Week 1 Readings 9-14 - 01 Readings Chapter 1 An...

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01 ReadingsChapter 1 – An Introduction to Forensic PsychologyForensic psychology = a field of psychology that deals with all aspects of human behaviour as it relates to the law or legal systemThe way in which the media portrays forensic psychology is usually inaccurateForensic psychologists are interested in understanding how people function within a legal contextA BRIEF HISTORY OF FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGYDates back to the late 19th centuryEarly Research on Testimony and SuggestibilityJames Cattell of Columbia University conducted experiments looking at the psychology of eyewitness testimonyStudy: Measurements of the Accuracy of Recollection - asked 56 college students to recall things they had witnessed in everyday livesCattell found that students' answers were often inaccurate, and that the relationship between participants' accuracy and confidence was far from perfect Alfred Binet - presented studies that showed that the testimony provided by children was highly susceptible to suggestive questioning techniquesBinet presented children with a series of objects for a short period of timeSome children were told to write down everything that they saw; others were asked questions (some direct, some misleading)Demonstrated that asking children to report everything they saw resulted in the most accurate answers, whereas misleading questions resulted in the least accurate answersCourt Cases in EuropeSchrenck-Notzing believed that extensive pre-trial press coverage could influence the testimony of people by causing retroactive memory falsificationRetroactive memory falsification - process whereby people confuse actual memories of events with the events described by the mediaAdvocating for Forensic Psychology in North AmericaHugo Munsterberg was involved in many criminal cases - reviewed interrogation records and found many confessions to be untrue Courts paid little attention to Munsterberg's findingsThe press objected to Munsterberg's involvementThe media presented psychology as the "new scientific fad for 'cheating justice,' 'emasculating court procedures,' and 'discouraging and disgusting every faithful officer of the law'"Munsterberg published, On the Witness Stand, which argued that psychology had much to offer the legal systemThe way in which he presented his ideas brought more criticismOne of Munsterberg's biggest critics was John Henry Wigmore, a law professor at Northwestern University
Wigmore criticized Munsterberg for the lack of relevant research publications to back uphis claims and, more generally, for the lack of applied research in the field of forensic psychology as a whole Landmark Court Cases in the United StatesPsychologists began to be more heavily involved in the judicial system as expert witnesses at the beginning of the 1900sIn State vs. Driver, the court rejected the psychologist's testimony that the victim was a "moron"Brown v. Board of Education:o

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