PSYC325 - Mid Term


Terms in this set (...)

Recovered memories
memories that have supposedly been suppressed and recalled years after the crime actually occurred
Freud on repression:
traumatic events are banished from conscious recall, until we can cope with them. While banished, emotions associated with that memory leak through
What caused the rise in repression claims?
self-help books
'symptoms' of childhood abuse in self help books:
- depression
- anxiety
- scaredness/phobias
- sexual difficulties
- helplessness
Dangers of therapy for repressed memories:
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.
False memories
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)
Imagination inflation
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.
Classical theory
- the punishment must fit the crime
- when faced with a choice of behaving rightly or wrongly, people choose to behave wrongly
Positivist theory
- 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.
Sociological theories
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.
subcultural theory
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
Control theory
We would all be deviant if we didn't learn not to be
Psychological theories
crime results from psychological attributes that are unique to each person
Psychoanalytic theory
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.
Biological theory
Genetic influences and neurological abnormalities in the body and brain can cause crime.
Tested using twin and adoption studies
Concordance rate
The percentage of twins that share a behaviour of interest
What do we inherit from our parents?
- our build (constitutional predisposition)
- neurophysiological abnormalities
- Physiological differences
- personality and temperament differences
The warrior gene (MAOA)
- Everyone has the gene, but there are 2 versions
- people with 1 type of the gene, when mixed with a bad upbringing, leads to increased antisocial behaviour
Moffit's integrated theory
Offending peaks in adolescence, and for most people it decreases over the rest of the lifetime
Moffit's 2 types of antisocial behaviour
- life course persistent
- adolescent limited
Life course persistent ASB
antisocial behaviour is consistent across the lifespan
Adolesent limited ASB
antisocial behaviour only occurs during adolescence
Heterotypic continuity
continuity of an inferred trait - e.g. deviance, but it manifests itself differently over the lifespan
Interactional continuity
children born into unsupportive environments, and bad interactions, can act out as a result.
How does LCP ASB develop?
There are 3 types of interaction:
1. Evocative
2. Reactive
3. Proactive
Evocative interaction
when our behaviour evokes distinct responses from others
Reactive interaction
when we interpret our environment according to our own behavioural style
Proactive interaction
when we seek out environments that support our own style
2 types of consequences of LCP interactions:
1. Cumulative (snowball)
2. Contemporary (same problems influence lots of different things)
What causes LCP to continue for so long?
they either don't know any other way, or else become ensnared and can't get out.
Why does AL ASB start?
Adolescents are mimicking LCP ASB people. Teens are experimenting, trying to copy bad behaviour of adults.
The maturity gap
gap between wanting to be mature, and actually becoming mature
Why don't all teenagers become delinquent?
- If maturity gap is lesser (e.g. late puberty).
- lack of exposure to LCP role models.
Why does AL ASB stop?
waning motivations.
higher punishments.
end of maturity gap.
Why are suspect interviews so important?
criminal confessions are the most powerful form of evidence in a trial
Reasons to conduct an interrogation
1. to elicit further information
2. to obtain a confession
Confession culture
In the NZ police, there is a culture of obtaining confessions
Why the focus on confessions?
- police are under pressure to solve crimes quickly
confession evidence has a large impact in trials
- seen as a sign of prowess in the police
How do police elicit confessions?
techniques vary, but usually use the Reid Manual, which is dubious
The Reid Manual
instructs on eliciting confessions. makes suspect feel isolated and uncomfortable.
Uses good cop/bad cop techniques.
According to the Reid Manual, innocent suspects will:
- give concise answers
- sit upright, but not rigid
According to the Reid Manual, guilty suspects will:
- fail to make direct eye contact
- be overly polite
The problem with the Reid Manual
it is not supported by any empirical evidence
Confessions: false positive
there is a confession, but suspect is not guilty
Confessions: hit
there is a confession, and suspect is guilty
Confessions: false negative
there is no confession, but suspect is guilty
Confessions: true negative
there is no confession, and th suspect is not guilty
How many false confessions actually occur?
Very hard to measure, as many innocent people are still in prison. However, estimates in the US alone range from 35-600 false confessions per year
Types of false confession:
- Voluntary false confession
- Coerced compliant confession
- Coerced internalised confession
Voluntary false confession
A self-incriminating statement that is offered without any external pressure
Reasons for voluntary false confession
- often to protect friend or family
- need for fame, acceptance or recognition
- self-punishment for another crime
Coerced compliant confession
A self-incriminating statement obtained after intense interrogation pressure
Reasons for coerced compliant confession
- confess to escape or avoid an aversive interrogation (they just want to get out of there)
- confess if offered reward
Coerced internalised confession
an innocent person, subjected to a coercive interrogation actually comes to believe that they are guilty
2 things required for a coerced internalised confession:
1. a vulnerable witness
2. false evidence produced by police (lies)
Confessions: Kassin et al (2005)
Found students were more accurate than police at identifying false confessions
Confessions: Kassin & Kiechel
The landmark study - computer, alt key, crashed.
Found that when confederate presented false information and testified against them, more people were likely to confess falsely
Confessions: Russano et al
False and true confessions increase as more interrogation tactics are used (e.g. minimisation, plea deal)
How to prevent false confessions
- reduce police pressure and tricks
- video all interviews
- solicitor present
- require additional corroborative evidence
What is deception?
a successful or unsuccessful deliberate attempt to create in another individual a belief which the communicator knows to be untrue
2 different types of lie:
- self-oriented (to protect yourself)
- other-oriented (to protext another)
3 ways of detecting deception:
- non verbal cues
- verbal cues
- physiological cues
Non-verbal 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
Countermeasure success?
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?)