Bold words from Forensic Science: Fundamentals and Investigation by Bertino
The ability to identify a concept or problem, to isolate its component parts, to organize information for decision making, to establish criteria for evaluation, and to draw appropriate conclusions
To conclude something is true based on facts, definitions, and axioms using a series of logical steps.
a person who has seen someone or something and can communicate these facts. Eyewitness testimony is often faulty.
A statement of information that can be verified. Ex. The tree is an Oak tree.
application of scientific knowledge to legal questions
capable of or characterized by clear or valid reasoning from facts
what a person perceives using his or her senses (touch, sight, sound, taste, and smell)
personal belief founded on judgment rather than on direct experience or knowledge
interpreting information received from the senses
professional who first, observes, collects, interprets and reports observations clearly without making judgements as to the importance of each piece of evidence
how information is processed in the brain
senses --> what we pay attention to--> perception-->short term memory--> long term memory.
understanding the brains limitations
helps us learn to improve our observation skills, and inspires us to capture events quickly through photo's and writing information down
Project which re-examined post conviction cases often based on faulty eyewitness accounts using DNA to clear innocent people.
factors affecting accuracy of witnesses observation skills
alone or in a group, number of people, type of activity, how much activity, emotional state and level of anxiety
is not debate, it relies on evidence and uses fact to help in legal matters
how to be a good observer
examine your environment systematically, don't judge small details to be unimportant, be aware of jumping to conclusions, write down memories and photograph evidence
The inability to detect visible changes in our environment when the overall context of the scene stays the same. Example: Gorilla during basketball scene.
strategies for building observation skills
Practice logic puzzles and games, increase focus with meditation, complete memory exercises like recalling details from your day, try new things and learn through trial and error
techniques to improve a police line up
Blind/Blinded administration (officer does not know if the suspect is there) Line up Composition (all of line up has similar features) Instructions (that the suspect may not be there) Confidence Statements: (do not influence the victim) Recording
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