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Legal Psych Mid


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Importance of Laws (3)
-Resolve Conflicts -Control Behavior -Rules to regulate public actions
4 Dilemmas in Applying the Law
-Individual Rights vs. Common Good -Equality vs. Discretion -Truth vs. Conflict Resolution -Science vs. Legal Precedent
Due Process Model
-Individual Rights
Crime Control
-Protection of Society
Problem w. Discretion:
Sentencing Disparity
Problem with Determinate sentencing:
Don't allow for much discretion
Legal System Values:
Precedent, Guilt, Conflict Resolution
Psychology Values:
Scientific Experimentation, Probability, Truth
Applied Scientist:
Conduct Research, Apply knowledge to the law, CAN BE EXPERT WITNESSES
Not neutral, works for a side
Trial Consultants
Conduct Research, help with trial process, etc.
Why do people commit crimes? (2 theories)
Sociological Biological
Psychological Theories:
Freud- Psychoanalytic theory Id vs. Ego + Superego Crime = desire for punishment Problem with it: Criminals actually try to avoid punishment
Personality Defect
Personality Disorders associated with crime
Antisocial Personality Disorder
Recognized by APA, deciet, manipulation, lack of remorse, etc.
Control Theory:
people behave antisocially unless trained
Social Learning Theory:
Crime is learned (thru observation)
Factors that explain crime:
Antecedent conditions Early indicators Developmental Process Maintenance Variables
Why do Eyewitnesses make mistakes?
Event-Related Factors Post-Event Factors
Weapon Focus Event
Presence of focus narros focus
Misinformation Effect
Loftus: misinformation significantly impaired ability to identify accident scene
Unconcious Transference
Mix up, fail to distinguish perpetrator and other person theyve seen
LineUp ID Procedures
Simultaneous (relative judgements) Sequential (absolute judgements)
Safeguards against wrongful convictions:
Cross-Examination, Psych. expert testimony, cautionary jury instructions.
Perceptions of children as witnesses:
most cases= less credible than adults In sexual abuse cases= more credible than adults
Open ended questions
highly acurate but incomplete
Specific Questions
Complete, less accurate
Suggestive Questions:
introduce new info, suggest 'right' answer
Mousetrap study
repeated questioning, suggesting children had had their fingers caught in mouse trap
sam stone study
stereotype induction (sam is clumsy, silly, etc.)
Mr. Science Study
came in to do simple experiments, parents read to kids about it...'sam put something yucky in my mouth" ----false touching
undesiable interviewing tactics:
-suggestive questions -positive reinforcement -negative reinforcement
Fells Acres--why do critics think they are innocent?
-faulty investication practices -unusual witness placement in court

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