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Transcript of Forensic Psychology
Forensic psychology is a psychology adapted to the criminal justice system. It is most used to determine the credibility of witnesses and the implications of their testimony. Forensic psychologists work in a variety of places including prisons, courts, police departments, and juvenile detentions centers.
History of Forensic Psychology
The first recorded study of forensic psychology is by James McKeen Cattell. He conducted the experiment with 56 Columbia University students in 1893. He asked them a series of four questions to explore the psychology of testimony, and also to rate their confidence. The findings are surprising, revealing that confidence didn't equal correctness. Some students were confidence whether their answers were right or wrong, however, some students were insecure even when their answers are right.
Prominent Forensic Psychologists
James McKeen Cattell(1860-1944) - studied the psychology of testimony. He surveyed students on how confident they answer a series of four questions. The information's were varying, resulting in an inaccurate results
Forensic psychology logo
James Mckeen Cattell
- A French psychologists who invented the first practical intelligence test, called the Binet-Simon scale. The score the child got will determine the child's mental age.He stressed diversity of intelligence and the need to therefore study it using qualitative, not quantitative measures.
William Stern (1871-1938)
He researched witness recall. He developed study in which he asked students to summarize a fight that they had witnessed. He realized errors were common among the students even though they had seen the same thing. He also concluded that emotions help a decrease in accuracy during witness call.
Believed psychology could be used in everyday life. Published a book called "On the Witness Stand" that was a collection of articles that had already been published by him. He used the articles to help discuss the psychological factors that can change a trials outcome. He also helped point the way to rational and scientific ways to for judging the facts given by witnesses with the application of experimental psychology to law.
Began his career as an architectural psychologist, studying the interactions between people and buildings. Pioneered investigative psychology in Britain, and helped police with the Railway Rapist case. Since then, he has published a book, called "Forensic Psychology: A Very Short Introduction". , He currently teaches at the University of Huddersfield.
Primarily studies verbal and nonverbal cues for deception, and lie detection. He advises the police about suspects, and acts as an Expert Witness in court. He has currently published more than 300 articles or chapters about the cues and deception. He is the editor of "Legal and Criminological Psychology" and currently teaches in the University of Portsmouth's Department of Psychology.
Fundamentally a cognitive psychologist. Has conducted extensive research on the malleability of human memory. She has done ground breaking work on the misinformation effect and eyewitness memory, along with the creation of false memories. She has been involved in applying he research to legal settings, and has been given numerous awards. Currently teaches at the University of Washington.
What is the origin of our behavior?
The origin of our behavior most likely came from the millions of years of evolution. At first, we aren't as evolve now, however, millions of years pass, now we are one of the most intelligent and most evolve species in the world. Our brains, have increased, making us much more evolved, and can think complex thoughts, and feel different feelings.
Why do we do or don't do things?
Our experiences, current situations and our behavior influences what we do throughout our daily lives. For example, one might commit a crime because they needed the money, or maybe because something inside them is broken. There are many factors, to why we do things, and why we don't. One should not judge why they do this just by looking at them, you must need to understand why they do it.
Facts I found Interesting
This job is actually kind of dangerous, dealing with courts, criminals, and cops.
Forensic psychology is often mixed up with forensic science, forensic psy. is used to evaluate why a crime is committed, while foresic sci. is used to evaluate how a crime is commited.
Forensic psychology hasn't been around for a long time, it started to emerge around 19th century.
2001- The American Psychological Association recognizes forensic psychology as a specialization within psychology (Cherry, n.d.a).
1873- Willhelm Wundt founds the first psychology laboratory in Leipzig, Germany. He established the experimental method as it applied to psychology and began to pave the way for future psychologists (Olivarez, 2010).
1892- Hugo Munsterberg relocated from Germany, where he worked under Willhelm Wundt, to the United States. He set up a laboratory at Harvard University in order to conduct experiments about how psychology could help the legal system. He researched and conducted experiments on false confessions, hypnosis in the courtroom, and witness memory (Olivarez, 2010).
1895- James McKeen Cattell, at the time Department Head of Psychology, Anthropology and Philosophy at Columbia University, started to conduct experiments that are now considered to be the basis of forensic psychology. He asked students a series of questions, and then asked them to rate their level of confidence in their answers. He found that the there was a high degree of inaccuracy in the students answers. This study brought attention to the psychology of testimony (Olivarez, 2010).
~1896- Alfred Binet replicates Cattell's research and studies psychological experiments and how they relate to the law. Binet's work in intelligence testing becomes important as it paves the way for future assessment (Cherry, n.d.a).
1896- Psychologist Albert von Schrenck-Notzing testifies at a murder trial about suggestibility and the effects it has on witness testimony (Cherry, n.d.a).
1908- Munsterberg published his book, On the Stand, which was a huge step for the area of forensic psychology (Olivarez, 2010).
1916- Psychologist Lewis Terman begins to apply psychology to law enforcement. Basing his work off of Binet, the new Stanford-Binet test is used to determine intelligence of candidates for law enforcement positions (Cherry, n.d.a).
1917- William Marston, a student of Munsterberg, realized that there was a correlation between lying and blood pressure. This was a major discovery as it led to the development of the polygraph detector (Olivarez, 2010).
1923- Marston testified in the case of Frye vs. United States. This marked the moment when psychologists first began to appear in court as expert witnesses (Cherry, n.d.a).
1939- William Stern also studies witness recall and finds that errors are common among witnesses, coming to the conclusion that emotions decrease the accuracy of witness recall (Cherry, n.d.a).
1940- The case of People vs. Hawthorne rules that the standard for an expert witness is more about the extent of knowledge that that witness has, not in whether the witness has a medical degree (Cherry, n.d.a).
1954- Psychologists testify in the Brown vs. Board of Education case, showing their new found impact in the courtroom (Cherry, n.d.a).
1962- In the case of Jenkins vs. United States, psychologists serve as mental illness experts with the support of the courts (Cherry, n.d.a).