Psychology Of Confessions Essay

2068 words - 9 pages

1. BRIEFLY describe what happened in the Central Park Jogger case (2 points)
In 1989, a female jogger was beaten, raped, and then left to die in Central Park (Kassin, 2005). The police arrested 5 boys from age 14-16 years old and of African American or Hispanic descent. The police induced confessions from these five boys and they were convicted for the crime. However, 13 years later, a man named Matias Reyes confessed voluntarily to committing the crime and DNA evidence proved his confession to be the truth. This case represents the problem of wrongful convictions that plague the justice system.
2. What verbal cues, nonverbal cues, and behavioral attitudes are investigators directed to attend to by Inbau, Reid, Buckley, and Jane? How accurate do they claim investigators can be if they attend to these cues? (3 points)
According to Inbau, Reid, Buckley, and Jane the verbal cues that investigators are directed to attend to include qualified or rehearsed responses to questions (As cited by Kassin, 2005). The nonverbal cues can include slouching, frozen posture, and gaze aversion. The behavioral cues may include being guarded, unconcerned, or anxious. In attending to these cues, investigators can be trained to achieve an 85% accuracy level in judging truth and deception.
3. Summarize the laboratory research on people’s performance in detecting deception (3 points)
Research has been unable to support claims that individuals are able to achieve higher than average levels of performance when judging or detecting truth and deception (Kassin, 2005). From the experiments conducted, most individuals were shown to perform not better than at a level of chance. The training programs used were only shown to produce small improvements which were inconsistent. Also, investigators and other experienced law enforcement individuals were only shown to perform slightly better than chance when detecting truth and deception. Furthermore, research has shown that the training program produced a bias toward guilt when individuals tried to use the training in detecting deception.
4. Summarize the Kassin and Fong (1999) study (4 points)
Kassin and Fong (1999) felt that the research conducted on the study of deception training was limited in its use of students as observers (As cited by Kassin, 2005). They set out to examine experienced investigators to overcome this limitation. First, they used signal detection theory to examine the research literature. This was done to differentiate between discrimination accuracy and response bias. Of the literature, six studies were identified. Four of the studies compared the naïve participants and investigators while two manipulated the training. The analysis showed that across the six studies, the trained participants and the investigators exhibited a predilection in judging the targets as being deceptive.
Secondly, Kassin and Fong (1999) used tapes from previous studies to test samples from Canada and the United states (As cited by...

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