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· sketching the significant behavioral, cognitive, emotional, and demographic features of a person believed to be responsible for a crime. Ex. Young, male, unemployed, etc.Criminal profiling is not frequently used by police psychologists. When referred to as “criminal investigative analysis,” it is considered more useful/valid due to its more scientific sounding name
· BSU – FBI Behavioral Science Unit
Risk Factors in Prediction
predictive of antisocial behaviors
a) Dynamic risk factors – have potential to change over time ex. Substance abuse
1) Stable dynamic factors – change over months/yrs
2) Acute dynamic factors – change rapidly – within days/hrs/min ex. Anger, distress
May depend on mood swings, alcohol, etc.
b) Static risk factors – cannot change ex. Parental criminality
system for classifying personality or other behavioral patterns
Crime Scene Profiling
identifying cognitive tendencies, behavioral patterns, emotional disposition, and demographic variables of an unknown offender based on characteristics of the crime scene.
· The process is dictated by the quality of the data collected on previous offenders who have committed similar offenses.
· Rarely points to the offender, rather it provides statistical probabilities regarding the demographic, geographic patterns, and psychological features of the offender. It also eliminates large segments of the population from investigation.
· Organized crime scene – suggest planning of the offender, offender maintained control and took caution to elude apprehension, victim was specifically chosen
· Disorganized crime scene – offender committed the crime without planning, offender acted on impulse or rage, victim obtained by chance
· Mixed crime scene – has aspects of both. Ex. Crime begins carefully planned but becomes disorganized when things don’t follow the plain and strong emotions set in
· Organized, disorganized, mixed – unrealistic classification system (typology) as human behavior is not the same in every situation
· Trophy taking – Crime scene trophy – a meaningful souvenir taken by the offender
1) To remember the incident, to psychologically control the victim, or both, or
2) As part of a signature of the offender. The signature is thought to be related to the unique cognitive processes of the offender. It is relatively more consistent and may be more useful in profiling than MO. Ex. Leave a threatening note, violate personal item such as photograph
derives from the collection of behavioral, personality, cognitive, and demographic data on previous offenders to describe what a suspect may look/ be like.
Ex. Someone driving at certain speed, certain time of day, certain type of car, certain general appearance may fit the profile of drug courier.
(aka Reconstructive Psychological Evaluation (RPE)/Equivocal Death Analysis (EDA) – procedure done after a person’s death to determine his mental state (what may have been on his mind) prior to the death. Ex. Determine if death is due to the choking game, suicide, etc.
· 2 types of PA:
a) Suicide psychology Autopsy – to identify/understand psychosocial factors that contributed to the suicide
b) Equivocal Death Psychological Autopsy – clarify the mode (manner) of death and to determine the reasons for the death ex. Parachutist death may be accident (malfunction), suicide (intentional jump), homicide (tampered with), or natural (heart attack)
Purposes of PA:
1) Imp. to friends and family
2) imp in determining insurance payments (most insurance companies do not pay in suicide instances)
3) national security
4) In legal context – PA is used to find possible reasons for a suicide and establish legal culpability of other persons/org.
5) PA used as a research tool – useful in prediction/prevention of suicide, therapeutic to survivors
· Procedure includes: interviewing family and ppl who knew the deceased, examination of personal documents (suicide notes, letters), autopsy/police reports, medical/psychological/employment/educational histories, pre-death behaviors (paying up insurance policies, giving away imp possessions, relationships with spouse, children etc.
· However, there is no standard for such procedures, and no reliability or validity has been established, so often the results of these autopsies are disallowed in courts. The conclusions drawn in PA are, “at best, informed speculations and should be labeled as such.”
· Diff than other profiling: 1) done after death 2) identity is known
· Equivocal death – manner of death is unknown (manner: natural, accident, suicide, homicide, undetermined)
offending patterns often occur within certain areas
· 2 ways of analyzing crime patterns:
1) Geographical Profiling – analysis of locations associated with the movements o a single serial offender Ex. CGT – Criminal Geographic Targeting – program designed by Rossom to do this
2) Geographical Mapping – analyzing patterns of crimes committed by numerous offenders over a period of time (identifying hotspots of certain type of crime)
Ex. CompStat – system of tracking crime
· Rossm classifies patterns of offenders into 4 categories:
1) Hunters – commit crime near residence, look for victims
2) Poachers – usually travel to search for victims
3) Trollers – not searching but randomly encounter victims during another activity
4) Trappers – lure victims (wanted ad, taking in boarders)
gathering data on a known individual(s) through tests and interviews with the person or those who know him; an offshoot of psychological testing and assessment.
· Used in WWII to identify thought processes of Hitler
· Used for risk/threat assessment – indentifying and predicting dangerous individuals in society/likelihood of a threat being carried out. Theses assessments examine psychological risk factors that show a propensity for violence in potentially dangerous individuals. Ex. To predict whether a student is dangerous to others in school, workplace violence often occurs in reaction to a perceived injustice
· Risk assessments are conducted regularly in correctional facilities. They are used to assess domestic violence.
Problems with Profiling: (crime scene/geographical)
1) The assumption that human behavior is consistent across time (trans-temporal consistency) and a variety of situations (trans-situational consistency). Researchers argue that behavior in different situations is inconsistent. Tran-temporal consistency is more widely acknowledged, though. (A person in a perceived similar situation is likely to repeat the crime again.)
2) The belief that clues gathered at the crime scene (ex. Signatures) reveal certain generalizable psychological characteristics and thought patterns of certain types of offenders.
3) The assumption that key factors of the personality identified at the crime scene should generalize to other situations, including future crimes.
It relies too much on gut feeling and too little on evidence based science. Profilers often do not consider the power of the situation to influence behavior, such as the victim and his characteristics.
Suspect-Based Profiling Limitations:
· Nomothetic approach – search for general principles, relationships, and patterns by combining data from many individuals
· Idiographic approach – case study – intensive study of one individual
· Using an idiographic approach is less accurate because if represents a very small percentage of criminals and their habits.
· Actuarial predictions – based on statistical probability (However if an ethnic minority is overrepresented in the data, this may result in investigators focusing on members of that group when crime of that type is committed.)
· Clinical predictions – based on subjective experience
· All courts have subject matter jurisdiction (specific issues) and geographical jurisdiction (specific location)
· Some courts have limited jurisdiction - deal with small issues/preliminary issues in a major case
· Other courts have general jurisdiction - authority over both simple and complex cases.
· Appellate jurisdiction - authority to hear appeals regarding decisions of lower courts
Mental health courts
for crimes committed by individuals with mental disorders usually involve an immediate screening of the individual by a mental health clinician, which then makes treatment recommendations to the judge.
o Concerns regarding mental health courts :
1. The judge is the one who decides whether the individual is making sufficient progress, when perhaps this should be a clinical decision.
2. Judges want early intervention and efficient processing, but mental health professionals need time to conduct accurate and complete assessments.
3. Adequate resources to provide recommended treatment are not made available.
· Civil case – two or more parties (litigants) seek a resolution to a dispute. In most civil cases, the plaintiff seeks relief from the defendant, claiming personal harm. Ex. Court injunction – an order to stop a practice, protective order, or damages – money.Criminal case – the government, represented by a prosecutor, brings the action against the individual
detained individuals must appear before a judge to ensure that there are legal grounds to hold them.Jail detention is extremely stressful and therefore detainees are screened for mental disorders or psychological crisis
open proceeding at which the formal charges are read
· At the arraignment, the defendant is asked if they understand the charges, informed of their right to counsel, and asked to enter pleas.
· Many, especially minor offenders plead guilty and receive an immediate sentence/fine.
· Others plead a nolo contendere plea – they don’t contest the charge but do not admit guilt. (conviction is entered on the record)
· Others plead NGRI – not guilty by reason of insanity, and a forensic psychologist/psychiatrist will perform an evaluation of the defendant, called a criminal responsibility (CR) or mental state at the time of the offense (MSO), to determine whether an insanity defense could be supported.
· A not guilty plea sets a trial in motion
witnesses, arresting officers, and others may present evidence which form many decisions such as whether evidence is admissible, whether a trial should be moved due to pretrial publicity, whether a defendant can stand trial etc.
1. Voir dire - Selecting jurors to uncover bias and choose jurors who will be sympathetic to the case. Sometimes jury consultants are called in to help with the selection
· Lawyers have two ways to strike/remove an individual from the jury:
1. Peremptory challenge – lawyer can reject a juror without stating a reason. This may not be used in a discriminatory fashion ex. Based on race or gender.
2. Challenge for cause – a reason for rejecting a juror is given ex. Past history with one of the parties, being an advocated on a matter crucial to the case, a juror who has already formed a strong opinion of the case.
During the presentation of evidence/cross-examination of witnesses, forensic psychologists may sit in and conduct similar tasks to those performed during jury selection. Sometimes they are called upon as expert witnesses.
· Eye witness evidence is most crucial-more than race, age, etc.-It very much effects outcome
· Testimony of eyewitness who incriminates defendant is the most influential evidence
· Problem-eyewitnesses are not foolproof
· DNA most useful
· False identification of witnesses constantly happen
· In crime simulations where subjects believed crime was real-and their identification can effect criminal-much false identification occurred
· Accuracy can partly be determined by procedures used by police during criminal investigations (System variables)
System Variables Vs Estimator Variables
· System variables are controllable factors and include type of questioning by police, nature of lineup, presence or absence of videotaping of procedures, etc.
· The above variables are preventive errors
· Estimator variables include those that are uncontrollable by criminal justice system-ex: environment, time, physical conditions, etc.
· Estimator variables are determined before police respond. Ex-degree of violence will effect witness’s ability to remember event
· Usually less violent/less stressed events are remembered more accurately than violent events/high stressed events
· Variations of acceptable procedures:
1. Asking witness poorly constructed q’s upon discovering the crime
2. Allowing an eyewitness to overhear responses from other eyewitnesses
3. Taking spotty note of witnesses responses
4. Failing to use any theory of proper memory interview
5. Using investigators who have little training in interviewing or in memory
· Many interviews for eyewitnesses are conducted under awful conditions-ex: pressure, injury, agitation (with the added pressure of the police supervisor to move quickly)
· Another problem-Motivation in police in questionable witnesses-Police can act according to their own hunches
· Supreme Courts recognized that dangers exist from the way police use photo lineups
· Police conduct various activities in investigation-Need to improve the quality of methods, but this is what it is:
1. Lack of training-Reg police receive little training and textbooks omit important issues such as interviewing
2. Interview content-Although lack of training, there are still some consistencies in interviews:
A. After intro, interviewer asks witness to describe what happened in crime
B. After that police ask brief questions
C. Police give little or no assistance when ending the interview
· 3 mistakes happened a lot:
1. Interrupting witness
2. Asking to many short answer questions
3. Using inappropriate sequence of questions
· Police are sometimes insensitive to dynamics of situation when they interview eyewitness
· Demand characteristics may elicit pressures to give right answer
· Few leading q’s are asked
· Police are also unaware of fact (research) that if a witness was exposed to a pic of suspect it can increase his likelihood to identify suspect as the culprit
· Unconscious transference-ppl will remember a face but forget where they saw it
· Police are insensitive to type of errors they make when conducting interviews
· Police may repeat same q many times-even if eyewitness didn’t answer first time, he may be compelled to answer the next time even if it may be lowering his standards or let’s say something he didn’t wanna answer…or will hafta substitute a response=social pressure
· Use of multiple choice may encourage guessing-witnesses are rarely told that if they aren’t sure they shouldn’t guess. They should be told this
· Certain procedures can increase memory retrieval of witness:
1. Slow down rate of questioning
2. Recreate original context
3. Tailor question to each eye witness
4. Make interview witness centered
5. Be sensitive between correct and incorrect responses
6. Be sensitive to temptations formed by premature conclusions
· Most basic suggestion-provide proper training!
· Identity parade-when police have a suspect they usually ask victim or eyewitness to identify the suspect from a line up or photo array
· No consistent difference noted between live line up and photo arrays
· Show up-line up composed of one person. They are more suggestible than line ups with 4,5, 6 foils
· If line ups are used effectively, they serve 2 purposes:
1. Determine whether suspect is the perpetuator
2. Assess reliability of the witness
· If foil choices are considered useful-witnesses will pick them-than they are definitely effective in adding to the judgment (know for sure not true)
· Some common errors that occur:
1. Deciding that the criminal is definitely one of the stimulus ppl
2. Pressuring witness to make a choice
3. Asking q’s specifically abt the suspect and not about the foils
4. Encouraging loose recommendation-ex: if anyone looks similar
5. Leaking police’s hunch by making it obvious which person it may be
6. Telling the witness that his choice was right
· Eyewitnesses are highly susceptible to powers of suggestion by police
· Relative judgment process-witness selects person with most resemblance. If real culprit it present than its effective but not if there are only foils (An innocent person will be chosen)
· Children as eye witnesses pose specific challenges
· All recommendations noted earlier regarding questioning adults should be for children
· Ex of legislative decisions made w/o psychologist input: Many cases of child sexual abuse claim that their memory is repressed or that they do not recall details till adolescence or even adulthood
· Judges accepted concept as delayed discovery
· Goal of legislation-to provide opportunities to report delayed but legitimate claims of child sexual abuse
1. Opportunity for witness to view criminal during the crime
2. Length of time between crime and investigation
3. Level of certainty shown by witness at investigation
4. Witness’s degree of attention during the crime
5. Accuracy of witness’s prior description of the criminal
Most of these criteria reflect plausible assumptions but are questionable because:
A. Leading q’s can alter witness’s response
B. Initial relationship bet diff witness levels of accuracy and levels of confidence bet their own accuracy is low
C. Confidence of witness is malleable-events that happen after can cause witness to become more or less confident
-Trial consultants can be considered a full-fledged example of forensic psychology.
Trial consultants: Better thought of as Litigation Consultants?
-Originally trial consultants were chosen to help the attorneys with evidence and form a theory of the case.
Criminal trial- if the case is broadcasted in the media, the attorney may want to move the case to another jurisdiction. Jury selection in criminal trials have to be done on a minimal budget so there isn’t much of a trial consultant group.-Civil trial- usually has trial consultants cuz they’ll pay the fee. They’ll conduct focus groups- to uncover feelings and bias held by the public. Peremptory challenges- number of jurors who can be dismissed is limited so that jury selection in civil trials has less impact than criminal ones
Change-Of-Venue Requests in Response to Pretrial Publicity:
-Defendant has the right to a fair trial.
Change in venue-changes the place of the trial, usually it’s the defendants attorney making this request
The Litigation Consultant’s Activities:
- These consultants request a community survey to know the extent of the case.
- if the court case changes till usually be in a county nearby.
-The psychologist will make up a survey and give it to the people via telephone. The job of the psychologist is to give a report to the attorney. Attorney work product- the surveys done by the psychologists are his work and it is privileged information.-If the information is enough- affidavit- sworn statement for the court
The Effects of Pretrial Publicity
The Effects of Pretrial Publicity
-Surveys of potential jurors in actual cases, and simulations of jury trials. Internet is great for this research.
-Respondents with greater awareness- guilty
-The more media-more they knew about the case
-The respondents knowledge about the case was not related to their reported ability to be impartial.
-if there was a lot of evidence against the defendant, most likely juror can be fair and impartial.-the simulated jurors research found more people likely to convict the defendant
After the affidavit was filed the court will make a preliminary hearing, -psychologist will talk about the surveys,
-They later ask questions and surveys are subject to be cross examined.-The change in venue and surveys - sometimes the judge isn’t knowledgeable in this area of usage
sometimes if they deny a venue change they’ll allow a sequestered Voir Dire, question each juror on their prejudices, however negative effects of pretrial publicity still remains.
prep for psychologists
-take your time
-don’t answer a q u dnt understand
-if u dnt remember say so
-each witness should be prepared individually.
-powerless speech- expressions of hesitancy.
-how direct can an attorney be with a client?
- attorneys should bend over backwards to avoid telling the witness what and how to answer.
Opening statements, presentation of evidence, and closing argument , that’s how psychologists tell the attorneys to handle the case.
-different methods of opening a case
Presentation of the evidence
-serial position effect- remember the first and last item in a seres best witness first and last.
-summations- attorneys place emphasis on the end of the trial.
-jury selection they cant really select but they cant prevent someone from being chosen
-attorneys can be egocentric that they think they can persuade anybody
juror bias- each of us make up our own judgment that can color our verdicts
Does scientific jury selection work?
-its difficult to asses, they dnt rly select jurors they may dismiss other jurors based on biases.
Is it ethical for psychologists to aid in jury selection?
-can they aid?
-they may use out of court interviews
-jury tampering- is illegal
-solution to the problem=get court permission
Use of supplement juror questioners
-supplemental juror questionnaire- to figure out the bias of the jurors
How is an expert witness (a credentialedindividual) not a hired gun if he becomes the alter ego of the attorney?
The Daubert Standardsought to standardize admissibility for scientific evidence in court. In a case involving birthdefects and the company that sold an anti-nausea drug which was found to be teratogenic, theevidence argued by the plaintiff’s expert witness was ruled inadmissible due to the Frye test of acceptable standards. It was however later vacated because it was found to have superseded theFrye test.
The later determination of reliability was revised to evidence’s “falsifiability, or refutability ortestability”. Judges have the discretion to determine the extent of the expertise of the witness toqualify and then to determine if the evidence is relative and reliable as per Daubert.Methodology and the utilization of scientific techniques is ascertained, empirical testability, wasit peer review published, its rate of error, and the method’s general acceptance in the scientific community.
Daubert was also later revised to admit inclusion of technical or other specialized knowledge.The field of psychology however, consists of a science that is not by nature very scientific ,impacting this field more based on observational studies than controlled experiments and standards of falsifiability? It seems that they can be held to different standards, such as
a. Replicability b. Logicc. Adherence to recognized methodologiesd. Construct validity (does the data analysis fit into preexisting theory)e. Adherence to proper statistical proceduresf. Avoidance of biasg. The researcher’s qualifications
There is much disagreement in the mental health community about diagnostics of various disorders of certain axes, causing it to remain a soft science, with ‘anecdata’ through extrapolation in many cases. Experts in the behavioral sciences may be asked to render a professional opinion concluding a “reasonable degree of scientific certainity” which is an inherently ambiguous standard. This point succeeds in showing that the law and science are still fundamentally far from having intersecting views. Progress, however, is being made.
Forensic psychology – clinical assessment of the psychological aspect of patients under the judicial system.
Need to define clinical assessment – formal or informal techniques to evaluate patients..how well they function or what is the cause(etiology) of abnormal behavior.
Scientifically speaking process of evaluating all psychological aspects of an individual (strengths , weaknesses etc.) as a basis to make an informed decision.
Diagnosis – is conclusion that a person is suffering some disorder – based on signs and symtoms
Signs – objective things like high blood pressure, sweating,
Symptoms – subjective features of patients like pain that cannot be measured
Prognosis – educated prediction on what will be outcome
Proper psychiatric evaluation involves;
1. medical evaluation
2. personal history
3. a mental status examination
Psychological evaluation requires even more
First rule out physical causes that could be producing symptoms that look like a mental problem like tumors or vitamin deficiency, drugs, infectious diseases etc. or poor diet, overmedication etc. heart examination, changes in autonomic nervous system.
Even though general clinical assessment is used to determine a course of treatment in forensic setting not very important. More interested in a diagnosis to use in relation with law proceedings.
1. identifying data and presenting problemCase history has four parts; 1.identifying data; patients name sex race date interviewed; 2. Presenting problem; why is the patient being seen, what are symptoms
Mental status examination (MSE) ; semi structured designed for broad assessment of a patient’s mood, affect , thinking, behavior, ; cognitive function such as attention, concentration, memory, abstract thinking and judgment. Often gathered at more than one visit and often used to guide further assessment
Mental status examination (MSE);
1) general appearance, attitude, and behavior
2. speech and language functioning as indicators of thought processes
3.affect and emotional functioning
4. thought content
5. sensorium and cognitive functioning
6. insight and judgement
Standardized tests are those that are done under controlled conditions and results are measured using norms established by sampling a population similar to the one that the test was designed for. These tests can uncover things that are not seen during other forms of clinical assessment. The field of psychological assessment is called psychometrics.
Most widely used psychometric instruments evaluate; 1. Intelligence, 2. Personality, 3. Ability to perform specific tasks.
Grisso identified eight ways in which standardized tests are used legally; 1. Criminal court cases, 2. Correctional decisions, 3. Mental health law decisions, 4. Juvenile delinquency decisions, 5. Family law matters, 6. Law enforcement personnel selection, 7. Examination of discriminatory practices, 8. Evaluations of disability claims.
Psychological testing helps balance against the bias that can be prevalent in more subjective testing like clinical interviews.
Intelligent tests different from achievement or aptitude . Achievement test measure past achievements. Aptitude tests evaluate probability of future success in a certain area such as SAT,GRE, LSAT. Two most popular intelligent IQ tests; Stanford-Binet and Wechsler
Individuality of people are often referred to a personality. Like intelligence it is difficult to define t been defined as “a stable set of tendencies and characteristics that determine those commonalities and differences in peoples’ psychological behavior (thoughts, feelings and actions) that have continuity in time and that may not be easily understood as the sole result of the social and biological pressures of the moment”. Definition uses both cognitive and affective (emotional) components
Two main techniques to measure personality (psychometric tests) are structured personality inventories and projective tests
Self report questionnaire on which subjects respond “true or false”, yes or no”, or “agree or disagree" to a series of questions about themselves. Most widely used is the MINNESOTA MULTIPHASIC PERSONALITY INVENTORY. Two versions 1943 and 1989 both still used. the newer one liked more but older one accepted more in court since it has more research articles written on it.
Patients comment on ambiguous stimuli
Most famous is the RORSCHACH INKBLOT TEST
Crime is defined as the willful violation of the law and its consequences. It is intentional and inexcusable, so establishing that there was full awareness of it is key. The prosecution (the government) must prove unequivocally that a voluntary act (actus reus) as well a guilty state of mind (mens rea) were present. Crime is not limited to the indigent, as white collar offenses, fraud, and corruption are the plight of the new technological age. Developmental factors can often empirically point directly to criminal behavior, as given individual’s behavior is clearly indicated as opposed to situational factors.
(i) Status offenses; prohibited strictly by this age group (varies appx 16-18; curfew, underage drinking, truancy, ungovernability)
(ii) Adjudicated delinquent by an appropriate court for breaking the code of law (can differ between male and female activities)
(iii) Psychological or psychiatric delinquency; conduct disorder (CD; habitual misbehavior) or antisocial behavior (directly harmful) understood by biopsychosocial processes
1. Murder and nonnegligent manslaughter
2. Forcible rape
4. Aggravated assault
2. Grand larceny-theft
3. Motor vehicle theft
1. Adolescent-limited offenders begin as teens and peak at 16, then decline
2. Life-course persistent offenders/high level/chronic anti-social behavior in a usual pattern remaining constant through life
3. Low-level chronic offenders (LLCs) rise in offending thru early adolescence, mid-teen plateau and remain constant past 18
4. Non-offending pattern (NCs)
5. a possible 5th category, where delinquency increases from late adolescence into adulthood
Inherent in the pathways are gender differences that reflect different risk factors leading to antisocial behavior at a later onset.
Development Dual Systems Model of Adolescent Risk Taking:
Moffitt’s model may have a neurological explanation for ALs, explained by teen brain development. Precedence has been set under the law allowing for immature brain development to excuse risky/delinquent behavior to stay execution in the adolescent, based on research into juvenile cognitive abilities which are hindered until full development is reached. This attributes the socio-emotional system, where specific brain regions and neurological networks (amygdala, nucleus accumbens, orbitofrontal cortex etc) set urges for reward/stimulation-seeking activities. When the cognitive-control system achieves full development, the capacity to regulate emotions and weigh consequences is said to be more complete and self-regulation may be achieved in the mid-20s, hence the dual system.
may include, hyperactivity, impulsivity, inattention, oppositional behaviors, defiance, aggression, disregard of rights of others. These characteristics manifest as
1. ADHD; symptoms unusual and pronounced/defy learning and not outgrown always perceived to be aggressive and leading to peer rejection. Relief is sought by delinquency and substance abuse
a. Excessive motor activity
i. ODD oppositional defiant disorder, arguing and defying adults, being spiteful and vindictive
2. Conduct problems often in conjunction with ADHD, a repetitive and persistent pattern of behavior that violates basic rights of others, seen as a precursor to a life of crime. Childhood-onset before the age of 10 and typically worsens, while adolescent-onset CD shows maladaptive behavior after the age of 10
1. deficient cognitive ability, a complex interaction between genes and the environment can lead to
i. Delayed language acquisition
ii. Issues with self-regulation
iii. Issues with executive function
a. Individual’s ability to recognize and inhibit inappropriate behavior
b. Problem solving ability/higher-order reasoning
c. There is a direct relationship between executive function and its reflection on antisocial behaviors
2. poor social skills contributions of family, peer, friends, cultural and ethnic background to antisocial behaviors
a. Peer rejection an important indicator of future violence particularly due to an argumentative/disruptive nature
Children suffering abuse, neglect or are mistreated can display any or all of the above but it can be arrested with proper intervention.
may play a role in delinquency, but intelligence exists in many forms. Gardner’s intelligence model is divided as follows:
Intrapersonal (self knowledge)
indicate lack of capacity to understand feelings of others a play a prominent role in human violence. Hostile attribution bias attributes violence or hostility into ambiguous acts by aggressive children. Severe peer pressure distorts thought patterns indicated by justifications and rationalizations. Lack of empathy and no concern for negative consequences is also indicated.
a psychopath exhibits psychological, interpersonal and neuropsychological features that set him apart from others
i. Selfishness (egocentricity)
ii. Inability to love or give affection
iii. Tendency to lie and deceive
iv. Total lack of guilt or remorse
v. No empathy, callous
vi. Low anxiety proneness
vii. Poor judgment, inability to learn from experience
viii. Superficial charm
ix. Failure to follow life plan
x. Cycles of unreliability
1)The defendant was suffering from "a defect of reason, from a disease of the mind"
2)As a result, the defendant did not "know" the "nature and quality of the act he was doing"
3)As a result, the defendant did not know that "what he was doing was wrong"
if loss of ability of ones behavior, the courts will sometimes refer to this.
a person is not responsible for criminal conduct if at the time of the action as a result of mental disease or defect he lacks the substantial capacity to appreciate the wrongfulness of his conduct or to conform his conduct to the requirements of the law.
guilty but mentally ill. the purpose of this was to provide treatment for those criminal defendants with psychiatric disorders. However there are some criticisms.
-the definition of GBMI and the requirements for imprisonment and treatment differ from state to state
-its hard for jurors to differentiate between NGRI (not guilty by reason of insanity) and GBMI. NGRI is an affirmative defense to a crime, which means that if he/she is not guilty they then are subjected to civil proceedings for confinement. GBMI is not a defense, it is a verdict. Person is still criminal even if he possesses a mental disorder.
-GBMI has not led to the reduction of NGRI. most who are found GBMI come from a population of those who would have been found guilty.
-The verdict of GBMI doesnt mean the offenders will get effective treatment.
In assessing criminal responsibility (to see if offenders were aware of the implications of their actions), forensic psychologists usually used interviews. But they needed something more reliable. apply the logic of structured interviews to the forensic assessment of criminal responsibility.
Those who plead guilty wave several of their constitutional rights and the right to confront their accusers. however such a waiver must be knowing, intelligent and voluntary. how is this determined?
measures a person's competence to proceed to adjudication or his or her ability to plead guilty as well as the ability to go to trial, questions are grouped in to 4 categories:
1)understanding of charges and trials
2)appreciation of the relevance of information for defense
3)reasoning with information during decision making, or an assessment of logical problem solving abilities
4)evidencing a choice
should be evaluated when anyone of the following are present:
-age 12 years of younger
-a prior diagnosis or treatment for a mental illness or mental retardation
-a "borderline" or lower level of intellectual functioning, or a recorded learning disability
-observations by others suggests that deficits in memory, attention, or interpretation of reality.
assessing if someone is faking insanity to avoid guilty verdict or prison sentence. there are 3 types:
1)The Pathogenic-people who are motivated by underlying pathology. these people are usually disturbed. eventually faking the symptoms so much will turn in to a genuine disorder.
2)The Criminological-people with an antisocial or oppositional motivation. they may fake mental disorders so they dont get an outcome they do not deserve
3)The Adaptational-person who makes an attempt to succeed in highly adversarial circumstances.
Minnesota Multiphasic personality inventory(MMPI)
· Once a couple divorces, they have to decide on the custody of the children. If the parents cannot decide on the custody themselves, the court orders for a mediator
1. It is less formal than dealing with actual court staff
2. Private sessions
3. There is greater satisfaction when dealing with a mediator than in court
4. Cases are solved quicker when the couple goes through a mediator than dealing with it in court
· Their role is to help both parties come to an agreement with communication and confidentiality.
· They help the couple with realizing certain aspects through mediation
1. Helps them to differentiate between their needs and their wants
2. Figure out all the details of custody in less stressed atmosphere
3. Increasing emotional acceptance through this process
4. Can help the divorced couple create a working relationship to help with their child
· help child who is experiencing trauma
· However, with this position it can’t be used to help make a decision about the illegitimacy of a particular parent.
· Fact witness, can support a parent’s mental health without providing recommendations
When the custody of the child can’t be settled through mediation, they use this to provide the best custody accommodations possible for the child
· There will then be a custody evaluation and the evaluator has to investigate and collect facts for the judge/
· The following are a few characteristics in a report that is given out
1. Focus on the issues and problems of the family\
2. Be credible well-reasoned, clear, and thoughtful
3. Be fair, balanced, and neutral, avoiding advocacy of one parent and accentuating positives when possible
4. Avoid jargons and diagnosis, yet remain behaviorally focused
5. Contain recommendations that are focused and neatly flow from the material in the report
· Legal custody: make major decisions in child’s life
· Physical custody: refers to where the child lives every day
· Sole custody arrangement: one parent contains both legal and physical and the other parent has visitation rights
· Joint custody/shared custody arrangement: legal custody is shared and one parent has the physical part
· Divided custody: one parent has sole custody on one or more children and the other patent receives sole custody on the others
· The psychologist becomes an expert witness after giving the evaluations to the court.
· Besides being an expert witness the psychologist may also be used to testify the effects of the child
· From 1970 the best interest of the child is used in the court when deciding on the custody of the child
· The following are factors that a judge considers before reaching a decision:
1. The mental and physical health of everyone involved
2. The child’s adjustment to his home, school, and community
3. Each parents ability to provide food, clothing, medication, and other remedial care and material benefits to the child
4. The interaction and interrelationship of the child with parents or others who will affect the child’s best interests
5. Wishes of parents and wishes of the child
· This supposes the best interest of the child regardless of gender, and age especially for girls
Custody evaluations vs. psychological evaluations:
A. psychologists say that by observing the parents and child and spending a significant amount of time with them the behavior speaks for itself. The following are a few characteristic that are noted when observing families:
1. Safety and environment
2. General behavior toward child
3. Teaching and training
5. Child-imitated behavior
· Overall types are neglect, physical abuse, sexual abuse, and emotional abuse
· The family is usually isolated and they don’t have a social network
· Unstable situation at home, presumably the abusers characteristics are the same for both females and males
Infanticide, neonaticide, and filicide:
· These are all terms for killing a child within 24 hours of birth and over a year
· The only connection from the postpartum period would be postpartum psychosis
· Mostly it occurs from lack of protecting the child in unsafe places
Muchausen syndrome by proxy:
· This is when a child is shaken so much it cause major brain damage.
· There is continuous research if this is substantial, and if one does remember, investigations have to be done to check the validity of it.
Special expert panel on repressed memory:
· Five conclusions were discovered as a consensus of the working memory:
1. Controversies regarding adult recollections should not be allowed to obscure the fact that child sexual abuse is a complex and pervasive problem in America that has historically gone unacknowledged
2. Most people who were sexually abused as children remember all or part of what happened
3. It possible to construct convincing pseudo-memories for events that never occurred
4. There are gaps in our knowledge about the processes that lead to accurate and inaccurate recollections of childhood abuse
Retrieval is not perfect
· Reconstructive theory of memory is that memory is always able to be revised
· Also at times, the psychologists themselves assist in the false memory. The iatrogenic effect is when the psychologists unintentionally place false events in the patient’s memory.
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