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Forensic Science. An Introduction to Scientific and Investigative Techniques Stuart H. James and Jon J. Nordby. Chapter 28. Forensic Psychology Chapter Author: Louis B. Schlesinger Presentation created by Greg Galardi, Peru, Nebraska. Forensic Psychology.

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Forensic Science


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    1. Forensic Science An Introduction to Scientific and Investigative Techniques Stuart H. James and Jon J. Nordby CRC Press: Forensic Science, James and Nordby, 2nd Edition

    2. Chapter 28 Forensic Psychology Chapter Author: Louis B. Schlesinger • Presentation created by Greg Galardi, Peru, Nebraska CRC Press: Forensic Science, James and Nordby, 2nd Edition

    3. Forensic Psychology • Defined as the application of psychological findings to legal processes CRC Press: Forensic Science, James and Nordby, 2nd Edition

    4. Psychological Research and Law • Hugo Munsterberg (1908) realized that psychological research findings had the potential to inform the criminal justice system about the unreliability of eyewitness accounts CRC Press: Forensic Science, James and Nordby, 2nd Edition

    5. Psychological Research and Law • Buckhout (1974) tested that theory in a study on purse snatching- determined memory was selective, not a copying process • Only 7 out of 52 witnesses could identify the suspect CRC Press: Forensic Science, James and Nordby, 2nd Edition

    6. Psychological Research and Law • Problems in accuracy of eyewitnesses include: • Unreliability of human information processing system • Procedures used by law enforcement officials to obtain eyewitness accounts of crimes CRC Press: Forensic Science, James and Nordby, 2nd Edition

    7. Psychological Research and Law • Kasin et al (2001) cite numerous problems with criminal justice system processes: • Wording of questions, line up instructions, confidence malleability, mug shots, induced biases, post event information, child witness suggestibility, attitudes and expectations, continued… CRC Press: Forensic Science, James and Nordby, 2nd Edition

    8. Psychological Research and Law • Kasin et al (2001) cite numerous problems with criminal justice system processes: • Hypnotic suggestibility, alcohol intoxication, cross race bias, weapon focus, forgetting curve, exposure time, and unconscious transference CRC Press: Forensic Science, James and Nordby, 2nd Edition

    9. Psychological Research and Law • Courts stance on unreliability of eyewitness identification changed with the advent of DNA • Many defendants were proved innocent with use of DNA when original convictions were based solely on eyewitness testimony CRC Press: Forensic Science, James and Nordby, 2nd Edition

    10. Psychological Research and Law • Earwitness testimony (Ollson et al, 1998) has also been shown to be poorer than eyewitness testimony in accuracy • False confessions (Kassin, 1997, 1998) are much more common than previously thought CRC Press: Forensic Science, James and Nordby, 2nd Edition

    11. Psychological Research and Law • Brown V. Board of Education (1954) cited psychological research for first time • Psychological research was referenced in US Supreme Court decision, Ballew v. Georgia (1978) • Barrier of non-acceptance of psychological research in court has been removed CRC Press: Forensic Science, James and Nordby, 2nd Edition

    12. Clinical Forensic Psychology • 1909 William Healy established first court clinic as an adjunct to the Cook County Juvenile Court in Chicago, Ill • In 1914 first adult court clinic was established • In 1930s, many states enacted sexual psychopath laws, which mandated evaluation and treatment of sex offenders CRC Press: Forensic Science, James and Nordby, 2nd Edition

    13. Clinical Forensic Psychology • By the end of the 1960s, almost every state has specialized diagnostic and treatment programs- both free standing and in prison • President Kennedy’s initiatives in the 1960s established community mental health centers CRC Press: Forensic Science, James and Nordby, 2nd Edition

    14. Clinical Forensic Psychology • Clinical Psychology did not gain licensure as an independent profession in all states until the 1970s • Psychologists were occasionally called to testify in court to the results of psychological testing or under the auspices of a psychiatrist CRC Press: Forensic Science, James and Nordby, 2nd Edition

    15. Clinical Forensic Psychology People v. Hawthorne (1940), court decided there was “no magic of an MD degree”, and allowed properly trained psychologists to testify about a defendant’s mental state CRC Press: Forensic Science, James and Nordby, 2nd Edition

    16. Clinical Forensic Psychology Jenkins v. United States(1962) landmark case which allowed psychologists to testify as expert witnesses in criminal matters CRC Press: Forensic Science, James and Nordby, 2nd Edition

    17. Clinical Forensic Psychology • Despite court decisions, it was not until the 1980s that a psychologist’s testimony was used regularly • Psychologists gained general acceptance by society as an independent mental health profession CRC Press: Forensic Science, James and Nordby, 2nd Edition

    18. Clinical Forensic Psychology • Many states had to change specific laws to allow forensic examinations to be performed by psychologists, not just psychiatrists CRC Press: Forensic Science, James and Nordby, 2nd Edition

    19. Clinical Forensic Psychology • Early 1990s forensic psychology was well on it’s way to being a major participant in legal decision making • American Board of Forensic Psychology was appointed as a credentialing body, and standards for professionals were established CRC Press: Forensic Science, James and Nordby, 2nd Edition

    20. Clinical Forensic Psychology • Forensic psychologists are involved in: • Assessment • Treatment • Provision of testimony in a variety of legal cases such as family law, civil law and criminal law • Developing specializations in specific areas, such as sexual harassment, etc CRC Press: Forensic Science, James and Nordby, 2nd Edition

    21. Psychology and Law: An Uneasy Alliance • Basic differences in paradigms associated with psychology and law creates conflict: • Lawyers use adversarial approach • Psychologists use cooperative approach CRC Press: Forensic Science, James and Nordby, 2nd Edition

    22. Psychology and Law: An Uneasy Alliance • Lawyers are concerned with assigning moral responsibility • Psychologists are taught not to moralize or make moral judgments • Lawyers are concerned with time and deadlines, speedy trial, etc • Psychologists are not as concerned with time, as it may take years to treat a patient CRC Press: Forensic Science, James and Nordby, 2nd Edition

    23. Psychology and Law: An Uneasy Alliance • Psychologists generally adhere to a theoretical school: behavioral, cognitive, psychoanalytic • In law, theory gives way to individual cases and their resolution: law can be viewed as antitheoretical as a court will not try a case simply because it raises an interesting issue CRC Press: Forensic Science, James and Nordby, 2nd Edition

    24. Psychology and Law: An Uneasy Alliance • Psychologists must recognize that when entering legal arena, they should understand the underlying pragmatic and philosophical approaches between the disciplines CRC Press: Forensic Science, James and Nordby, 2nd Edition

    25. Psychology and Law: An Uneasy Alliance • Psychologists may be asked “ultimate” questions, which require the psychologist to translate their opinion to legal testimony, such as competency to stand trial or defendant’s state of mind • This issue is hotly debated (Champagne, 1991, Shuman 1996) CRC Press: Forensic Science, James and Nordby, 2nd Edition

    26. Forensic Assessment: Distinctions between Clinical and Forensic Approach • Clinical psychologists are taught to evaluate their patient through interviews, psychological testing and additional information from family members, friends, hospital records and records from previous therapists CRC Press: Forensic Science, James and Nordby, 2nd Edition

    27. Forensic Assessment: Distinctions between Clinical and Forensic Approach • Clinical psychologists are taught to listen to patient’s concerns, and accept patient’s symptoms as valid • Lying, deceit, exaggeration and malingering do occur, but are secondary matters CRC Press: Forensic Science, James and Nordby, 2nd Edition

    28. Forensic Assessment: Distinctions between Clinical and Forensic Approach • Forensic psychologists can not automatically accept a litigant’s description of what happened. • Litigant has an obvious motive to lie, exaggerate, or distort symptoms and events CRC Press: Forensic Science, James and Nordby, 2nd Edition

    29. Forensic Assessment: Distinctions between Clinical and Forensic Approach • Litigant maybe seeking to create a psychological defense, recover money or damages, or to transfer from a jail to a hospital • Traditional clinical approach can not be used in forensic assessments CRC Press: Forensic Science, James and Nordby, 2nd Edition

    30. Forensic Assessment: Distinctions between Clinical and Forensic Approach • Criminal’s version of events, background and symptom description must be corroborated (Davidson, 1965, Melton et al, 1997) by the forensic psychologist CRC Press: Forensic Science, James and Nordby, 2nd Edition

    31. Melton et al (1997) Seven Distinctions between a Clinical and Forensic Psychologist • Scope • Importance of Client Perspective • Voluntariness • Autonomy • Threats to Validity • Relationships and Dynamics • Pace and Setting CRC Press: Forensic Science, James and Nordby, 2nd Edition

    32. Psychological Testing: Traditional and Specialized Forensic Tests • Psychological testing is either quantitative or quasi-quantitative method of evaluating personality, psychopathology and mental functioning CRC Press: Forensic Science, James and Nordby, 2nd Edition

    33. Psychological Testing: Traditional and Specialized Forensic Tests • Testing assists in reducing subjectivity of clinical evaluation • Due to its objectivity, psychological testing is used a lot in forensic assessments CRC Press: Forensic Science, James and Nordby, 2nd Edition

    34. Psychological Testing: Traditional and Specialized Forensic Tests • Traditionally used psychological tests: • Personality Inventories • Projective Personality Tests • Tests of General Educational Functioning • Tests of Memory Functioning • Tests for Neuropsychological Impairment • Test for Specific Disorders CRC Press: Forensic Science, James and Nordby, 2nd Edition

    35. Projective Tests • These tests are designed to have individuals respond to a visual stimulus, and when asked to respond to it, the individual’s response will reveal aspects of his or her personality CRC Press: Forensic Science, James and Nordby, 2nd Edition

    36. Projective Tests • The Rorschach ink blot test is the most widely used projective test • Thematic Apperception Test (TAT) subject is shown a number of pictures and subject is asked to create a story, and it is assumed the subject will reveal wishes, thoughts, conflicts, motives and feelings CRC Press: Forensic Science, James and Nordby, 2nd Edition

    37. Projective Tests • Projective Figure Drawings – person is asked to draw a house, a tree, a person, person of opposite sex, worst thing they can think of, or similar topics and interpretation is made from them CRC Press: Forensic Science, James and Nordby, 2nd Edition

    38. Projective Tests • Bender-Gestalt test asks subject to copy nine geometric figures, and interpretation is done by psychologist from way drawing is done CRC Press: Forensic Science, James and Nordby, 2nd Edition

    39. Personality Inventories • Highly standardized and have considerable empirical validation • Types include: • Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) • California Psychological Inventory (CPI) • Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory (MCMI) CRC Press: Forensic Science, James and Nordby, 2nd Edition

    40. Intellectual and Cognitive Assessment • Intellectual and cognitive assessment is critical in any forensic assessment • Examples of tests include: • Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS) • Halsted-Reitan • Luria-Nebraska CRC Press: Forensic Science, James and Nordby, 2nd Edition

    41. Specialized Forensic Tests • Due to traditional psychological tests not being developed to address specific forensic issues, a number of researchers have developed specialized tests to focus directly on specific legal questions CRC Press: Forensic Science, James and Nordby, 2nd Edition

    42. Specialized Forensic Tests Examples of specialized forensic assessment instruments: • Competence to waive Miranda Rights • Competence to stand trial • Legal Insanity • Child Custody/Parental Fitness • Guardianship and Conservatorship • Competence for medical treatment decision making CRC Press: Forensic Science, James and Nordby, 2nd Edition

    43. Interviews in Altered States of Consciousness • Use of narcoanalysis, which is intravenous injection of item such as sodium amytal, places person in trance • Used primarily for therapeutic purposes • Hypnosis has also been used, however, its usefulness is not clear-cut CRC Press: Forensic Science, James and Nordby, 2nd Edition

    44. Complicating Factors in Forensic Assessment: Deception Syndromes • Forensic examiner should develop a low threshold for suspecting deception in forensic settings, since distortion or exaggeration commonly occur • Types of deception include malingering and dissimulation CRC Press: Forensic Science, James and Nordby, 2nd Edition

    45. Complicating Factors in Forensic Assessment: Deception Syndromes • Pseudo-malingering (Schneck,1962) – where a mentally ill individual feigns mental illness they have • Ganser’s syndrome (1898) – true disorder which had appearance of malingering, example- 2+2=5, CRC Press: Forensic Science, James and Nordby, 2nd Edition

    46. Complicating Factors in Forensic Assessment: Deception Syndromes • Some criminals claim there is a rational motive for their behavior • Other offenders try to convince themselves their crime was unplanned, provoked by victim or an accident • Other criminals simply engage in lying CRC Press: Forensic Science, James and Nordby, 2nd Edition