therapists are very willing to entertain abusive ideas. They seek to confirm what they believe - e.g. that sexual abuse has in fact occurred
Questionable therapy techniques:
- guided imagery - rebirthing - hypnosis (Eileen Franklin) - age regression - dream work - past lif analysis
'The Memory Wars'
A battle between therapists and social scientists, over whether or not memories can indeed be repressed
Evidence of a repressed memory
Pope & Hudson 3 pronged evidence approach: 1. The abuse did take place 2. It was forgotten and inaccessible 3. It was later remembered
2 different ways to study repressed memories
1. Retrospective studies 2. Prospective studies
Retrospective studies into repressed memory
Individuals are interviewed today, and asked about their history of abuse
Prospective studies into repressed memory
Individuals with a known history of abuse are interviewed many years later
Case studies into repressed memories
Individual cases of a repressed memory. Not very reliable as evidence, given only 1 person. But, usually persuasive for some reason.
Problems with research into repressed memories
Many people often don't mention their abuse at all, because they either don't want to talk about it, or because they literally cannot remember because they were too young.
Memories that didn't actually happen, but can be implanted relatively easily
people who retract their false memories
The false narrative paradigm
Loftus & Pickrell (1995) -interviewed people about 4 stories, one was made up about being lost in a mall. Found 25% remembered and described the false event.
Plausibility and false memories
For a false memory to be implanted, it must be plausible enough to have actually maybe happened (e.g. mall = plausible, enema = not plausible)
Where do people get false memories from?
- doctored photos (hot air balloon) - real photos (school class photo) - imagination (imagining an event increases confidence that it actually occurred)
imagining an event occurring leads to a significant increase in confidence that it actually occurred
How do we know participants genuinely believe false memories?
1. They are genuinely surprised when debriefed 2. They are willing to admit that they were making something up 3. They were happy to report that they didnt remember the true events 4. They came up with reasons for not being able to remember
Are some people more prone to false memories?
Sort of - evidence is limited. Often seen in the case of alien abduction claims. DRM Paradigm research (remembering a list of like words) showed those presented with alien words were more likely, after remembering these words, to be prone to false memories of abduction.
DRM paradigm research
remembering a list of like words
Can we disentangle true and false memories?
No. McNally et al. found that those suffering from PTSD exhibted the same physiological response (sweat, blood pressur etc) as those with false traumatic memories.
Overall conclusions on recovered and false memories:
- No research supports the notion that traumatic memories can be repressed and then uncovered. - False memories cannot be told apart from real memories -but can be easily implanted.
- the punishment must fit the crime - when faced with a choice of behaving rightly or wrongly, people choose to behave wrongly
- scientific approach to explaining crime - the punishment must fit the criminal
How valid are theories of crime?
Not particularly. They vary greatly - some are good at explaining certain crimes, but a combined approach is required to explain all crime.
Crime is a result of social interaction. It is therefore caused by external factors.
2 types of social theory:
social structure theories and subcultural theories
social stucture theory
dysfunctional social arrangements/structures cause people to act out. For example poor education, unemployment etc.
different groups within society clash, causing deviance
Social psychological theory/social learning theory
crime is learned through social interaction. We learn by imitation of other deviants
We would all be deviant if we didn't learn not to be
crime results from psychological attributes that are unique to each person
Freud's theory of the id, the ego and the superego (angel, devil and mediator)
Individuals who act criminally without feeling any remorse. - lack social conscience - deceitful, impulsive, aggressive, irritable, reckless, and irresponsible. Caused by underarousal and issues in the prefrontal cortex.
Genetic influences and neurological abnormalities in the body and brain can cause crime. Tested using twin and adoption studies
The percentage of twins that share a behaviour of interest
- non verbal cues - verbal cues - physiological cues
subtle cues given off, e.g. blinking. There is no typical nonverbal response to deception. This method is therefore not very good
3 things that increase during a lie:
1. Emotion 2. Cognitive load 3. Attempted behavioural control
Why does cognitive load influence our lying ability?
when we lie, we have to think really hard about the story we are making up - make sure we aren't contradicting ourselves etc - and so the rest of our body language stops
3 behaviours likely to occur when lying:
- increase in voice pitch - increase in speech errors - decrease in arm and hand movements
Are non-verbal cues any good at detecting deception?
No - Vriij has done several studies, found that non verbal indicators are only 55% accurate (basically chance)
Why are non verbal indicators bad at detecting deceit?
1. people hold false beliefs about which indicators imply a lie 2. people can be taught the wrong cues to deceit (e.g. Kassin & Fong) 3. Empirical research sends mixed messages 4. Hard to compare to normal everday life behaviour
Kassin & Fong (1999)
People trained in deceit detection from the Reid manual actually performed worse than controls
Verbal cues to deception
Cues from what someone actually says
How are verbal cues measured scientifically?
CBCA - Criterion Based Content Analysis
What is CBCA based on?
The Undeutsch Hypothesis
The Undeutsch Hypothesis
Statements derived from memory (aka real memories) are qualitatively and quantitatively different from those that are made up.
What does the CBCA look at?
looks at the content of the statement, and different criteria
Is CBCA any good at detecting deception?
Better than nonverbal cues, but not great. It correctly spots 76% of truth tellers, and 68% of liars.
Why is CBCA not very good?
CBCA scores may be variable due to factors other than deception, including age, interview style, and verbal and social skills
Physiological cues to deception
Things like skin conductance, and blood pressure. Measured using a polygraph (not used in NZ).
Different types of polygraph questions:
- Control Question Test - Guilty Knowledge Test
Control Question Test
Compares responses to relevant questions (questions to which only guilty people will lie) with control questions (questions that everyone is expected to lie to)
How good is the CQT at detecting deception?
Very good - detects 87% of liars.
Why is the CQT bad?
- False positives are possible if suspects are nervous - Suspects can take countermeasures
Suspects can increase their arousal during the control questions, making their arousal look the same between both questions - and so it looks like they're not lying
The Guilty Knowledge Test
Asks questions to which only the guilty party knows the answer (e.g. about the murder weapon)
How good is the GKT at detecting deception?
Very good at detecting truth tellers (96%) but not so good at lies.
Which is better out of the CQT and the GKT at detecting lies?
The CQT (the GKT is better at detecting truth)
Why is the GKT bad?
It has limited applicability - it's hard to devise situations where it will work. Podlesny found that only 9% of CQT cases could have used the GKT.
General problems with lie detection techniques
- There is no pinnochio test - It is hard to research with adequately high stakes - The Othello error - False beliefs (if liar genuinely thinks it's true)
The Othello Error
Liars and truth tellers may both experience the same processes (emotion, cognitive load, sweating etc) and so may be indistinguishable. E.g. innocent people may be fearful of being found guilty, and my act weirdly
2 newest methods of lie detection:
- Targeted interviewing (aiming to elicit cues to deception by purposefully putting pressure on) - Brain scanning (fMRI scans while lying)
Success of brain scans in lie detection?
Owners say it works - and that brain lights up in certain places when lying. However caution should be exercised - not fully proven yet
Reasons for caution with brain scans for lie detection:
- Generalisability issues - CSI effect (jurors like it) - Ethical concerns (right to privacy) - Legal concerns (admissibility?)