152 terms

Legal Psychology


Terms in this set (...)

The study of human behavior and the mind.
Can be used to predict, explain and sometimes control behavior.
(Uses scientific method)
(Legal Term)
Mental state at the time the crime was committed.
A body of rules of conduct prescribed by controlling authorities that has binding legal force.
Legal Psychology
The application of psychology to the legal system.
Legal system makes assumptions and psychologists test them.
Forensic Psychology
What type of psychology thinks clinically?
Ex. Custody evaluations, competency, insanity and risk assessments
Adversarial System
A system used in the United States in which each side presents their evidence and arguments for their side
Inquisitorial System
A system more common in Europe and uses a more
cooperative approach.
Judges - fact finding role
Attorneys - Goal is to discover the truth
Dual Process Model
Which model of the adversarial system's primary value is protection of citizens?
Crime Control Model
Which model of the adversarial system is based on efficient detention & prosecution of suspect?
- three strikes laws are a reflection of this.
U.S. District Courts
94 districts in 50 states and surrounding areas.
Serve as trial courts for criminal and civil federal cases.
U.S. Court of Appeals
13 federal courts of appeals. 94 districts divided into 11 circuits.
Review cases
U.S. Supreme Court
Jurisdiction over everything. Reviews all cases by the federal appellate courts and State supreme courts.
Juvenile Court
Which type of court grew out of the belief that children needed special protection and guidance?

Goal: Rehabilitation not punishment.
Courts: Informal and not adversarial.
4 Criteria for expert testimony
1. General Acceptance.
2. Error Rate
3. Testable
4. Peer Reviewed.
Daubert V. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals (1993)
What court case created the criteria for expert testimony?
General Electric Co. V. Joiner (1997)
Which court case allowed the admission of all scientific evidence?
Kumno Tire Ltd vs. Carmichael (1999)
Which court case extended expert testimony to include everything (not just scientific testimony)?
Legal Custody
The rights and responsibilities of parents
Physical Custody
What type of custody refers to how much time a child spends with each parent?
Sole Custody
In what type of custody does one parent have legal and physical custody?
Joint Custody
Which type of custody is it when both parents share legal and physical custody?
Best Interest of the Child Standard (BICS)
1. The wishes of the parents
2. Wishes of the child
3. Relationship between parents, child and siblings
4. Adjustment to school, community and home.
5. Physical and mental health of everyone involved with the child.
Palmore V. Sidoti (1984)
Which child custody case determined that race can not be a factor when determining the case verdict?
Bottoms V. Bottoms
Which child custody case can not be determined in court based on sexual orientation?
Amicus Curiae Briefs
"Friend of the court"
Summarize the body of research and clarify the overall meaning of the findings.
Jury size, the death penalty, prediction of dangerousness, courtroom testimony of child witnesses, interrogation practices.
Policy Evaluatiors
In what role do psychologists valuate new policies and programs?
Reformers or Advocates
In what role do psychologists seek to promote change in the legal system?
Machiavellian Intelligence Hypothesis
The "_____ hypothesis" posits that human intelligence was accelerated by the need for humans to develop social skills related to manipulation, pretense, and deception.
Lies of Commission
Saying something that is not true
Lies of Omission
Leaving out information that might lead to the truth
True Positive
Which detecting deception term is used for: telling the truth, found to be truthful?
True Negative
Which detecting deception term is used for: Lying and found to be lying?
False Negative
Which detecting deception term is used for: Lying but found to be truthful?
False Positive
Which detecting deception term is used for: Telling the truth, found to be lying?
Relevant- Irrelevant Test
What was the first widely used polygraph test of deception?
(Created by John Larson)
Asks non-arousing irrelevant, arousing irrelevant and arousing relevant questions.
Comparison Question Test
Which lie detection test is the most popular and widely used?
(Created by Reid and Inbau)
Examiner gathers biographical information and asked controlled and relevant questions.
Guilty Knowledge Test
The ______ test is one method used for lie detection.
The goal is not to detect lying but to detect whether the person knows facts that only the criminal would know.
Criminal Justice
Whose goal is it to Maximize the number of true confessions and minimize the number of false confessions?
What type of false confessions does not have any pressure from law enforcement?
In what type of false confession does the individual know they did not commit the crime, but they believe it is in their best interest to confess?
Coerced Internalized
In what type of false confession does a person first know they did not commit the crime, but going through interrogation they begin to believe they did it?

Based on memory distrust.
Miranda Rights
Must be read before every interrrogation
1. Right to remain silent
2. Right to an attorney during questions
3. Attorney will be appointed if you can not afford one.
4. Do you understand what is being explained to you?
Locus of Control
Which basic influence strategy consists of a suspect not being in control and feeling like there is nothing more to do?
Social Isolation
Which basic influence strategy consists of leaving a suspect in a room by themselves and removed from society?
Certainty of Guilt
Which basic influence strategy has to do with the suspect knowing their guilty?
Exculpatory Scenarios
Which basic influence strategy involves the suspect knowing they they are guilty, but still trying to get them to confess?
What core principle of social influence/ psychological confession comply's with requests from individuals in positions of power?
In what core principle of social influence/ psychological confession does an individual feel obligated to return favors?
What core principle of social influence/ psychological confession places greater value on things that are available for a limited time?
Social Proof
In what core principle of social influence/ psychological confession do people look to others to help guide our choices and behavior?
Commitment and Consistancy
What core principle of social influence/ psychological confession does a commitment need to be honored once it is stated?
Event Memory
Recalling what happened during an event is called?
In what role as psychologists do they do custody evaluations and make predictions about what custody arrangement is best for the child?
The Innocence Project
Created by Barry C Sheek and Peter J. Neufeld in 1992.
Non profit legal clinic
Post conviction DNA testing to free actually innocent people.
Gathering information and putting it into a form that can be held in memory
Holding of encoded info in the brain over time
Accessing and pulling out of the stored info at a later time.
Estimator Variables
What type of variables are outside the control of the CJ system?
What is it called when several photographs are shown to a person?
What is the term for the person the police suspect of committing the crime?
What is the term for the person who committed the crime?
Lineup Foils/ Distractors/ Fillers
What is the term for the person for known innocent people in a lineup?
In a target _______ lineup, the suspect is actually the person who committed the crime
In a target ______ lineup, the suspect is not actually the person who committed the crime. The perp. is not in the lineup
Simultaneous Lineups
Suspects photo is shown simultaneously with filler photos so that the witness can view all the photos at one time
Relative Judgement Process
Witness tends to pick the person from the lineup that looks most like their memory of the perp relative to the other photographs
Sequential Lineups
Photos are shown 1 at a time, they a person has to make a yes or no decision as to whether the person is the actual perp.
- Reduces the use of relative judgement
System Variables
Variables that are in the control of the CJ System
- Can be manipulated
What is it called whne there is a one person lineup?
-Not recommended - prejudicial
Confidence- Accuracy
Jurors rely strongly on confidence (system variable)
Standard Interview
Officer introduce themselves
Ask eyewitnesses to report what they remember - open format
Ask witnesses a series of direct questions to determine specifics about perp.
The interview is ended by asking the witness if there is any additional info
Cognitive Interview
A type of interview based on principles of memory storage/ retrieval and social dynamics.
What is the term for a suggestible state that is used to recall information?
Grand Juries
(Prosecution - only lawyer)
Conducted by the prosecutor
23 jurors - Only 12 must vote to indite.
Witnesses do not have a lawyer
Do not have to present both sides
Juries serve for extended time (36 months)
Petit (Trial) Jury
12 jurors must be present (can be 6 or 8)
There is a judge
Must present both sides
Jurors are screened for bias
All evidence is presented
Jury Selection
Goal: To seat a representative and fair jury
Practical Goal: Pick the person who will favor your side
What is the pool of prospective jurors called?
Challenges for Cause
Ways to exclude people from who have
biases or prejudices from a jury.
(Unlimited # and rarely used)
Voir Dire
(To see and to tell) AKA jury selection
Process where lawyers and judges question potential jurors biases and determine who will be chosen to serve on the jury
Peremptory Challenges
Dismissing a juror without having to give a reason.
(Only a limited number)
Batson V. Kentucky (1986)
What court case ruled that you can not exclude jurors based on race?
Limited an attorneys use of peremptory challenges
Georgia V. Mcollum (1992)
Which court case extended peremptory challenged to defense attorneys?
J.E.B. v. Alabama (1994)
What court case ruled that attorneys can not use peremptory challenges on the basis of gender?
Goals of Attorneys
1. Avoid a jury that is unsympathetic to their side
2. Find a jury who is sympathetic
Black Sheep Effect
The tendency of group members to judge likeable ingroup members more positively and deviant ingroup member more negatively than comparable outgroup members
Scientific Jury Selection
(AKA Trial Consulting)
Application of social science methodology to the selection of jurors
Assumes a person's individual differences and attitudes will predict how he or she will evaluate a given case.
Identifies characteristics that will be associated with a favorable (or unfavorable) case evaluation.
Community Survey
Primary tool of jury selection practitioners
Tailored around the case in question.
5 Components:
1. Synopsis of the case
2. Case specific attitudes.
3. Attitudes toward the legal system in general
4. Defendant culpability
5. Basic demographic information
Internal Locus of Control
High internal locus of control -> you believe what you do is because of your own merit.
Belief in a just world
What is it called when you get what you deserve not very victim friendly
You submit to authority; controversial beliefs you want to follow the norms and roles
Jury Nullification
Power of the jury to return a verdict based upon their moral conscience despite the evidence and the law.
Judges cannot direct a verdict of guilty.
Jury never has to defend their decision.
Pretrial Publicity
When the media covers a case and it becomes public.
Issues: 1st and 6th amendment
Factual Information (PTP)
Nonsensational but damaging information about defendant
Emotional Information (PTP)
Lurid details about the crime
Aggravating Factors
Circumstances that support the death sentence.
Mitigating Factors
When making decisions about the death penalty, the jury will be instructed to weigh aggravating factors against __________.
(Circumstances that lessen the situation)
Witherspoon V. Illinois (1968)
(Court Case) Juror had to be excluded if they could not
1. Impose the death penalty in any situation
2. Their beliefs regarding the death penalty would make it impossible to fairly decide guilt
Wainwright v. Witt (1985)
(Court Case) Jurors whose beliefs would substantially impair their abilites to perform their duties as a juror must be excused.
Atkins V. Virginia (2002)
(Court Case) Mental retardation
Ring V. Arizona (2002)
(Court Case) Only jurors can decide whether a convicted murderer should be sentenced to death or life imprisonment
Roper V. Simmons (2005)
The case in which the juvenile death penalty was found to be unconstitutional
Kennedy v. Louisiana (2008)
(Court Case)Unless a victim dies, the death penalty is not constitutional for rapists.
Baldus + Collegues
If a victim is white - prosecutor is more likely to seek the death penalty
If the victim is white, 4.3 times more likely to receive death penalty then if the victim is black
McClesky V. Kemp (1987)
The S.C. acknowledged a discriminatory pattern but ruled that intent was necessary to reverse the decision.
Ruled no proof of discriminatory intent in this particular case.
Hostile Attribution Bias
Your inner actions are perceived as being negative.
Accusational Interview
Permissible. Feigned sympathy and friendship
Appeals to conscience and religion
Presentation of false evidence
Good/ bad cop
Other forms of trickery/ deception.
Accusatorial Interview
Unlawful techniques include:
brute force, deprivation of food and sleep, prolonged isolation, failure to mirandize, threats of harsher punishment and promises of immunity or leniency.
Soft shell techniques
Scare techniques (harsher techniques used)
Two types of memory
1. event memory
2. identification memory
NIJ Guidelines
1999 -->(AKA National Institute of Justice)
Taskforce commissioned by Janet Reno
National guidelines for collection of eyewitness evidence. Based on 30 years of research.
Not mandatory
Two forms of Pretrial Publicity
1. Factual information
2. Emotional information
For witnesses, the relationship between confidence and accuracy is________
An increase in murders in the weeks following the execution is known as the __________ effect
A famous case of false memory implantation involved the ________ family
The exception to the hearsay rule involves a victim who is a _______
Women and blacks are examples of _________ groups
The phenomenon that causes witnesses to more easily recognize faces of their own race is called _________ race bias
This type of judgement process is used when an individual participates in a sequential line-up
The group of eligible people who are summoned
Due to __________ focus effect, it is more difficult for a witness to recognize a face if the perp. was holding a gun.
Furman V. Georgia
The Supreme Court temporarily abolished the death penalty in the US
Children are _____ likely to falsely confess when compared to adults
Kovera & McAuliff found that judges making admissibility decisions did not consider the quality of the _____ of scientific evidence
The role of psychologists in the legal system is to:
Advise, evaluate and ________
A landmark decision, opening the door for use of social science in the U.S. courts was written in the _____ Brief
In Re Gault (1967)
A transformational case in the Juvenile court system.
- Juveniles must have the same due process rights as adults.
This report precipitated the transition from more physical coercive practices to more psychological coercive interrogative practices
In Russanno et al., participants were accused of ________
With the Daubert ruling, _________ were assigned as gatekeepers
The legal system is based on a hierarchical system, whereas the psychological system is based on __________
Kassin et al. reported that the ________ was the most commonly used specific tactic.
How many federal court of appeals are there?
How many U.S. districts are there?
Exposure Time
What estimator variable is it when longer exposure time leads to a higher chance of a positive ID?
Normative Influence
When jurors change their votes under the pressure from other jurors, even though they did not change their minds.
False eyewitness testimony
Fabricated evidence may produce _________ testimony
So-called memories of past abuse have "surfaced" as a result of the _____ of the alleged victim while under hypnosis or guided imagery.
Implicit personality theory
Patterns and biases an individual will make when forming impressions based on a little information about an unfamiliar person.
Phase 1
A defendant is deemed "guilty" or "not guilty" during _____ of a capital murder trial.
The best predictor of what the verdict will be is the __________________ of relevant evidence
Shadow jury
Creating a group of people whose demographics match an actual jury is called ____.
NICHD Investigative Protocol
1. Guide interviewers away from biased questions.
2. Guide interviewers toward questioning that may elicit more truthful responses from children
3. Use open-ended questions
______ relies on the findings from a large group of related research studies
Cross -Race Effect
The tendency of people to be better able to recognize faces of those within their racial group than those outside their own racial group is referred to as:
Cognitive Dissonance
An uncomfortable feeling when someone has conflicting thoughts
Memory trace
the term used to describe the biochemical representation of our experiences within the brain.
According to the jury selection and service act of 1968, the voter registration list is the ____ source for eligible jurors.
The _____ hypothesis predicts that, when the characteristics of jurors and the defendant are similar enough, it might influence verdicts.
Fundamental attribution error
The tendency to attribute others' behavior to dispositional causes such as personality is referred to as:
Natural law
Treats laws as evolved to reflect the principles found in nature
Legal realism
Treats laws as a tool that needs to be regularly reexamined and adjusted.