyewitness testimony


R v. Lavellee, 1990

Supreme Court of Canada
Guidelines for testimony in cases of battered woman syndrome


Wenden v. Trikha, 1991

Alberta Court of Queen's Bench
Mental health professionals have duty to warn third party if client intends to seriously harm them


R v. Swaim, 1991

Changes in insanity defense


R v. Levogiannis, 1993

Children can testify behind screens


R v. Mohan, 1994

Criteria for allowing expert testimony


R v. Williams, 1998

Acknowledged that jurors can be biases by sources


R v. Gladue, 1999

Prison sentences reliant to much on judges
Other sentencing options should be considered


R v. Oickle, 2000

Police interrogation techniques are acceptable and confessions are admissible


R v. LTH, 2008

Prosecution does not have to prove that legal rights were understood by minors, but given in appropriate language


Function of expert witness

Provide assistance to the triers of fact in the form of an opinion based on some type of specialized knowledge, education or training
Personal opinion on matters relevant to the case
Opinions must fall within the limits of area of expertise
Educator of judge or jury, not advocate of a particular side


Conflicts between psychology and law: epistemology

Psychologists think you can find objective truth through experiments
Law is subjective and based on who can provide most convincing story consistent with the facts


Conflicts between psychology and law: nature of law

Psychology describes how and why people behave the way they do
Law tells people how they should behave and means of punishment


Conflicts between psychology and law: knowledge

Psychology is based on empirical, nomothetic data collected during research
Law knowledge comes from analysis of court cases and rational application of logic, facts, and legal precedents


Conflicts between psychology and law: methodology

Psychology is predominantly nomothetic and experimental, controlling for confounding variables
Law operates case-by-case, constructing compelling narratives


Conflicts between psychology and law: criterion

Psychologists use statistical tests
Law: guilt is determined by various criteria established for a particular case


Conflicts between psychology and law: principles

Psychologists are exploratory and consider multiple explanations, preferably using experimentation
Law: explanation of a case based on coherence with facts and precedent setting cases


Conflicts between psychology and law: latitude of courtroom behaviour

Psychologists are limited by the court and restricted by rules of evidence
Lawyers have fewer restrictions


USA criteria for accepting expert testimony

Frye v. US, 1923
Expert testimony of novel scientific evidence is admissible if procedures used to arrive at testimony are generally accepted in scientific field to which it belongs
General acceptance test


General acceptance test

Vagueness of general acceptance - judges make that determination
Challenged in Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals Inc, 1993


Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals Inc, 1993

For scientific evidence to be admitted in court:
Must be provided by qualified expert
Must be relevant
Must be reliable (peer reviwed, testable, recognized rate of error, adheres to professional standards)


Canada criteria for accepting expert testimony

R v. Mohan, 1994
Evidence must be relevant (makes issue of case more or less likely)
Evidence must be necessary for assisting trier of face (must go beyond common understanding of the court)
Must not violate other rules of exclusion
Must be provided by qualified expert


White Burgess Langille Inman v. Abbott and Haliburton Co, 2015

Additional criterion to Mohan criteria
Experts must be independent and impartial
Opinion must not change regardless of party retaining them


R v. DD, 2000

Brings issue with subjectivity of Mohan criteria
Little girl was abused, and psychologist testified to why she wouldn't have come forward before
In appeals court, decided expert witness testimony was not admissible as it was not relevant
Not necessary for assisting triers of fact