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Legal and Criminological Psychology

Impact factor: 1.71 5-Year impact factor: 1.77 Print ISSN: 2044-8333

Most recent papers:

  • Exploring the decision component of the Activation‐Decision‐Construction‐Action Theory for different reasons to deceive.
    Hannah Cassidy, Joshua Wyman, Victoria Talwar, Lucy Akehurst.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. October 27, 2018
    --- - |2+ Objectives To explore how reasons to lie impact upon the decision component of Activation‐Decision‐Construction‐Action Theory. Design Specifically, the study looked at how beneficiary of the lie (self vs. another) and additional cost of lying (no cost vs. cost to self/other) might influence decisions to lie. Methods Ninety‐one undergraduate students read four hypothetical scenarios representing the four reasons to lie. They stated whether they would decide to tell the truth/lie for each scenario and also estimated the probability and valence of being believed, or not, if they did decide to tell the truth/lie. These estimations were inputted into the ADCAT formulae. Results Higher expected values of truth‐telling only reduced likelihood to decide to lie when the lie benefitted another. Beneficiary of the lie and additional cost together did not moderate any of the relationships between the ADCAT variables and hypothetical decisions to lie. However, the additional cost (e.g., to self or another) was a significant predictor of anticipated lying behaviour. The more likely there was a cost to self or other, the less likely the participants were to decide to lie. Conclusions Weighing up the expected cost and benefits of truth‐telling and lying was associated with hypothetical decisions to lie or not. However, other variables, such as additional cost to self or another, should be considered in the ADCAT model to extend our understanding of this decision‐making process. Future research is required to investigate whether these relationships can be manipulated to promote honesty and deter deceit. - 'Legal and Criminological Psychology, EarlyView. '
    October 27, 2018   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12143   open full text
  • Evaluating treatment outcomes for young people participating in a high‐intensity therapeutic violence intervention in the English Youth Custody Service.
    Jonathan M. Derbyshire, Emily Tarrant, Ruby Fitter, Rachel A. Gibson.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. October 11, 2018
    --- - |2+ Purpose A specialized unit for long‐term sentenced male young people sought to provide additional support to those convicted of the gravest violent offences, who had the highest risk of further offending. One key element was the introduction of a violence reduction intervention, Life Minus Violence‐Enhanced (LMV‐E). The present study evaluated LMV‐E. Methods Participants (N = 21, starting age = 16–17 years) were convicted of a violent offence and had a history of custodial and or community violence. Pre‐ and post‐intervention comparisons were of risk for future violence as measured by the Structured Assessment of Violence Risk in Youth (SAVRY; Borum et al., , Structured Assessment of Violence Risk in Youth (SAVRY). Psychological Assessment Resources Inc.) and treatment‐related change on self‐report questionnaires. Sanctions for further aggression in custody or following release were recorded at 12 and 24 months post‐intervention. Results SAVRY identified statistically significant reductions in individual–clinical and social–contextual scales, with large effect sizes. Statistically significant changes, with moderate effect sizes, were noted in self‐report questionnaires. Reductions were in rumination, physical and verbal aggression, and anger. Improvements were in emotional awareness, emotion regulation, and impulsivity. Follow‐up showed favourable rates of aggression within the community and custody. Conclusions Risk reduction findings are important, pointing towards a generalized reduction in aggression risk following this intervention. Significantly, participants also demonstrated improvement in empathy, a direct treatment target. Treatment‐related change was multidomain, across several areas addressed by the intervention. This study therefore found good evidence for the utility of LMV‐E in addressing risk of aggression for young people. - 'Legal and Criminological Psychology, EarlyView. '
    October 11, 2018   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12142   open full text
  • Death penalty decision‐making: Fundamentalist beliefs and the evaluation of aggravating and mitigating circumstances.
    Logan A. Yelderman, Matthew P. West, Monica K. Miller.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. September 04, 2018
    --- - |2+ Purpose Jurors’ religious characteristics are related to death penalty attitudes and verdicts. Jurors’ religious characteristics might also relate to endorsements of aggravating circumstances (aggravators) and mitigating circumstances (mitigators)—factors that make a defendant more or less deserving of the death penalty, respectively. The purpose of this research was to assess the extent to which religious fundamentalism was related to endorsement and weighing of aggravators and mitigators and subsequent death penalty decisions while controlling for relevant religious and demographic characteristics. Methods Two studies were conducted. Study 1 included a regression analysis in which participants filled out religious and demographic measures via an online survey. In Study 2, participants acted as mock jurors in a death penalty trial in which the defendant was already found guilty. Mock jurors read the case facts and attorney arguments and then weighed aggravators and mitigators before recommending a sentence for the defendant. Results In Study 1, fundamentalism negatively predicted mitigator endorsement, intrinsic religiosity negatively predicted aggravator endorsement, and orthodoxy positively predicted aggravator endorsement. In Study 2, fundamentalism was related to death penalty sentences, and this was mediated by people's weighing of aggravators and mitigators. Specifically, fundamentalism was related to a lower likelihood of choosing a life sentence because fundamentalism was negatively related to weighing mitigators over aggravators. Conclusions Results support and explain prior research linking fundamentalism with punitiveness in death penalty cases. Such findings support the “eye for an eye” punishment philosophy associated with fundamentalist beliefs. Theoretical and legal implications are discussed. - 'Legal and Criminological Psychology, EarlyView. '
    September 04, 2018   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12141   open full text
  • Violent extremism: A comparison of approaches to assessing and managing risk.
    Caroline Logan, Monica Lloyd.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. August 29, 2018
    --- - |2+ Purpose The task of assessing and managing risk of violence has evolved considerably in the last 25 years, and the field of violent extremism has the potential to stand on the shoulders of the giants of this time. Therefore, the objective of this study was to identify good practice in the risk field and to apply that to the specific area of risk in relation to violent extremism – in order that developments here accord to highest standards of practice achieved so far elsewhere. Method and Results We begin by addressing the essential requirement to define the task of assessing and managing the risk of violent extremism – What is its purpose and parameters, who are its practitioners, in what contexts is this activity delivered, and how might any such context both facilitate and hinder the objectives of the task? Next, we map the terrain – What guidance is already available to assist practitioners in their work of understanding and managing the risk of violent extremism, and by what standards may we judge the quality of this and future guidance in the contexts in which is it applied? Finally, we explore options for the development of the field in terms of the empirical basis upon which the risks presented by individuals and the organizations to which they may affiliate are assessed, understood, and managed. Conclusions Recommendations are proposed in relation to each of these three areas of concern with a view to supporting the rapid and credible advancement of this growing and vital area of endeavour. - 'Legal and Criminological Psychology, EarlyView. '
    August 29, 2018   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12140   open full text
  • Issue Information.

    Legal and Criminological Psychology. August 12, 2018
    --- - - Legal and Criminological Psychology, Volume 23, Issue 2, Page i-iv, September 2018.
    August 12, 2018   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12113   open full text
  • Japanese public opinion about suspect interviewing techniques.
    Taeko Wachi, Michael E. Lamb.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. August 11, 2018
    --- - |2+ Purpose The new citizen judge system in Japan was implemented in 2009. Further, a revision to the Code of Criminal Procedures, announced in 2016, stipulated that, from 2019, police interviews of suspects tried by citizen judges had to be recorded. Anticipating these changes to the criminal justice system in Japan, this study investigated public perceptions of the various suspect interviewing techniques in use. Methods A total of 761 jury‐eligible Japanese participants completed an online survey that included items about five suspect interviewing techniques (Presentation of Evidence, Confrontation, Active Listening, Rapport Building, and Discussion of the Crime). The participants were asked to rate the fairness of these techniques and the likelihood that they would elicit true and false confessions from guilty and innocent suspects. Results Participants believed that Active Listening was the fairest of the five interviewing techniques, most and least likely to elicit true and false confessions, respectively. Contrastingly, they viewed Confrontation as the most unfair interviewing technique, least and most likely to elicit true and false confessions, respectively. The fairer the participants perceived the interviewing techniques, the more likely they were to believe these techniques would elicit true confessions. Conclusions These findings could have important implications for decisions regarding the interviewing techniques used to elicit confessions admitted as evidence in Japanese courts. - 'Legal and Criminological Psychology, EarlyView. '
    August 11, 2018   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12139   open full text
  • Collective interviewing: The use of a model statement to differentiate between pairs of truth‐tellers and pairs of liars.
    Zarah Vernham, Aldert Vrij, Sharon Leal.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. August 11, 2018
    --- - |2+ Purpose The current experiment examined the use of a model statement for aiding lie detection and gathering additional information during interviews in which pairs of suspects were interviewed together (i.e., collective interviewing). A model statement is an example of an answer, unrelated to the topic under investigation, which is played to suspects to demonstrate how much information the interviewer wants them to provide in response to the question asked. Method Pairs of truth‐tellers visited a restaurant together, whereas pairs of liars completed a mock crime. The task for all pairs was to convince an interviewer that they were visiting a restaurant together at the time the crime was committed. Half the truth‐telling pairs and half the lying pairs were exposed to a model statement, whilst the other halves were not. Results Truth‐telling pairs were more detailed and showed more interactions than lying pairs, particularly in the model statement present condition. Conclusions Being exposed to a model statement in a collective interview magnified the differences between pairs of truth‐tellers and pairs of liars in reporting detail and interacting with one another. A model statement is simple to implement and can be applied to many real‐world investigative interviewing settings whereby the focus is on lie detection and gathering as much information as possible. - 'Legal and Criminological Psychology, Volume 23, Issue 2, Page 214-229, September 2018. '
    August 11, 2018   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12136   open full text
  • Complainant emotional expressions and perceived credibility: Exploring the role of perceivers’ facial mimicry and empathy.
    Karl Ask.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. August 11, 2018
    --- - |2+ Purpose This research investigated the roles of perceivers’ facial mimicry and empathy in the emotional victim effect (EVE) – the finding that complainants tend to appear more credible when exhibiting (vs. not exhibiting) negative emotional displays during their statements. Because facial mimicry plays a key role in empathic responding, it was hypothesized that inhibiting and facilitating perceivers’ mimicry would attenuate and amplify the EVE, respectively. Methods Participants (N = 362) in an experiment were instructed to mimic or not to mimic facial expressions (controls received no mimicry instructions) while watching a statement by an emotional or non‐emotional rape complainant. Participants rated the complainant's believability and the extent to which they experienced cognitive and affective empathy. Results The perceived believability of the complainant was not affected by complainant emotions, thus failing to replicate the EVE. However, the inhibition of mimicry unexpectedly reduced the perceived believability of the complainant, apparently by decreasing participants’ cognitive empathy. Conclusions The current findings suggest that mimicry inhibition may increase scepticism in the context of credibility assessment. This has important implications for decision‐making in legal settings and for research on the process of credibility attribution. Moreover, the failure to replicate the EVE adds to the cumulative evidence on the underlying effect size for the phenomenon. - 'Legal and Criminological Psychology, Volume 23, Issue 2, Page 252-264, September 2018. '
    August 11, 2018   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12132   open full text
  • Within‐subjects verbal lie detection measures: A comparison between total detail and proportion of complications.
    Aldert Vrij, Sharon Leal, Louise Jupe, Adam Harvey.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. August 11, 2018
    --- - |2+ Background We examined whether the verbal cue, proportion of complications, was a more diagnostic cue to deceit than the amount of information provided (e.g., total number of details). Method In the experiment, 53 participants were interviewed. Truth tellers (n = 27) discussed a trip they had made during the last twelve months; liars (n = 26) fabricated a story about such a trip. The interview consisted of an initial recall followed by a model statement (a detailed account of an experience unrelated to the topic of investigation) followed by a post‐model statement recall. The key dependent variables were the amount of information provided and the proportion of all statements that were complications. Results The proportion of complications was significantly higher amongst truth tellers than amongst liars, but only in the post‐model statement recall. The amount of information provided did not discriminate truth tellers from liars in either the initial or post‐model statement recall. Conclusion The proportion of complications is a more diagnostic cue to deceit than the amount of information provided as it takes the differential verbal strategies of truth tellers and liars into account. - 'Legal and Criminological Psychology, Volume 23, Issue 2, Page 265-279, September 2018. '
    August 11, 2018   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12126   open full text
  • Antisocial features are not predictive of symptom exaggeration in forensic patients.
    Alfons Impelen, Harald Merckelbach, Marko Jelicic, Joost à Campo.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. August 11, 2018
    --- - |2+ Purpose To investigate the predictive value of antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) and features of ASPD (i.e., lack of remorse, blame externalization, and deceitfulness) for symptom exaggeration. Methods A sample of forensic psychiatric patients (N = 57) was asked to complete several self‐report instruments (measuring symptom exaggeration, lack of remorse, blame externalization, and offense minimization) and a semi‐structured interview about their most recent offense. To quantify patients’ deceitfulness, the information collected via the semi‐structured interview was checked against the official records of patient's offenses. Additionally, patient's mental disorders and the extent to which patients denied their delinquency were determined by gathering clinician's judgement on this matter from patient records. The relation between symptom exaggeration and the potential predictors of symptom exaggeration was examined through correlational analyses and cross‐tabulation of prevalence rates of symptom exaggeration with prevalence rates of the potential predictors. Results Antisocial personality disorder was not a useful predicator of symptom exaggeration. Also, patients who showed little regret for their offenses, or tended to blame their offenses on external factors, or minimized their delinquency, or were inaccurate when reporting their delinquency, had similar levels of symptom exaggeration as those without these tendencies. Conclusions Neither ASPD nor antisocial traits, including lack of remorse, blame externalization, and deceitfulness, were meaningfully related to symptom exaggeration and therefore should have no place in the assessment of symptom validity or the detection of malingering. On the contrary; focusing on antisocial traits as indicators of symptom exaggeration is likely to result in large portions of misclassifications. - 'Legal and Criminological Psychology, Volume 23, Issue 2, Page 135-147, September 2018. '
    August 11, 2018   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12129   open full text
  • Relations among psychopathy, moral competence, and moral intuitions in student and community samples.
    Jeremy G. Gay, Michael J. Vitacco, Amy Hackney, Courtney Beussink, Scott O. Lilienfeld.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. August 11, 2018
    --- - |2+ Purpose The nature of moral decision‐making in those with pronounced psychopathic traits has been passionately debated, both in scientific literature and in the public policy arena. Research investigating the relationship between psychopathic traits and moral decision‐making capacities has been largely inconclusive. However, recent research suggests individuals with elevated psychopathic traits may exhibit abnormal moral intuitions regarding the prevention of harm (Harm) and promotion of fairness (Fairness). Although moral intuitions are widely assumed to be related to moral judgement, no research has simultaneously examined the relations among psychopathy, moral intuition, and moral judgement. Methods We hypothesized that psychopathic traits would not be directly related to moral judgement outcomes but would be indirectly related by way of Harm and Fairness moral intuitions. To test these hypotheses, 121 undergraduate students and 205 community residents, across two studies, completed measures of psychopathy, moral intuitions, and moral judgement. Results Higher psychopathy scores were associated with decreased concerns about preventing harm and promoting justice across both samples. Individuals higher in psychopathic traits did not evidence deficits in moral judgement. Conclusions Our findings indicate that, although individuals with elevated psychopathic traits may organize their sense of morality differently, they can accurately discern moral from immoral decisions. - 'Legal and Criminological Psychology, Volume 23, Issue 2, Page 117-134, September 2018. '
    August 11, 2018   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12128   open full text
  • Investigating deception in second language speakers: Interviewee and assessor perspectives.
    Lucy Akehurst, Alina Arnhold, Isabel Figueiredo, Sarah Turtle, Amy‐May Leach.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. August 11, 2018
    --- - |2+ Purpose The first of two experiments investigated the effect that speaking in a non‐native language has on interviewees’ perceptions of their interview experience. A second experiment investigated evaluators’ perceptions of the credibility of interviewees who spoke in their native or non‐native language. Method For the first experiment, 52 participants told the truth or lied about their identity during a mock border control interview. All of the participants were interviewed in English, for half of the sample this was their native language, and for the other half of the sample English was not their native tongue. Post‐interview, all participants completed a self‐report questionnaire relating to their perceptions of their interview experience. For the second experiment, 128 participants evaluated the credibility of interviewees from the first experiment. The modality of presentation of interview clips was varied and included ‘Visual and Audio’, ‘Visual Only’, ‘Audio Only’, and ‘Transcript Only’. Results Non‐native speakers were more likely than native speakers to report being nervous and cognitively challenged during their interviews and were more likely to monitor their own behaviour. Overall, evaluators were better able to distinguish between truth tellers and liars who were speaking in their native language than between truth tellers and liars who were non‐native speakers. Relative to native speakers, there was a smaller truth bias for evaluations of non‐native speakers. When evaluators were considering the non‐native speakers, they achieved higher discrimination accuracy when they were exposed to ‘Visual Only’ or ‘Transcript Only’ presentations than when they were shown the ‘Visual and Audio’ or ‘Audio Only’ interview clips. Conclusions Self‐reported experiences of a mock border control interview differed dependent on whether interviewees were speaking in their native or non‐native language. Discrimination accuracy was better for native speakers than it was for non‐native speakers and was at its worst when evaluators heard the accents of the non‐native speakers. - 'Legal and Criminological Psychology, Volume 23, Issue 2, Page 230-251, September 2018. '
    August 11, 2018   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12127   open full text
  • The psychological impact of solitary: A longitudinal comparison of general population and long‐term administratively segregated male inmates.
    Carly D. Chadick, Ashley B. Batastini, Samuel J. Levulis, Robert D. Morgan.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. August 11, 2018
    --- - |2+ Purpose This study expands upon existing research on the psychological impact of administrative segregation on inmates by addressing several methodological limitations in this body of literature. Methods Using a pre–post design, this study compared male general population (GP) inmates in the United States to those with up to 4 years in segregated placement across scores on the MCMI‐III. Results While segregated inmates reported higher levels of distress (particularly on measures of anxiety, depressed mood, post‐traumatic stress, and somatic complaints) compared to the GP at post‐assessment, scores did not reach the clinical cut‐off. Further, inmates generally did not deteriorate as time in restrictive housing increased. Conclusions Thus, compared to the GP, who showed some improvement in functioning, segregated inmates remained largely the same. Rather than causing significant psychological damage, it is more likely that segregation is a barrier to opportunities for continued growth. Study limitations and recommendations for reforms in the use of segregation are presented. - 'Legal and Criminological Psychology, Volume 23, Issue 2, Page 101-116, September 2018. '
    August 11, 2018   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12125   open full text
  • Court evaluations of young children's testimony in child sexual abuse cases.
    Emelie Ernberg, Mikaela Magnusson, Sara Landström, Inga Tidefors.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. August 11, 2018
    --- - |2+ Purpose Prosecutors working with child sexual abuse (CSA) cases involving young children have raised concerns that reliability criteria from the Supreme Court of Sweden are holding children's testimony to impossible standards (e.g., expecting the child's testimony to be long, rich in detail and spontaneous). This study aimed to address these concerns by investigating how District Courts and Courts of Appeal employ said criteria in their testimonial assessments of young child complainants. Methods Court documents from District Courts (n = 100) and Courts of Appeal (n = 45) in CSA cases involving 100 children age 7 years and under were analysed with respect to the courts’ testimonial assessments. Results Testimonial assessments were more frequently referenced in acquitting verdicts and in cases with evidence of low corroborative value. Richness in detail was the most frequently used reliability criterion, followed by spontaneity. Most criteria were used in favour of the children's testimony. However, the length criterion was typically used against the reliability of the children's testimony. Conclusions Our findings confirm prosecutors’ concerns that criteria from the Supreme Court are frequently used in evaluations of young children's testimony. This is troublesome, as some criteria do not correspond to current research on young children's witness abilities. For example, compared to testimony given by older children or adults, testimony provided by a young child is typically not long or rich in detail. We encourage prosecutors to extend their own knowledge on young children's capability as witnesses and present this to the court. - 'Legal and Criminological Psychology, Volume 23, Issue 2, Page 176-191, September 2018. '
    August 11, 2018   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12124   open full text
  • Developmental characteristics of firesetters: Are recidivist offenders distinctive?
    Ryan Bell, Rebekah Doley, Deborah Dawson.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. August 11, 2018
    --- - |2+ Introduction This study examined the prevalence of developmental disadvantage and the extent that disadvantage could differentiate between recidivist and one‐time firesetters in an Australian sample of firesetting offenders. Methods Variables pertaining to developmental experiences were collected from file data held by the Western Australian Department of Corrective Services pertaining to all offenders (n = 354) convicted of a firesetting offence between 2005 and 2010. Analyses of variance were conducted between recidivistic and one‐time firesetters to investigate which developmental factors were related to risk of recidivism. Results Based on previous research, it was hypothesized that firesetters would have poor developmental experiences characterized by high rates of abuse, parental absence, early substance use and poor educational achievement. This hypothesis was partly supported. Multiple firesetters were much more likely to be victims of childhood sexual and physical abuse and be diagnosed with a learning disability. Discussion Current theories of firesetting maintain that an impoverished developmental experience catalyses the development of psychological risk factors that precipitate and maintain firesetting behaviour. The high prevalence of developmental risk factors among this population lends evidence to this relationship. Conclusions These data suggest that physical and/or sexual abuse, the absence of a mother or father figure through childhood, problematic substance use, poor academic achievement and the presence of speech, learning and reading deficits are common among firesetters generally and the presence of childhood abuse and learning disability is a risk factor for repeat firesetting. - 'Legal and Criminological Psychology, Volume 23, Issue 2, Page 163-175, September 2018. '
    August 11, 2018   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12135   open full text
  • Cross‐cultural verbal deception.
    Sharon Leal, Aldert Vrij, Zarah Vernham, Gary Dalton, Louise Jupe, Adam Harvey, Galit Nahari.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. August 11, 2018
    --- - |2+ Background ‘Interviewing to detect deception’ research is sparse across different Ethnic Groups. In the present experiment, we interviewed truth tellers and liars from British, Chinese, and Arab origins. British interviewees belong to a low‐context culture (using a communication style that relies heavily on explicit and direct language), whereas Chinese and Arab interviewees belong to high‐context cultures (communicate in ways that are implicit and rely heavily on context). Method Interviewees were interviewed in pairs and 153 pairs took part. Truthful pairs discussed an actual visit to a nearby restaurant, whereas deceptive pairs pretended to have visited a nearby restaurant. Seventeen verbal cues were examined. Results Cultural cues (differences between cultures) were more prominent than cues to deceit (differences between truth tellers and liars). In particular, the British interviewees differed from their Chinese and Arab counterparts and the differences reflected low‐ and high‐context culture communication styles. Conclusion Cultural cues could quickly lead to cross‐cultural verbal communication errors: the incorrect interpretation of a cultural difference as a cue to deceit. - 'Legal and Criminological Psychology, Volume 23, Issue 2, Page 192-213, September 2018. '
    August 11, 2018   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12131   open full text
  • Worry about victimization, crime information processing, and social categorization biases.
    Ioanna Gouseti.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. August 11, 2018
    --- - |2+ Purpose This study explores associations between worry about victimization, crime information processing, and social categorization biases. Its results speak to the public communication of the crime‐risk. Methods The study tests hypotheses that draw on the construal‐level theory of psychological distance and the uncertainty‐identity theory. Through an online experiment that was conducted in 2015 on Amazon Mechanical Turk (N = 312), three experimental groups were exposed to different modes of crime information processing and were then asked about their worry about victimization and attitudes to social categorization. Results The results suggest that passive engagement with information about real crimes, that is only reading about them, is more likely to decrease levels of worry about victimization compared to engaging with such information actively, that is by thinking about causes or consequences of crime. It is also found that worry about victimization is significantly related to social categorization biases, namely in‐group identification, outgroup derogation, and racist attitudes. Conclusions The mode of crime information processing (active vs. passive) appears to be a strong ‘predictor’ of worry about victimization. In turn, worry about victimization is related to social categorization biases that damage collective well‐being. These findings can feed into evidence‐based strategies for the public communication of crime that keep people informed but free from fear. - 'Legal and Criminological Psychology, Volume 23, Issue 2, Page 148-162, September 2018. '
    August 11, 2018   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12130   open full text
  • Imposter identification in low prevalence environments.
    Kyle J. Susa, Stephen W. Michael, Steven J. Dessenberger, Christian A. Meissner.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. August 10, 2018
    --- - |2+ Purpose Travel document screeners play an important role in international security when determining whether a photograph ID matches the tendering individual. Psychological research indicates when conditions involve low base rates of ‘imposter’ photographs, document screeners change their response criterion for rendering a ‘match’ determination. The primary purpose of the current experiments was to examine the nature of this base rate criterion shift, free from experimental bias, for both own‐ and other‐race faces. Further, Experiment 2 examined how low‐base rate conditions might moderate a cross‐race effect in the calibration between confidence and accuracy. Method In two experiments, participants completed an 80‐trial task where they were asked to determine whether a passport photograph matched the photograph of a tendering individual. The base rate of imposter IDs and the race of the people in the photographs were manipulated across participants. Signal detection measures and the calibration between confidence and accuracy were analysed. Results In each experiment, low base rates of imposter identifications induced a conservative criterion shift such that people were more likely to declare that faces ‘mismatch’. Further, race and imposter base rate interacted to influence the confidence–accuracy calibration, suggesting a cross‐race effect on calibration was exacerbated in the low imposter base rate condition, and low‐base rate conditions also elicited greater overconfidence for other‐relative to own‐race faces. Conclusions Free from experimental bias, low imposter base rates induced a conservative response criterion, leading participants to render more ‘mismatch’ decisions. Moreover, low base rates moderated cross‐race effects in the calibration between confidence and accuracy, and in a measure of overconfidence. - 'Legal and Criminological Psychology, EarlyView. '
    August 10, 2018   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12138   open full text
  • Immediate interviewing increases children's suggestibility in the short term, but not in the long term.
    Henry Otgaar, Jason C. K. Chan, Bruna Calado, David La Rooy.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. August 03, 2018
    --- - |2+ Purpose Children sometimes receive misinformation after being formally interviewed about their experiences in cases of suspected abuse. Following decades of research, many guidelines have been produced for interviewers so they can obtain reliable statements in children, like, for example, the NICHD protocol. One might expect that completing an early interview following research‐based guidelines might guard against the incorporation of misinformation encountered later. The goal of the current experiments was to examine whether following research‐based guidelines such as the NICHD protocol might protect child witnesses against follow‐up ‘misinformation’ or make them more vulnerable to misinformation. This increased vulnerability to misinformation has been referred to as retrieval‐enhanced suggestibility. Methods In two experiments, children viewed a video and half of them were interviewed using the NICHD protocol, while the other half were not interviewed. The children received misinformation and a final memory test either immediately after being interviewed (Experiment 1) or 1 week later (Experiment 2). Results Retrieval‐enhanced suggestibility was observed when misinformation was presented immediately but not when it was provided after 1 week. Conclusions The current experiments indicate that a well‐established interview protocol can, under some circumstances, amplify levels of suggestibility in children. - 'Legal and Criminological Psychology, EarlyView. '
    August 03, 2018   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12137   open full text
  • Factors affecting false guilty pleas in a mock plea bargaining scenario.
    David M. Zimmerman, Samantha Hunter.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. September 13, 2017
    Purpose We sought to investigate key factors that legal scholars believe are contributing to false guilty pleas. Methods Undergraduates playing the role of an innocent defendant in a plea bargaining scenario (N = 382) were randomly assigned to condition in a 2 (trial penalty: mandatory minimum of 10 years, judicial discretion of 4–6 years) × 3 (likelihood of conviction: 10%, 50%, 90%), × 2 (attorney recommendation: take the plea deal, use best judgement) between‐subjects design – false guilty pleas (2 years in prison) were the primary dependent variable. Results Participants faced with a mandatory minimum were more likely to falsely plead guilty, and this effect was mediated by perceptions that life would be more difficult serving the sentence associated with losing at trial compared to that of the plea. Participants given a 90% likelihood of conviction at trial were more likely to falsely plead guilty than those in the 50% and 10% conditions, and this effect was mediated by perceptions of case strength. Finally, female participants (via increased perceptions of case strength) were more likely to falsely plead guilty than male participants. Contrary to our predictions, attorney recommendation did not impact false guilty pleas, perhaps due to the absence of a proper social influence component to the manipulation. Conclusions Overall, the findings provide evidence supporting the apparent causal mechanisms underlying the ‘innocence problem’ in plea bargaining, and we discuss future directions for plea bargaining research pertaining to both research questions and methodology.
    September 13, 2017   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12117   open full text
  • A critical look at meta‐analytic evidence for the cognitive approach to lie detection: A re‐examination of Vrij, Fisher, and Blank (2017).
    Timothy R. Levine, J. Pete Blair, Christopher J. Carpenter.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. September 11, 2017
    Purpose This article provides a re‐analysis of Vrij et al.'s (2017, Leg. Crim. Psychol. 22, 1) meta‐analysis of the cognitive approach to lie detection. Vrij et al.'s analyses confounded dependent variables, capitalized on aberrant controls, and used unreliable data to inflate support. Methods Meta‐analysis was used to reanalyse Vrij et al.'s data. Studies of human detection and studies involving statistical classification were analysed separately. Results The advantage offered by the cognitive approach was much smaller than previously claimed. Accuracies in control conditions were unusually low, and the most supportive findings came from the least reliable data. Conclusions Human detection and statistical classification are different. The evidence for the cognitive approach has been overstated.
    September 11, 2017   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12115   open full text
  • Accuracy of indirect method in detection of false intent.
    Joanna Ulatowska.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. September 06, 2017
    Purpose Two studies were conducted to assess of the accuracy of an indirect method used to detect lies about past behaviour and intentions. Methods In Experiment 1, participants (N = 123) assessed the veracity (direct condition) or cognitive effort (indirect condition) of interviewees who had planned or taken part in mock academic misconduct and then lied or told the truth about their intentions or past activities. In Experiment 2, 33 participants assessed the veracity of interviews on true and false intentions answering a direct question and three indirect questions. Results As predicted, the indirect method was equally effective in detecting lies about past activities and intentions. The accuracy of this method was not reduced by asking direct and indirect questions together. Conclusions The experiments provided further evidence that the indirect method of detecting deception is accurate and can also be used to detect lies about intent.
    September 06, 2017   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12116   open full text
  • The Devil's Advocate approach: An interview technique for assessing consistency among deceptive and truth‐telling pairs of suspects.
    Haneen Deeb, Aldert Vrij, Lorraine Hope, Samantha Mann, Sharon Leal, Pär Anders Granhag, Leif A. Strömwall.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. August 28, 2017
    Purpose The aim of this study was to assess statement consistency in pairs of deceptive and truth‐telling suspects when the Devil's Advocate approach is implemented. This approach involves asking suspects an ‘opinion‐eliciting’ question for arguments that support their opinions followed by a ‘devil's advocate’ question to elicit opposing arguments. On the basis of the confirmation bias and impression management literatures, we predicted that truth‐telling pairs would provide more consistent arguments in response to the opinion‐eliciting question than to the devil's advocate question. Deceptive pairs were expected to be equally consistent with each other in response to both questions. Method Forty‐nine pairs of participants were matched, based on their strong opinions about a controversial topic, and were asked to either tell the truth or lie about their opinions to an interviewer. Pair members were permitted to prepare for the interview together. Each participant was interviewed individually with the devil's advocate approach. Results Prepared truth‐telling pairs were more consistent with each other in response to the opinion‐eliciting question than to the devil's advocate question. However, and as predicted, deceptive pairs were equally consistent with each other in response to both questions. Conclusions The Devil's Advocate approach seems to be a promising interview technique for assessing consistency among pairs who hold false opinions and pairs who hold true opinions. It also has implications for the consistency heuristic as consistency is not diagnostic of deception or honesty unless the interview technique is taken into consideration.
    August 28, 2017   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12114   open full text
  • The effects of one versus two episodically oriented practice narratives on children's reports of a repeated event.
    Meaghan C. Danby, Sonja P. Brubacher, Stefanie J. Sharman, Martine B. Powell.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. August 11, 2017
    Purpose Previous research has found that children's reports of repeated events can be influenced by the presence and type of narrative practice in which they engage immediately prior to substantive recall. In particular, children's reports have been shown to benefit from practice providing narratives about an autobiographical repeated event. A gap remains, however, with regard to understanding whether practice narrating one episode of a repeated event encourages children to think about unique features of specific episodes, or whether practice of two episodes is required. The current study addressed this gap. Methods Five‐ to nine‐year‐olds (N = 167) experienced four classroom activity sessions and were later interviewed. Children provided a practice narrative about either one or two episodes of an autobiographical repeated event prior to discussing individual episodes of the activities. Results Older children recalled more details from the activities when they had practised recalling two episodes compared to one episode. Younger children did not benefit from the second episodic practice. Many similarities were observed across conditions for children of all ages. Conclusions Older children were likely receptive to the subtle differences between conditions because of their advanced cognitive abilities. Interviewers may assist older children to recall a larger amount of information if they first provide practice recalling two episodes of an autobiographical repeated event. However, a practice narrative about one episode may be sufficient to assist many children should two‐episode practice be unfeasible or interviewees are too young to benefit from recall of a second episode.
    August 11, 2017   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12110   open full text
  • Well begun is half done: Interpersonal behaviours in distinct field interrogations with high‐value detainees.
    Paul Christiansen, Laurence Alison, Emily Alison.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. August 07, 2017
    Purpose To explore the impact of interpersonal versatility on high‐value (terrorist‐related) detainee behaviour and subsequent interview information across distinct interview phases (namely the first and last interviews). Methods Police interviews with 48 terrorist detainees framework (mean number of interviews per detainee = 2.93) were coded using the ‘ORBIT’ (Observing Rapport‐Based Interpersonal Techniques; Alison et al., 2014, Psychology, Public Policy and Law, 20, 421). This produced scores for adaptive and maladaptive interpersonal behaviours of detainees and interrogators across four categories: authoritative, passive, confrontational, and cooperative. Mean scores for these variables in the first and last interviews were taken allowing us to analyse the associations between (1) interviewer behaviours and detainee educed information and (2) the indirect effect of interviewer behaviour on information educed through the impact of interviewer adaptive behaviour on detainee adaptive behaviour, separately in the first and last interviews. Results There was a positive association between detainee engagement and information in both the first and last interviews. Specific adaptive interviewer behaviours were associated with adaptive detainee behaviour in different interviews: cooperative and passive predicting improvements in the first interview and cooperative in the final interview. Maladaptive passive and authoritative interviewer behaviours were negatively associated with adaptive detainee behaviour in the first interview, as did maladaptive confrontational in the final interview. Indirect effects of interviewer behaviours on information were also demonstrated. Conclusions Interpersonal competence (avoiding maladaptive behaviour) and increasing adaptive behaviours are associated with detainee engagement and information. The differences in specific behaviours at different phases that influence information in the two interviews highlight the importance of interpersonal versatility.
    August 07, 2017   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12111   open full text
  • Validation of the schema mode concept in personality disordered offenders.
    Marije Keulen‐de Vos, David P. Bernstein, Lee Anna Clark, Vivienne Vogel, Stefan Bogaerts, Mariëtte Slaats, Arnoud Arntz.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. July 14, 2017
    Purpose A core element of Schema Therapy (ST) is ‘schema modes’ or fluctuating emotional states. ST assumes that particular personality pathology consists of specific combinations of maladaptive schema modes. There is confirmatory evidence for the modes hypothesized to be central to borderline and narcissistic personality disorder (PD) in non‐forensic patients. In this study, we tested three aspects of the construct validity of schema modes in cluster‐B personality disordered offenders, examining its factorial validity, and the relations among personality disorders and violence risk. Method Our sample consisted of 70 offenders who were diagnosed with an antisocial, borderline, or narcissistic PD. Schema modes were assessed with the Schema Mode Inventory (SMI), personality disorders with the Schedule for Nonadaptive and Adaptive Personality‐Forensic Version (SNAP‐FV), and violence risk with the Historical, Clinical, and Risk management scheme (HCR‐20V2). Results When controlling for the two other PDs, three schema mode factors distinguished antisocial PD as a disorder involving both low scores on internalizing and high scores on externalizing modes, and borderline PD as involving high scores on internalizing modes. Furthermore, the externalizing schema modes were a significant predictor for violence risk inside the hospital. Conclusions The hypothesized mode models were partially supported for all three PDs. The findings thus provide some support for the construct validity of schema modes in a forensic sample.
    July 14, 2017   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12109   open full text
  • Telling friend from foe: Environmental cues improve detection accuracy of individuals with hostile intentions.
    Remco Wijn, Rick Kleij, Victor Kallen, Michael Stekkinger, Peter Vries.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. April 29, 2017
    Purpose Detecting deviant behaviours that precede and are related to crimes can help prevent these crimes. Research suggests that the psychological mindset of wrongdoers may differ from others, such that they are more anxious, self‐focussed, and vigilant. As a result, their responses to environmental cues, specifically those that signal risk of exposure, may differ. Method In two randomized controlled trials, participants with high (vs. low) cognitive load walked a pre‐defined route to carry out a hostile or non‐hostile task. En route, participants were exposed to a strong (vs. mild) cue from a security officer (Study 1), or a cue (vs. no cue) resembling police walkie‐talkie static noise (Study 2). Participants filled out a questionnaire measuring psychological constructs. Reactions during the task were recorded and presented to independent observers to determine the participants’ intent. Results Participants with high (vs. low) cognitive load who were exposed to a strong (vs. mild or no) cue while carrying out their task were more often correctly identified by observers as either innocent or hostile based on their behaviour. Analysis of the questionnaire revealed that the experience of hostile intentions is related to anxiety, inhibitory control of anxiety, activation control of normal behaviour, and to other relevant constructs which may explain why cues that signal risk of exposure can improve the detection accuracy of individuals with hostile intentions. Conclusion These studies show that cues that signal risk of exposure can improve the detection of wrongdoers and the role of self‐regulation in the suppression of anxiety and deviant behaviours.
    April 29, 2017   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12107   open full text
  • Minding the source: The impact of mindfulness on source monitoring.
    Hugo J. E. M. Alberts, Henry Otgaar, Janice Kalagi.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. April 06, 2017
    Purpose This study addressed the impact of mindfulness on source monitoring. Methods Participants engaged in a brief mindfulness meditation or received no intervention. Next, all participants watched a video of a crime and were then exposed to misinformation regarding this video. Using a source monitoring test, participants’ memory performance was measured. Results Participants who performed the mindfulness meditation showed better source monitoring compared to controls. Mindfulness practice was not found to enhance memory performance. Conclusions Mindfulness practice may entail an effective way to circumvent memory distortions due to incorrect source monitoring.
    April 06, 2017   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12102   open full text
  • Coping with criminal victimization and fear of crime: The protective role of accommodative self‐regulation.
    Farina Rühs, Werner Greve, Cathleen Kappes.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. April 06, 2017
    Purpose The protective role of accommodative coping in mitigating possible aversive consequences of criminal victimization and fear of crime was investigated across different types of criminal offences and age groups. Methods Two hundred and forty‐six participants aged 15–77 years participated in a cross‐sectional, Internet‐based questionnaire study. They provided information on their experiences of criminal victimization, depressive symptoms, fear of crime (FC), and accommodative coping. Results Multiple regression analyses showed that accommodative coping had a moderating (buffering) effect, both on the positive relationship between criminal victimization and fear of crime and on the positive relationship between fear of crime and victims’ depressive symptoms. The greater the tendency of accommodative coping was, the weaker were the relationships between criminal victimization and fear of crime, and between fear of crime and depressive symptoms. Conclusions The results indicate that accommodative processes could indeed facilitate adaptive coping with criminal victimization and could, at least for some of the assumed negative psychological consequences, have a protective effect.
    April 06, 2017   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12106   open full text
  • Eliciting information from human sources: Training handlers in the Scharff technique.
    Simon Oleszkiewicz, Pär Anders Granhag, Steven M. Kleinman.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. April 06, 2017
    Purpose In previous laboratory‐based work, the Scharff technique has proved successful for gathering intelligence from human sources. However, little is known about whether the technique can be taught to practitioners, and whether Scharff‐trained practitioners will interview more effectively than colleagues using their conventional approaches and tactics. Method We examined professional handlers from the Norwegian Police (n = 64), all experienced in interacting with informants. Half received training in the Scharff technique, and their performance was compared against handlers receiving no Scharff training and free to use the approaches they saw fit. All handlers received the same case file describing a source holding information about a future terrorist attack and were given the same interview objectives. Police trainees (n = 64) took on the role of semicooperative sources and were given incomplete information about the attack. Results The trained handlers adhered to the Scharff training as they (1) aimed to establish the illusion of ‘knowing‐it‐all’, (2) posed claims to collect information, and (3) asked few (if any) explicit questions. In contrast, the untrained handlers tried to evoke the sources’ motivation to reveal information and asked a high number of explicit questions. Scharff‐trained handlers were perceived as less eager to gather information, but collected comparatively more new information. Conclusions The Scharff‐trained interviewers utilized more specific elicitation tactics (e.g., posing claims) and fewer general interview strategies (e.g., evoking motivation), and they collected comparatively more new information. This captures the essence of the Scharff technique: It is subtle, yet effective.
    April 06, 2017   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12108   open full text
  • Psychopathy, criminal intentions, and abnormal appraisal of the expected outcomes of theft.
    João Próspero‐Luis, Pedro S. Moreira, Tiago O. Paiva, Cátia P. Teixeira, Patrício Costa, Pedro R. Almeida.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. March 16, 2017
    Purpose Impaired emotional learning is one of the hallmark features of psychopathy. The abnormal processing of cues of reward and punishment, and its impact in decision‐making, has mostly been supported by laboratorial studies. In this report, we have analysed the effect of psychopathy in the formation of attitudes towards committing theft, and its impact in the intention to reoffend after release. Methods A self‐report instrument to characterize the predictors of the intention to reoffend was developed and administrated, along with the Triarchic Psychopathy Measure, to a sample of 91 male inmates convicted for theft. Results The perceived rewards of theft mediated the association between psychopathic traits and the intention to reoffend. The analysis of the expectancy and value components of the attitude towards theft showed that psychopathic traits are associated with reduced expectancy of negative outcomes and increased expectancy of positive outcomes as a consequence of reoffending. Conclusions Our results add support to the role of disrupted expectancy–value learning and increased reward sensitivity as mediators of the increased probability to reoffend in psychopathy.
    March 16, 2017   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12103   open full text
  • Interviewers’ approaches to questioning vulnerable child witnesses: The influences of developmental level versus intellectual disability status.
    Deirdre Brown, Charlie Lewis, Emma Stephens, Michael Lamb.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. March 11, 2017
    Purpose Children with intellectual disabilities (CWIDs) are vulnerable to victimization, but we know little about how to interview them about possible maltreatment. We examined whether interviewers used proportionally more direct and option‐posing, and fewer open questions, with CWID than with typically developing (TD) children or with less mature children regardless of disability, taking into account the contribution of the amount of information conveyed by the child. Method One hundred and twelve children (4–12 years) participated in a staged event and were interviewed 1 week later using the NICHD Investigative Interview Protocol. We examined the proportions of different interview prompts posed to CWID of either mild (CWID‐Mild) or moderate (CWID‐Moderate) severity compared with typically developing children matched for chronological (CA) and mental (MA) age. Results Even when controlling for the amount that the child said, the overall number and relative proportions of each question type posed to each group varied. Interviewers asked more cued invitations and fewer direct questions of CA‐matched children than younger TD participants or both CWID groups. Option‐posing questions comprised a larger proportion of the interviews with both ID groups than with CA matches. The few suggestive questions were posed more to CWID‐Moderate. Conclusions Although research has shown that CWID and young TD children can provide reliable information in response to very open prompting, interviewers tend not to ask such questions. Interviewing strategy was influenced by both developmental level and intellectual disability status, in conjunction with children's individual contributions to the interview, emphasizing the importance of interviewers’ understanding the capacities and vulnerabilities of the children they interview from both a developmental and cognitive perspective.
    March 11, 2017   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12104   open full text
  • Wrongful convictions and prototypical black features: Can a face‐type facilitate misidentifications?
    Heather M. Kleider‐Offutt, Leslie R. Knuycky, Amanda M. Clevinger, Megan M. Capodanno.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. March 06, 2017
    Purpose Eyewitness misidentification is the leading cause of wrongful convictions, and Black men, more than other racial groups, are affected by this memory error. A subgroup of Black men who have stereotypically Black features (dark skin, wide lips, and nose) are associated with the criminal‐Black‐man stereotype more than their atypical counterparts. This perception of criminality leads to harsh sentencing and misidentification from line‐ups in laboratory studies. In this study, we investigated whether face‐type biases that lead to misidentifications in the laboratory extend to real‐world cases. Method Participants rated the face stereotypicality of Black men exonerated by the Innocence Project (IP) with DNA evidence, who were incarcerated due to eyewitness misidentification (IP eyewitness) and for non‐misidentification reasons (IP other). Results Higher stereotypicality‐face ratings were given to IP eyewitness exonerates than to IP other exonerates regardless of participant race. Moreover, the face ratings were unrelated to the race of the eyewitness in the actual case (i.e., cross‐race, same race), suggesting that cross‐race misidentification was not associated with higher stereotypicality ratings of the IP eyewitness exonerates. Conclusions These findings are consistent with extant laboratory research wherein Black men with stereotypical facial features are at increased risk for eyewitness misidentification and that face‐type biases extend beyond cross‐race judgements. These results further highlight the risk of face‐type judgements in misidentifications that potentially contribute to error in real‐world cases.
    March 06, 2017   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12105   open full text
  • Mental health symptoms predict competency to stand trial and competency restoration success.
    Jeremy G. Gay, Michael J. Vitacco, Laurie Ragatz.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. March 01, 2017
    Purpose Although several studies have examined demographic and clinical variables associated with findings of incompetency to stand trial (IST), few studies have examined factors influencing competency restoration success. This study is among the first to longitudinally examine demographic variables and mental health symptoms’ impact on both IST and competency non‐restoration. This study fills a gap in the competency to stand trial literature by utilizing the same defendants to examine progression through initial competency decisions to their eventual restoration outcomes. Methods This study examined demographic variables and mental health symptoms differentiating defendants deemed competent to stand trial, not competent and restored, and not competent and not restored. We coded and analysed 237 competency evaluations consecutively conducted over a 3‐year period. Results Specific psychotic (e.g., thought derailment, delusions, auditory/visual hallucinations) and neuropsychological symptoms (e.g., impaired executive functioning, impaired mental status) were independently associated with findings of IST and non‐restoration. Additional analyses revealed an intellectual disability diagnosis and a greater number of psychotic and manic symptoms predicted a decreased likelihood of competency restoration. Conclusions These findings suggest more severe symptom combinations (e.g., psychotic and manic symptoms) are predictors of both initial findings of incompetency and non‐restorability.
    March 01, 2017   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12100   open full text
  • Sitting duck or scaredy‐cat? Effects of shot execution strategy on anxiety and police officers’ shooting performance under high threat.
    Arne Nieuwenhuys, Jeroen Weber, Roy Hoeve, Raôul R. D. Oudejans.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. September 30, 2016
    Purpose Law enforcement may require police officers to inhibit intuitive responses to high threat and thereby affect their emotional reaction and operational effectiveness. Upon this premise, the current study reports two experiments which compare the impact of two relevant shot execution strategies on police officers’ shooting performance under high threat, including (1) fire at an armed assailant and then step away from the assailant's line of fire (‘fire‐step’) or (2) step away from the assailant's line of fire and then fire (‘step‐fire’). Method In Experiment 1, 15 experienced police officers performed both shot execution strategies against a stationary assailant who occasionally shot back with coloured soap cartridges (high threat), while we measured their state anxiety, movement times and shot accuracy. In Experiment 2, the same 15 officers remained stationary and fired at the assailant who now performed both shot execution strategies in random order, thereby providing an indication of the risk (i.e., chance to get hit) associated with performing either strategy. Results Experiment 1 showed that officers preferred using the step‐fire strategy and that using this strategy resulted in lower levels of anxiety, increased time for aiming and more accurate shooting than the fire‐step strategy. Experiment 2, however, indicated that the step‐fire strategy also increases one's chance of getting hit. Conclusions Findings suggest that inhibition of preferred responses under high threat (as in the fire‐step strategy) may increase state anxiety and negatively affect shooting performance in police officers. Future work is needed to reveal underlying mechanisms and explore implications for practice.
    September 30, 2016   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12099   open full text
  • The curious case of loners: Social isolation and juvenile incarceration.
    Shannon E. Reid.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. July 06, 2016
    Purpose The current study examines a subset of youth incarcerated within California's Division of Juvenile Justice who stated they had no close friends during their current period of confinement. As social isolation and peer rejection can have behavioural and developmental issues associated with it, this study examines this concept among an understudied population, incarcerated male youth. Method Utilizing official and interview data from 213 male youth who responded to an egocentric friendship prompt, this study analyses the correlates of self‐identifying as a ‘loner’ during periods of incarceration. The final logistic regression model uses a multiple imputation model to account for missing data. Results Findings from this study indicate that loner status is influenced by a youth's vulnerable commitment status and commitment offence. Youth sentenced through the adult court and older youth were more likely to state they had no close friends in the institution, while those with a sex offence and those who reported involvement with gang violence were more likely to state they had at least one close friend. Conclusion The self‐reporting incarcerated loner offers a unique area of study as it examines social isolation among a highly delinquent group of juveniles. This study has important implications for correctional psychologists, staff, and researchers as a youth's removal from the larger social network may be at odds with the rehabilitative goals of the institution.
    July 06, 2016   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12093   open full text
  • Relations between attorney temporal structure and children's response productivity in cases of alleged child sexual abuse.
    J. Zoe Klemfuss, Kyndra C. Cleveland, Jodi A. Quas, Thomas D. Lyon.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. July 05, 2016
    Purpose Previous research has demonstrated that attorney question format relates to child witness' response productivity. However, little work has examined the extent to which attorneys provide temporal structure in their questions, and the effects of this structure on children's responding. The purpose of this study was to address this gap in the literature to identify methods by which attorneys increase children's response productivity on the stand without risking objections from opposing counsel for ‘calling for narrative answers’. Methods In this study, we coded criminal court transcripts involving child witnesses (5–18 years) for narrative structure in attorney questions and productivity in children's responses. Half of the transcripts resulted in convictions, half in acquittals, balanced across key variables: child age, allegation severity, the child's relationship to the perpetrator, and the number of allegations. Results Prosecutors and defence attorneys varied substantially in their questioning tactics. Prosecutors used more temporal structure in their questions and varied their questioning by the age of the child. These variations had implications for children's response productivity. Conclusions Results indicate that temporal structure is a novel and viable method for enhancing children's production of case‐relevant details on the witness stand.
    July 05, 2016   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12096   open full text
  • When discussion between eyewitnesses helps memory.
    Annelies Vredeveldt, Robin N. Groen, Juliette E. Ampt, Peter J. Koppen.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. June 24, 2016
    Purpose Police interviewers are typically instructed to prevent eyewitnesses from talking to each other, because witnesses can contaminate each other's memory. Previous research has not fully examined, however, how discussion between witnesses affects correct and incorrect recall of witnessed events. We conducted quantitative and qualitative analyses to explore the influence of co‐witness discussion in more detail. Methods Witnesses were interviewed individually or in pairs about a videotaped violent event. We conducted individual interviews prior to collaboration (to obtain an independent record of what individuals remembered) and after collaboration (to assess whether collaboration subsequently triggered new memories). Results Pairs that were interviewed together (collaborative pairs) remembered just as much correct information overall as pairs interviewed individually (nominal pairs), but collaborative pairs made significantly fewer errors. We found evidence of retrieval disruption during the discussion (i.e., collaborative pairs omitted significantly more old information during the second interview than nominal pairs) but also of a delayed cross‐cuing effect (i.e., collaborative pairs reported significantly more new information in the final interview than nominal pairs). Pairs who used more content‐focused retrieval strategies during the discussion (acknowledgements, repetitions, restatements, and elaborations) reported significantly more information. Conclusions The current findings suggest that, under certain conditions, discussion between eyewitnesses can help rather than hurt memory. Theoretical and practical implications will be discussed.
    June 24, 2016   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12097   open full text
  • The effects of face‐to‐face versus live video‐feed interviewing on children's event reports.
    Gemma Hamilton, Elizabeth A. Whiting, Sonja P. Brubacher, Martine B. Powell.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. June 06, 2016
    Purpose Recent advances in technology have raised a potentially promising service to overcome difficulties associated with remote witnesses: live video‐feed interviews. The efficacy of this mode of interviewing, however, lacks empirical evidence, particularly with children in an investigative context. Methods This study explored the effects of live video‐feed compared to face‐to‐face interviewing on the memory reports of 100 children (aged 5–12). Children participated in an innocuous event and were interviewed 1–2 days later by experienced interviewers. Results Analyses indicated that live video‐feed interviewing was just as effective as face‐to‐face interviewing in terms of the accuracy and informativeness of children's accounts. Video‐feed interviews, however, required a higher number of clarification prompts compared to face‐to‐face interviews. These findings were not influenced by children's familiarity with technology. Conclusions An initial test of live video‐feed interviewing indicates it is a safe and effective method for interviewing children about an innocuous event.
    June 06, 2016   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12098   open full text
  • ‘Where were your clothes?’ Eliciting descriptions of clothing placement from children alleging sexual abuse in criminal trials and forensic interviews.
    Stacia N. Stolzenberg, Thomas D. Lyon.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. June 01, 2016
    Purpose This study examined how children alleging sexual abuse are asked about clothing placement during abusive episodes, both in criminal trials and forensic interviews. The placement of clothing is of great importance, because it facilitates distinguishing abusive touch from non‐abusive touch, as well as the severity of abuse when the touching is in fact sexual. If clothing has not been removed, then sexual abuse appears less likely and certain types of sexual contact are physically impossible (or at least highly improbable). Methods We examined how trial attorneys (n = 142) and forensic interviewers in investigative interviews (n = 155) questioned 5‐ to 12‐year‐olds about the location of clothing during alleged sexual abuse. To do so, we identified all question–answer pairs that included references to clothing placement, and coded for the clothing item mentioned, whether the interviewer elicited information about clothing placement or the child spontaneously provided such information, question type, and response type. Results Discussions about clothing placement were commonplace in both settings, particularly in court. Fewer than one in five question–answer pairs about clothing placement were spontaneous mentions by children; the questioner elicited most discussions. When interviewers asked wh‐ questions rather than yes/no and forced‐choice questions, children provided more elaboration, more detailed clothing information, and were over six times more likely to describe clothing placement in a fashion that could not be captured by a single preposition (e.g., neither on nor off). Conclusions The findings suggest that descriptions of clothing placement are subject to serious misinterpretation when closed‐ended questions are asked.
    June 01, 2016   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12094   open full text
  • Order and control in the environment: Exploring the effects on undesired behaviour and the importance of locus of control.
    Anja M. Jansen, Ellen Giebels, Thomas J. L. Rompay, Sebastian Austrup, Marianne Junger.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. May 05, 2016
    Purpose This study aimed at gaining more insight into the combined influence of environmental factors and personal vulnerability to environmental cues on cheating behaviour in a task‐related indoor setting. We propose that a disorderly environment increases cheating as it implicitly signals that undesirable behaviours are common. Camera presence is expected to buffer these effects. We included locus of control (LOC) as a personality variable, as we expected individuals with an external LOC to be more susceptible by environmental cues. Methods Seventy‐six students participated in a 2 (orderly vs. disorderly environment) × 2 (camera vs. no camera present) experiment with cheating as the main dependent variable. We established the individual participant's LOC (Rotter, 1966, Psychol. Monogr., 80, 1) in a separate session. Results Findings did indeed show that individuals with an external LOC cheated more in a disorderly rather than an orderly environment. We also found an interaction effect with LOC suggesting this effect was particularly present for participants having an external rather than internal LOC. Camera presence did not yield significant main or interaction effects. Conclusion These findings confirm the importance of environmental design for behaviour regulation as well as the moderating influence of personality makeup.
    May 05, 2016   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12095   open full text
  • Applying the Verifiability Approach to insurance claims settings: Exploring the effect of the information protocol.
    Adam C. Harvey, Aldert Vrij, Galit Nahari, Katharina Ludwig.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. February 05, 2016
    Purpose Lie detection in insurance claim settings is difficult as liars can easily incorporate deceptive statements within descriptions of otherwise truthful events. We examined whether the Verifiability Approach (VA) could be used effectively in insurance settings. According to the VA, liars avoid disclosing details that they think can be easily checked, whereas truth tellers are forthcoming with verifiable details. Method The study experimentally manipulated notifying claimants about the interviewer's intention to check their statements for verifiable details (the ‘Information Protocol’). It was hypothesized that such an instruction would (1) encourage truth tellers to provide more verifiable details than liars and to report identifiable witnesses who had witnessed the event within their statements, and (2) would enhance the diagnostic accuracy of the VA. Participants reported 40 genuine and 40 fabricated insurance claim statements, in which half the liars and truth tellers were notified about the interviewer's intention to check their statements for verifiable details. Results Both hypotheses were supported. In terms of accuracy, notifying claimants about the interviewer's intention to check their statements for verifiable details increased accuracy rates from around chance level to around 80%. Conclusion The VA, including the information protocol, can be used in insurance settings.
    February 05, 2016   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12092   open full text
  • Appreciating the wrongfulness of criminal conduct: Implications for the age of criminal responsibility.
    Paul Wagland, Kay Bussey.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. November 26, 2015
    Purpose Although the ability to appreciate the wrongfulness of criminal conduct and to distinguish it from childish mischief forms the basis of Age of Criminal Responsibility (ACR) legislation in many countries, empirical research on the extent to which children possess this ability is limited. It was the aim of this study to investigate this issue. Methods A total of 132 males and females from four age groups (8, 12, and 16 years and adults) participated in the study. Participants listened to a series of vignettes which described a person committing a transgression. The seriousness of the transgressions varied across vignettes. Participants then provided ratings on the wrongfulness and outcome expectations associated with the conduct described in the vignette. Results Participants from all age groups evaluated criminal conduct more negatively than mischievous conduct. Participants from all age groups also anticipated more negative self‐reactions, more negative reactions from peers, and more severe legal sanctions for criminal conduct. Conclusions Eight‐year‐olds from the study sample demonstrated that they meet the current cognitive standard associated with achieving the ACR. These 8‐year‐olds also provided evidence that they were comparable to older children and adults in terms of their understanding of the wrongfulness of criminal behaviour and the ability to distinguish it from mischievous behaviour.
    November 26, 2015   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12090   open full text
  • A cognitive approach to lie detection: A meta‐analysis.
    Aldert Vrij, Ronald P. Fisher, Hartmut Blank.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. October 10, 2015
    Introduction This article provides a meta‐analysis of a new, cognitive approach to (non‐)verbal lie detection. This cognitive lie detection approach consists of three techniques: (1) imposing cognitive load, (2) encouraging interviewees to say more, and (3) asking unexpected questions. Method A meta‐analysis was carried out on studies using the cognitive approach, 14 of which directly compared the cognitive approach to a standard approach. Results The cognitive lie detection approach produced superior accuracy results in truth detection (67%), lie detection (67%), and total detection (truth and lie detection combined, 71%) compared to a traditional standard approach (truth detection: 57%; lie detection: 47%; total detection: 56%). Conclusions Practitioners may find it useful to use a cognitive lie detection approach in their daily practice.
    October 10, 2015   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12088   open full text
  • The effects of the putative confession and parent suggestion on children's disclosure of a minor transgression.
    Elizabeth B. Rush, Stacia N. Stolzenberg, Jodi A. Quas, Thomas D. Lyon.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. October 10, 2015
    Purpose This study examined the effects of the putative confession (telling the child that an adult ‘told me everything that happened and he wants you to tell the truth’) on children's disclosure of a minor transgression after having been questioned by their parents in a suggestive or non‐suggestive manner. Methods Children (N = 188; 4–7‐year‐olds) played with a confederate, and while doing so, for half of the children, toys broke. Parents then questioned their children about what occurred, and half of the parents were given additional scripted suggestive questions. Finally, children completed a mock forensic investigative interview. Results Children given the putative confession were 1.6 times more likely in free recall to disclose truthfully that toys had broken. Among children who failed to disclose during free recall, those who received the putative confession were 1.9 times more likely when asked yes/no questions to disclose true breakage. The putative confession did not decrease accuracy, and children who received the putative confession were 2.6 times less likely to report false toy play. Parent suggestion did not adversely affect the efficacy of the putative confession. Conclusions The current study demonstrates that children are often quite reticent to disclose transgressions and that the putative confession is a promising avenue for increasing children's comfort with disclosing and minimizing their tendency to report false details, even in the face of suggestive questioning by parents.
    October 10, 2015   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12086   open full text
  • Differences between completers and non‐completers of offending behaviour programmes: Impulsivity, social problem‐solving, and criminal thinking.
    Emma J. Palmer, Lisa M. Humphries.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. September 28, 2015
    Purpose This study examined whether there were significant differences between completers and non‐completers of an offending behaviour programme on pre‐programme measures of impulsivity, social problem‐solving, and criminal thinking. Methods Participants were 299 male offenders serving a community order with the requirement to attend an offending behaviour programme in England and Wales. Results The results showed that non‐completers had significantly higher levels of non‐planning impulsivity than completers. Furthermore, non‐completers were at a higher risk of reconviction. No significant differences were found between completers and non‐completers for social problem‐solving and criminal thinking, as well as no significant differences between the two groups for age. Conclusions The findings highlight the importance of retaining high risk and impulsive offenders in treatment programmes.
    September 28, 2015   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12089   open full text
  • Observing offenders: Incident reports by surveillance detectives, uniformed police, and civilians.
    Annelies Vredeveldt, Joris W. Knol, Peter J. Koppen.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. August 21, 2015
    Purpose Police officers often write reports about witnessed incidents, which may serve as evidence in court. We examined whether incident reports and identifications by police officers, and in particular specialized detectives on surveillance teams, are more complete or more accurate than reports and identifications by civilian observers. Methods Our sample included 46 civilians, 52 uniformed police officers, and 42 surveillance detectives. Participants viewed a 15‐min video of a drug transaction and were allowed to take notes while watching. Before viewing the video, all participants received a priority list of information considered most relevant to the police investigation, which had been constructed by an expert panel. Subsequently, participants completed a questionnaire addressing different types of crime‐relevant information in the incident. They also viewed target‐present and target‐absent lineups: Two for persons central to the drug transaction and one for a background detail. Results Reports of uniformed police officers and detectives on surveillance teams were significantly more complete than reports of civilians, particularly for the top‐three priorities of crime‐relevant information. Moreover, reports by detectives were significantly more accurate than reports by uniformed police officers and civilians. Detectives were also significantly more likely to identify the persons from the lineup, whereas civilians were significantly more likely to identify the background detail. Conclusions Our findings demonstrate that police officers, and in particular specialized detectives on surveillance teams, are more observant of the crime‐relevant aspects of an incident than civilian observers. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
    August 21, 2015   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12087   open full text
  • The feasibility of using crime scene behaviour to detect versatile serial offenders: An empirical test of behavioural consistency, distinctiveness, and discrimination accuracy.
    Matthew Tonkin, Jessica Woodhams.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. June 27, 2015
    Purpose To test whether geographical, temporal, and modus operandi (MO) crime scene behaviours can be used to support behavioural case linkage (BCL) with crime series that contain several different types of offence. Methods Crime scene data relating to 749 solved commercial burglaries and robberies were extracted from the databases of the Metropolitan Police Service, London, England. From these data, 2,231 linked crime pairs (containing two crimes committed by the same offender) and 273,422 unlinked crime pairs were created (two crimes committed by different offenders). Three measures of similarity were calculated for each crime pair: (1) the kilometre distance between crimes (intercrime distance [ICD]); (2) the number of days between crimes (temporal proximity [TP]); and (3) a statistical measure of similarity in MO behaviour (Jaccard's coefficient). Statistical tests of difference, binary leave‐one‐out logistic regression, and receiver operating characteristic analysis were used to determine whether the three measures of similarity could be used to distinguish between linked and unlinked crime pairs, some containing only burglaries (burglary pairs), some containing only robberies (robbery pairs), and some containing both burglaries and robberies (cross‐crime pairs). Results Linked and unlinked crime pairs could be distinguished with a high level of accuracy (AUCs > .90), with the highest accuracy when combining ICD, TP, and Jaccard's coefficient. These findings were replicated with the burglary pairs, robbery pairs, and cross‐crime pairs. Conclusions Offender behaviour is sufficiently consistent and distinctive to support the use of BCL with versatile crime series, as well as with burglary crime series and robbery crime series.
    June 27, 2015   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12085   open full text
  • Investigating gender differences in the factor structure of the Gudjonsson Compliance Scale.
    Kim E. Drake, Vincent Egan.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. June 22, 2015
    Purpose The Gudjonsson Compliance Scale (GCS) remains, in terms of its psychometrics, an under‐researched instrument, in which gender differences in particular have been insufficiently examined. The aim of this research was to therefore investigate the effect of gender on the factor structure of the GCS. Method The GCS was administered to 441 females and 250 males. The data were factor‐analysed, with 1‐, 2‐, 3‐, and 4‐factor solutions tested and compared. Procrustean rotation was applied to the male factor loading matrix to investigate structural equivalence across gender. Results Although a 3‐factor solution was the best fit to the male GCS data, a 4‐factor solution was the most acceptable fit to the female data. Whilst each of the factors had a high degree of determinacy, the identity coefficients indicated that these factors differ non‐trivially across gender. Conclusion The GCS may measure different aspects of compliance across males and females, which may explain the gender differences in compliance found within the literature to date. The work also allows insight into why males and females may end up complying with police requests, which might ultimately help to inform strategies, implemented by police, to manage vulnerable general population suspects and witnesses. There is a need now to further investigate the structure of compliance across ethnic groups and/or countries where the GCS is administered.
    June 22, 2015   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12081   open full text
  • The predictive and incremental validity of the German adaptation of the Static‐2002 in a sexual offender sample released from the prison system.
    Ronja Martens, Martin Rettenberger, Reinhard Eher.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. May 27, 2015
    Purpose The aim of this study was to examine the predictive validity of the German adaptation of the Static‐2002 and to compare it with the results of the Static‐99. Method The predictive validity of Static‐2002 was investigated in a sample of n = 452 sexual offenders released from the Austrian Prison System. The instrument was coded retrospectively using file information. Afterwards, the predictive estimates of the Static‐2002 were related to officially documented reconviction data. Results The Static‐2002 was found to have large effect sizes for predicting sexual, violent, and general recidivism (area under the receiver operating characteristic curve [AUC] = .78, .75, .75, respectively) for the total offender sample. For the general sexual offender sample, it did not predict reoffence significantly better than the Static‐99 ([AUC] = .77, .72, and .72, respectively). However, the Static‐2002 was found to perform better in the child molesters subsample (AUC = .83, .74, .75, respectively) than in rapists (AUC = .66, .72, .73, respectively), even though these differences did not reach statistical significance. The Static‐2002 was found to have incremental predictive validity beyond the Static‐99, but only for general and not for sexual or violent recidivism. Conclusions Although a replacement of the Static‐99 by the Static‐2002 cannot be recommended, it has to be emphasized that the Static‐2002 yielded large effect sizes in predicting general, violent, and sexual recidivism and, therefore, nevertheless represents an excellent measure for capturing the reoffence risk of sexual offenders.
    May 27, 2015   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12080   open full text
  • Mapping fear of crime as a context‐dependent everyday experience that varies in space and time.
    Reka Solymosi, Kate Bowers, Taku Fujiyama.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. April 15, 2015
    Purpose There is a current need for innovation in research on the fear of crime to move on from general and static representations and instead approach it as a dynamic phenomenon experienced in everyday life, to inform or evaluate situational interventions. Methods This study presents a novel approach to fear of crime research using the framework of routine activities theory and environmental criminology to present it as a specific event characterized by spatial, temporal, and personal variables. We suggest and illustrate a new experience sampling approach to data collection, captured via a mobile phone application. Results By studying the fear of crime in the environment where it occurs, and focusing on a microscale geography with the additional dimension of time, new insight into fear of crime can be attained. Results from a data collection pilot demonstrate significant spatiotemporal variation in individuals' fear of crime levels and hence illustrate the viability of such approaches. Conclusions We argue that this new insight can lead to the development of situational interventions which target fear of crime hot spots as they move about in place and time, allowing limited resources to be allocated more efficiently to enhance perceptions of safety.
    April 15, 2015   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12076   open full text
  • An evaluation of a new tool to aid judgements of credibility in the medico‐legal setting.
    Lucy Akehurst, Simon Easton, Emily Fuller, Grace Drane, Katherine Kuzmin, Sarah Litchfield.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. April 11, 2015
    Purpose Clinical psychologists and other health professionals are often requested to act as expert witnesses in Court. They are required to assess, and report upon, the reliability of the accounts of physical and psychological symptoms made by their clients. This study investigated the effectiveness of a checklist drawing upon relevant literature on lying and malingering to aid the detection of exaggeration of physical symptoms. Method Sixty‐four participants were cast as interviewers and assigned to either a ‘checklist’ or ‘no checklist’ condition. Another 64 volunteers were assigned to either a ‘truth teller’ or ‘malingerer’ role and, after undergoing a cold pressor procedure, were interviewed about their experience. The interviewers with a checklist drawn from the literature were asked to rate the presence of 28 checklist items on 5‐point Likert scales and to indicate whether or not they believed their interviewee was truthful or exaggerating his or her symptoms. The interviewers without the checklist were asked to simply indicate whether their interviewee was truthful or exaggerating. Results Evaluators who were not given the checklist did not classify their interviewees at a level significantly better than chance. Those using the checklist achieved an overall hit rate of 70%. Signal detection analysis supported the finding that those with the checklist showed greater discriminability. Nine checklist items significantly discriminated between truth tellers and malingerers. Furthermore, the total checklist score was significantly higher for exaggerated accounts than for truthful accounts. Conclusions Results suggest that a checklist based on the literatures into lying and malingering warrants further investigation. Such a tool would be useful as an aid for expert witnesses called to provide informed opinion on the likelihood that a claimant is exaggerating, malingering or otherwise misrepresenting difficulties.
    April 11, 2015   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12079   open full text
  • Other People: A child's age predicts a source's effect on memory.
    Rolando N. Carol, Nadja Schreiber Compo.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. March 26, 2015
    Purpose For decades, researchers have investigated the effects of various interviewing techniques used in child witness interviews. One particular technique yet to be explored fully is Other People, that is, mentioning other witnesses’ alleged statements when interviewing a child. This study thus examined how the source of others’ information affects children's memory and source monitoring as a function of age (7–18). Method Children and adolescents (N = 110) watched a 10‐min video and were then questioned about the witnessed event 1 week later using a series of yes/no questions. Throughout this series of questions, the source of outside information (peer vs. adult vs. no source) and its veracity (correct vs. incorrect) were manipulated. Results Findings indicated that an adult source was more detrimental to witness accuracy than a peer source or no source, but this detrimental effect diminished as witness age increased. Source monitoring data mirrored this pattern: As age increased, so did accurate source attributions for information attributed to an adult. Conclusion Overall findings suggest that information source in conjunction with witness age should be considered when assessing the effect of outside information on child and adolescent memory.
    March 26, 2015   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12078   open full text
  • Effects of threat, trait anxiety and state anxiety on police officers’ actions during an arrest.
    Peter G. Renden, Annemarie Landman, Nathalie R. Daalder, Hans P. Cock, Geert J. P. Savelsbergh, Raôul R. D. Oudejans.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. March 11, 2015
    Purpose We investigated the effects of threat and trait anxiety on state anxiety and how that affects police officers’ actions during an arrest. Most experiments on police performance under anxiety test the performance of one particular skill. Yet, police work often involves concerted use of a combination of skills. Methods We created situations – with two different levels of threat – in which officers had to choose and initiate their actions to control and arrest a non‐cooperative suspect. We examined whether threat, trait anxiety and state anxiety influenced decision‐making (e.g., choosing the appropriate actions) and performance (e.g., quality of communication and the execution of skills). Results Trait anxiety affected the level of state anxiety, but not any of the decision‐making and performance variables. As for decision‐making, results showed that only threat determined which action officers took to gain control over the suspect. As for performance, higher levels of state anxiety were accompanied by lower scores of overall performance, communication, proportionality of applied force and quality of skill execution. Conclusion It is concluded that state anxiety not only impairs performance of single perceptual‐motor tasks, but also relevant accompanying skills such as communicating and applying appropriate force. We argue that police training should focus on an integrated set of decision‐making and perceptual‐motor skills and not just on the performance of isolated motor skills.
    March 11, 2015   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12077   open full text
  • Improving children's performance on photographic line‐ups: Do the physical properties of a ‘wildcard’ make a difference?
    Rachel Zajac, Fiona Jack.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. January 19, 2015
    Purpose Children's performance on target‐absent photographic line‐ups may improve when they have the option of pointing to a wildcard – a photo of a silhouetted figure with a question mark superimposed. We investigated whether the wildcard's physical properties influence its success. Methods Children (7–11 years, N = 237) briefly saw one of two confederates during a staged event; 1–2 days later, they completed either a target‐present or target‐absent line‐up task. Within each condition, children either saw a wildcard with a plausible silhouette (i.e., consistent with the silhouette of the target), a wildcard with an implausible silhouette (i.e., inconsistent with the silhouette of the target), a wildcard with no silhouette (i.e., a question mark only), or no wildcard. Results Wildcard condition did not influence children's target‐present performance. On target‐absent line‐ups only the plausible wildcard increased children's accuracy above that of children in the no wildcard control condition. Conclusions The wildcard may only be successful to the extent that its silhouette is a plausible representation of the target. Possible explanations for this outcome and implications for using wildcards in investigative practice are discussed.
    January 19, 2015   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12075   open full text
  • Does rapport‐building boost the eyewitness eyeclosure effect in closed questioning?
    Robert A. Nash, Alena Nash, Aimee Morris, Siobhan L. Smith.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. January 15, 2015
    Purpose Several studies have documented that people's ability to correctly report details of witnessed events is enhanced when they merely close their eyes. Yet closing one's eyes in front of a stranger could sometimes create social discomfort, which other studies suggest can impair memory reports. This paper reports two experiments exploring the extent to which the memory benefits of eyeclosure are enhanced when efforts are taken to build interviewer/witness rapport, thus potentially reducing discomfort. Methods In both studies participants observed filmed events and, afterwards, half underwent a basic rapport‐building exercise with an interviewer. All participants then answered closed questions about specific details of the event, and half were instructed to close their eyes throughout this questioning. We recorded the proportion of questions answered correctly, incorrectly, or with ‘don't know’ responses. Results Both eyeclosure and rapport‐building separately enhanced correct responding. The data offer no evidence, though, that rapport‐building moderated this eyeclosure benefit. This is despite the fact that rapport‐building did appear to moderate the effect of eyeclosure on participants' self‐reported comfort during the interviews. Conclusions These studies give us initial cause for doubt over a hypothesized – but heretofore untested – social psychological constraint on the benefits of eyeclosure.
    January 15, 2015   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12073   open full text
  • Psychological and behavioural characteristics that distinguish street gang members in custody.
    Emma Alleyne, Jane L. Wood, Katarina Mozova, Mark James.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. December 26, 2014
    Purpose Using social dominance theory, the primary aim of this study was to examine the attitudes and beliefs that reinforce status hierarchies and facilitate aggressive behaviour within and between gangs. The aim was also to determine whether these socio‐cognitive processes distinguished gang‐involved youth from non‐gang offenders in a custodial setting. Methods Gang‐involved youth and non‐gang offenders were recruited from a young offender institution located in the United Kingdom. Questionnaires assessing psychological (i.e., moral disengagement strategies, anti‐authority attitudes, hypermasculinity, and social dominance orientation) and behavioural (i.e., group crime) characteristics were administered individually. We hypothesized that gang‐involved youth would be affiliated with groups who engaged in more criminal activity than non‐gang offenders, and that they would report higher levels of endorsements than non‐gang youth across all of the psychological measures. Results We found that gang‐involved youth were affiliated with groups who engage in more crimes than non‐gang offenders. We also found that social dominance orientation was an important factor related to gang involvement along with measures assessing group‐based hierarchies such as hypermasculinity, anti‐authority attitudes, and the moral disengagement strategies displacement of responsibility, dehumanization, and euphemistic labeling. Conclusions These findings fit within a social dominance theoretical framework as they highlight key psychological factors that feed into perceived status‐driven hierarchies that distinguish gang members from other types of offenders. These factors could be key to developments in treatment provision within custodial settings.
    December 26, 2014   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12072   open full text
  • A descriptive model of the offence chain for imprisoned adult male firesetters (descriptive model of adult male firesetting).
    Magali Barnoux, Theresa A. Gannon, Caoilte Ó Ciardha.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. December 23, 2014
    Purpose Firesetting has devastating consequences. Although some theoretical efforts have been made to explain firesetting (i.e., a small number of multi‐ and single‐factor theories), little effort has been devoted to understand how deliberate firesetting unfolds across time (i.e., micro or offence chain theories). This research aimed to produce the first descriptive offence chain theory for incarcerated adult male firesetters. Methods Thirty‐eight adult male firesetters – recruited from prison establishments in England and Wales – were interviewed about the events, thoughts, and feelings leading up to, surrounding, and immediately following a deliberate incident of firesetting. Results Using grounded theory analysis, the descriptive model of adult male firesetting (DMAF) was developed documenting the cognitive, behavioural, affective, and contextual factors leading to a single incident of deliberate firesetting. Conclusions New information generated from the DMAF is presented and its contributions to the current evidence base are highlighted. Clinical implications, limitations, and future research directions are also discussed.
    December 23, 2014   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12071   open full text
  • The offender's narrative: Unresolved dissonance in life as a film (LAAF) responses.
    Donna Youngs, David Canter, Nikki Carthy.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. November 18, 2014
    Purpose A growing body of literature indicates the value of exploring the accounts offenders give of their lives. This raises questions about whether offenders’ narratives, distinctive from those of non‐offenders, elucidate the identity and agency processes that facilitate continued offending. Method To explore this, 61 offenders and 90 non‐offenders described their life as a film (LAAF). Results Significant differences between the two samples are revealed across content categories relating to Implicit Content, Explicit Processes, Complexity, and Agency. These relate to a central focus on criminality as a dominant aspect of identity, a generally negative undertone, a concern with the materialistic within the narrative and the significant, yet problematic nature, of relations with others. These four features capture a meta‐narrative of Unresolved Dissonance sustaining offending. Conclusion The findings open the way for the use of the LAAF in order to explore ways of resolving offenders Unresolved Dissonance, through reconstructing their narratives, complementing the Good Lives approach.
    November 18, 2014   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12070   open full text
  • An action phase approach to offender profiling.
    Alasdair M. Goodwill, Robert J. B. Lehmann, Eric Beauregard, Andreea Andrei.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. October 28, 2014
    Purpose Continued debate surrounds whether or not offender profiling is a valid practice. Critics have mainly contended that few studies have produced clear, quantifiable, evidence of a link between crime scene actions (A) and offender characteristics (C). Arguing that this is due to a failure to study offender actions as part of a dynamic decision‐making process, this study sought to identify action phases that are representative of the general decisions an offender must make during the commission of a sexual offence, and relate these decisions to known characteristics of the offender (C). Methods Two‐step cluster analyses were performed on data from 347 stranger sexual offences, committed by 69 serial sexual offenders, by action phase: (1) search; (2) selection; (3) approach; (4) assault; and also for an offender's (5) characteristics. Multiple correspondence analysis (MCA) was then utilized to investigate the inter‐relationship of action phase clusters and offender characteristics. Results The MCA results indicated that specific behavioural macro‐clusters formed across the various actions phase and offender characteristic clusters in a meaningful way. Additionally, the macro‐clusters themselves corresponded to the extant literature on sexual assault, revealing several points of congruence between offender crime scene actions and offender characteristics. Conclusion The results of the study demonstrate that when crime scene behaviours are interpreted within a dynamic decision‐making process (i.e., utilizing action phases), reliable and valid empirical links may potentially be drawn between an offenders behavioural actions and their characteristics.
    October 28, 2014   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12069   open full text
  • Examining the judicial decision to substitute credibility instructions for expert testimony on confessions.
    Dayna M. Gomes, Douglas M. Stenstrom, Dustin P. Calvillo.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. September 13, 2014
    Purpose The present study tested the judicial decision to deny false confession expert testimony on the basis that jury instructions are sufficient to aid jurors in their determinations of disputed confession evidence. Methods Three groups of mock jurors (N = 150) were presented with a trial summary that included a videotaped re‐enactment of an interrogation in which the interrogator used a maximization ploy. One group received expert testimony in the trial summary, another group received credibility instructions, and a control group received neither. All participants received standard reasonable doubt instructions at the end of the trial summary and then answered questions such as their verdict in the case, the defendant's likelihood of guilt, and the voluntariness of the defendant's confession. Results The results showed a high rate of conviction that was only reduced when participants received expert testimony. Across all measures, no significant differences were found between the control and credibility instruction groups. Conclusions The results suggest that credibility instructions are not comparable to expert testimony in influencing jurors' judgments of disputed confession evidence. These findings do not support the judicial decision to deny expert testimony on the basis that credibility instructions alone are sufficient to aid potential jurors in their evaluations of confession evidence. Avenues for future research on expert testimony and jury instructions in confession cases are discussed.
    September 13, 2014   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12068   open full text
  • The effect of interpreters on eliciting information, cues to deceit and rapport.
    Sarah Ewens, Aldert Vrij, Sharon Leal, Samantha Mann, Eunkyung Jo, Ronald P. Fisher.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. August 19, 2014
    Background The present experiment examined how the presence of an interpreter during investigative interviews affects eliciting information, cues to deceit and rapport. Method A total of 60 native English speakers were interviewed in English and 183 non‐native English speakers were interviewed in English (a foreign language) or through an interpreter who interpreted their answers sentence by sentence (short consecutive interpretation) or summarized their answers (long consecutive interpretation). Interviewees discussed the job they had (truth tellers) or pretended to have (liars). Results Interviewees who spoke through an interpreter provided less detail than interviewees who spoke in their first language and a foreign language (English) without an interpreter. Additionally, cues to deceit occurred more frequently when interviewees spoke without an interpreter. The presence of an interpreter had no effect on rapport. Conclusion The findings suggest that at present there are no benefits to using an interpreter with regard to eliciting information. Future research should investigate how best to utilize an interpreter to gain maximum detail from an interview.
    August 19, 2014   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12067   open full text
  • Birds of a feather get misidentified together: High entitativity decreases recognition accuracy for groups of other‐race faces.
    Mollie McGuire, Kathy Pezdek.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. July 21, 2014
    Purpose The cross‐race effect can be exaggerated when faces are presented in groups, leading to less accurate eyewitness identifications (Pezdek, O'Brien, & Wasson, , Law Hum. Behav., 36, 488). Our current study examined the effect of entitativity, the degree to which members of a group are perceived as a coherent unit (Campbell, , Behav. Sci., 3, 14), on recognition accuracy for same‐ and cross‐race faces presented in groups. Methods White participants viewed 16 slides of 3‐face groups (eight White groups, eight Black groups). Prior to viewing the faces they were told that the entitativity of each 3‐face group was high (‘friends who do things together’) or low (‘people in line at the bank’). They were then tested on 32 individually presented faces (16 old and 16 new). Results When cross‐race faces were presented in high rather than low entitativity groups, less accurate face recognition memory resulted. Increasing group entitativity decreased recognition accuracy for cross‐race faces but increased recognition accuracy for same‐race faces. Conclusions The results suggest that the perception of a group negatively impacts eyewitness memory. Contextual factors such as entitativity need to be considered along with other estimator variables when assessing eyewitness identification accuracy.
    July 21, 2014   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12066   open full text
  • Multiple factors in the assessment of firesetters' fire interest and attitudes.
    Caoilte Ó Ciardha, Magali F. L. Barnoux, Emma K. A. Alleyne, Nichola Tyler, Katarina Mozova, Theresa A. Gannon.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. July 12, 2014
    Purpose The number of measures available to practitioners to assess fire interest and other fire‐related attitudes is limited. To help establish the utility of such measures, this study explored whether three fire measures contained multiple factors and whether such factors related to firesetting behaviour. Method The Fire Interest Rating Scale, the Fire Attitude Scale, and the Identification with Fire Questionnaire were administered to 234 male prisoners (117 firesetters, 117 non‐firesetters) and results were factor analyzed. To determine the relationship of the resulting factors with firesetting behaviour, their ability to discriminate firesetters from controls was examined and compared to the original scales. Results Responses were best represented by five factors, four of which discriminated firesetters from non‐firesetters. One factor demonstrated significant accuracy in discriminating single offence firesetters from repeat firesetters. Taken together the factors offered more clarity than using the original scale outcomes and showed equivalent predictive accuracy. Conclusions The five factors identified may aid practitioners in helping to formulate the specific treatment needs of identified firesetters.
    July 12, 2014   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12065   open full text
  • Prevalence and correlates of firesetting behaviours among offending and non‐offending youth.
    Bruce D. Watt, Kerry Geritz, Tasneem Hasan, Scott Harden, Rebekah Doley.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. July 08, 2014
    Purpose Adolescents represent a disproportionate number of firesetters relative to their adult counterparts. There is limited understanding, however, in the differing rates of firelighting behaviours between subgroups of youth. Method Utilizing the recently developed Youth Fire Behaviours and Interests Scale, the differences in firesetting behaviours between adolescents adjudicated as offenders and non‐offenders were evaluated. The associations for firesetting behaviours with antisocial behaviours and callous–unemotional traits (CUT) were examined utilizing items from the Antisocial Process Screening Device and the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire. Participants were recruited across south‐east Queensland; young offenders on community orders or in a youth detention centre (n = 138), and adolescents from two private schools (n = 136). Results The young offender sample reported significantly higher prevalence of having lit a fire (67.4%) compared to non‐offending youth (37.5%). Of concern, approximately one in five participants from both samples reported having lit 10 or more previous fires. Repeat firelighting behaviour in both samples was significantly predicted by history of antisocial behaviours, positive affect regarding fire, fire‐related interests, and preoccupation with fire. CUT had a complex association with firesetting that was only statistically significant after accounting for fire‐specific predictors. Findings from the current study are limited by the reliance on self‐report measures without verification from carers or other collateral sources. Conclusion Interventions for preventing adolescent firesetting should include appraisal of general antisocial actions and more specific fire‐interest characteristics. Further investigation of the association between CUT and firesetting is required before recommendations are proffered.
    July 08, 2014   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12062   open full text
  • Video killed the radio star? The influence of presentation modality on detecting high‐stakes, emotional lies.
    Crystal Evanoff, Stephen Porter, Pamela J. Black.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. July 07, 2014
    Purpose In many contexts in which high‐stakes lies occur (such as security settings or the courtroom), observers must evaluate whether the stories they hear are credible. However, little research has evaluated the ability of observers to detect high‐stakes lies, nor the influence of the manner in which the deception is presented on judgment accuracy. This study investigated whether the presentation modality of high‐stakes lies influences both explicit and implicit deception detection accuracy. Methods Participants (N = 231) were randomly assigned to one of four presentation modalities: audiovisual, video‐only, audio‐only, or transcript‐only and asked to evaluate the honesty of targets – half of whom were sincere and half deceptive killers – making a plea for the return of a missing relative both explicitly (direct lie/truth decision) and implicitly (via emotional reactions). Results Overall, explicit deception detection accuracy was slightly above chance (M = 52.5%), and honest pleas were accurately identified at a higher rate than deceptive pleas. Although there were no differences in overall accuracy across modality, observers reading transcripts exhibited a truth bias, which resulted in them detecting truthful pleas at a higher rate than with the other groups. Although explicit accuracy was at the level of chance, implicit reactions indicated that observers were able to unconsciously discern liars from truth‐tellers. Conclusions Despite the high‐stakes nature of the lies presented here, they were difficult to detect. Lies presented via written language were missed at a higher rate when assessed using explicit but not implicit judgments.
    July 07, 2014   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12064   open full text
  • How do offenders choose where to offend? Perspectives from animal foraging.
    Shane D. Johnson.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. July 05, 2014
    Purpose Research suggests that offender spatial decision‐making is not random. However, little is known about if or how offences in a series influence where an offender will target next. Drawing on concepts and empirical findings from environmental criminology and the ecology literature, in this article I consider what spatial patterns might be expected in the sequential crimes committed by serial offenders and provide an empirical example. Methods Data for detected burglars are analysed and patterns in the inter‐event distances for sequential offences compared with those signatures typically associated with three types of foraging behaviour – central place foraging, Brownian walks and Lévy walks. Analyses involve the use of a Monte Carlo simulation to derive an expected distribution for central place foraging, while the observed probability density function of sequential inter‐event distances is compared to exponential and power law distributions to test for evidence of Brownian and Lévy walks, respectively. Results Analyses suggest that patterns in burglar sequential inter‐event distances cannot be explained by a simple central place foraging strategy. The distribution of sequential inter‐event distances is found to be consistent with both Brownian and Lévy walks. Conclusions The findings suggest that there are regularities in the sequential spatial choices made by offenders, and that these are similar to those observed across species. Reasons for why there is evidence of both Brownian and Lévy walks are discussed. The implications of the findings for forensic techniques such as crime linkage analysis, geographic offender profiling and crime forecasting are discussed.
    July 05, 2014   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12061   open full text
  • Discriminating between true and false intent among small cells of suspects.
    Tuule Sooniste, Pär Anders Granhag, Leif A. Strömwall, Aldert Vrij.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. June 29, 2014
    Purpose Despite high potential value for real‐life situations, detecting true and false intentions by groups of suspects have not been previously investigated. Method The experimental study had a set‐up in which participants (N = 232), half in dyads and half in quartets, planned for either a mock crime or a non‐criminal event. In structured individual interviews, all participants were asked one set of questions targeting their intentions (anticipated questions) and one set of questions targeting the planning phase of the intentions (unanticipated questions). We scored the level of detail and consistency in participants' interview responses. Results As predicted, questions on the planning phase were perceived as unanticipated and difficult to answer by both liars and truth tellers. Truth tellers' answers to the question on intent were perceived as more detailed compared to the liars. Cells of truth tellers and liars achieved an equally high within‐group consistency for their answers to the questions on the stated intentions, whereas cells of truth tellers achieved a higher within‐group consistency for the answers to the questions on the planning phase. Finally, truth tellers' descriptions of their intentions contained more information related to how to attain the stated goal, whereas liars gave more information related to why it was necessary to attain the stated goal. Conclusions Asking anticipated and unanticipated questions can be a successful way of eliciting cues to true and false intentions among small cells of suspects.
    June 29, 2014   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12063   open full text
  • Facial composites and the misinformation effect: How composites distort memory.
    Lisa D. Topp‐Manriquez, Dawn McQuiston, Roy S. Malpass.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. May 28, 2014
    Purpose This study examined how constructing and viewing facial composites affects memory accuracy. Method Participants (n = 240) viewed a target face for 60 s; half were then randomly assigned to construct a facial composite while the other half completed a distracter task. Participants were then randomly assigned to view a composite either once, twice or not at all during a 1‐week delay between the first and second session. Those who constructed a composite viewed their own composite during the 1‐week delay, while those who did not construct a composite were yoked with someone who did, thereby viewing their counterpart's composite. In session 2, all participants completed a six‐person forced‐choice identification task. The participant was asked to identify the target from a six‐person photo array. The photo array was composed of the target, the composite, and four morphed images that combined certain percentages of both the target and composite. Results Results showed that identification accuracy was lower for those who created a composite versus those who did not. These individuals were likely to identify an image consisting of a blend between the target and composite more often than those not creating a composite. In addition, those who only viewed a composite experienced memory contamination similar to those who created a composite. Conclusion Our findings illustrate that creating a composite or simply viewing someone else's composite hinders identification accuracy and one's memory for the target face. This research provides important implications regarding the methods used in collecting eyewitness descriptions during the investigative process.
    May 28, 2014   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12054   open full text
  • An attachment‐based model of therapeutic change processes in the treatment of personality disorder among male forensic inpatients.
    Phil Willmot, Mary McMurran.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. May 07, 2014
    Purpose This study explores the processes of change during treatment among male forensic inpatients with primary diagnoses of personality disorder. Method Fifty patients in a high secure personality disorder treatment service completed a checklist about how they had changed during treatment and the factors that had caused that change. Results The results support a limited reparenting attachment‐based model of therapeutic change. Self‐reported levels of change were highly correlated with measures of patient functioning, though significant levels of change did not occur until the later stages of treatment. Conclusions The behaviour of therapists was particularly important throughout treatment, though participants in the final stage of therapy reported that the behaviour of other staff was as important as that of therapists, suggesting that, by this stage of treatment they are able to extend their range of supportive and therapeutic relationships.
    May 07, 2014   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12055   open full text
  • An investigation of firesetting recidivism: Factors related to repeat offending.
    Lauren Ducat, Troy E. McEwan, James RP Ogloff.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. April 18, 2014
    Purpose Firesetters have traditionally been considered dangerous repeat offenders. However, the specific risk factors associated with firesetting recidivism have not been consistently tested in representative samples. It is also unclear whether individuals whose offending is limited to firesetting are at increased risk of reoffending when compared with firesetters who have more versatile offending. This study aimed to: (1) determine the rate of firesetting recidivism in a representative sample of firesetters before the courts; and (2) determine the psychiatric and criminogenic factors that are related to firesetting recidivism. Methods The study employed a data linkage approach to examine the psychiatric and criminal histories of 1052 firesetters convicted of arson between 2000 and 2009 in Victoria, Australia. The characteristics of those who reoffended, over a follow‐up period of 2.5–11 years, by committing arson and arson‐related offences were compared with those who went on to reoffend in other ways but not arson. An improper model was used to determine which of the tested variables could meaningfully predict firesetting recidivism. Results The rate of firesetting recidivism, based on charges, was very low (5.3%) compared with the rate of general recidivism (55.4%); the vast majority of firesetting recidivists were mixed (criminally versatile) offenders (91%). The study found that general criminality, firesetting history, and psychiatric disorder were associated with firesetting recidivism. Conclusions When assessing risk of firesetting recidivism, clinicians need to consider general criminality in addition to fire‐specific history, and the potential impacts of mental disorder on recidivism.
    April 18, 2014   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12052   open full text
  • Advancing legal literacy: The effect of listenability on the comprehension of interrogation rights.
    Brent Snook, Kirk Luther, Joseph Eastwood, Ryan Collins, Sarah Evans.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. April 18, 2014
    Purpose To examine the effect of listenability features on the comprehension of interrogation rights. Method In Experiment 1, students (N = 76) underwent a mock interrogation where one of two police cautions (listenable caution vs. standard caution) was administered and students were asked to explain the caution in their own words. Experiment 2 (N = 80) extended Experiment 1 by identifying the individual and additive effects of the listenability features on recall of their interrogation rights. Results The results of Experiment 1 showed that the caution containing listenability features produced higher levels of recall than a standard caution. Results of Experiment 2 showed that repeating and organizing interrogation rights led to the greatest number of legal rights being comprehended. Conclusions Listenability can be used as a tool to increase legal literacy.
    April 18, 2014   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12053   open full text
  • The moral reasoning abilities of men and women with intellectual disabilities who have a history of criminal offending behaviour.
    Emily McDermott, Peter E. Langdon.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. March 29, 2014
    Purpose This study had the following two aims (1) to examine the moral reasoning abilities of four groups of people: (i) men and women with intellectual disabilities (IDs) who had a documented history of criminal offending and (ii) men and women with IDs with no known history of criminal offending, and (2) to examine the relationship between emotional and behavioural problems and moral reasoning. It was predicted that (1) there would be no significant difference between the moral reasoning of men and women with IDs, (2) men and women with IDs who are not offenders will have ‘developmentally immature’ moral reasoning in comparison to offenders, and (3) moral reasoning will significantly predict emotional and behavioural problems. Methods Sixty‐eight people with IDs were invited to take part in this study and spread across four groups: (1) men with IDs who had committed criminal offences, (2) women with IDs who had committed criminal offences, (3) men with IDs who had no known history of criminal offending, and (4) women with IDs who had no known history of criminal offending. Participants were asked to complete measures of intelligence, moral reasoning, and emotional/behavioural problems. Results As predicted, men and women did not have different moral reasoning, but offenders did have ‘developmentally more mature’ moral reasoning than non‐offenders. Women had higher levels of physical and verbal aggression, while offenders, generally, had higher levels of psychopathology. Women with a history of criminal offending had higher levels of sexually inappropriate behaviour compared to men and women in the community. Moral reasoning significantly predicted emotional and behavioural problems. Conclusions Further work in this area is needed, and interventions that aim to address a moral developmental ‘delay’ may be beneficial in reducing recidivism among this population.
    March 29, 2014   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12051   open full text
  • Consistency and specificity in burglars who commit prolific residential burglary: Testing the core assumptions underpinning behavioural crime linkage.
    Noémie Bouhana, Shane D. Johnson, Mike Porter.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. March 06, 2014
    Purpose Behavioural crime linkage is underpinned by two assumptions: (a) that offenders exhibit some degree of consistency in the way they commit offences (their modus operandi [MO]); and, (b) that offenders can be differentiated on the basis of their offence behaviour. The majority of existing studies sample at most three crimes from an offender's series of detected crimes and do not examine whether patterns differ across offenders. Here, we examine patterns observed across the entire detected series of each sampled offender, and assess how homogeneous patterns are across offenders. Methods Using a non‐parametric resampling approach, we analyse the entire crime series of 153 prolific burglars to determine if they exhibit consistency and specificity in the way they commit offences. Results Findings suggest that offenders exhibit consistency in the way they commit offences. With respect to specificity, our results suggest that patterns are not homogeneous across offenders or the type of MO considered – some offenders exhibit more specificity than do others, and offenders are more distinctive for some aspects of their MO (particularly spatial choices) than they are for others. Conclusions The findings provide support for the underlying principles of crime linkage, but suggest that some aspects of an offender's MO either conform to a common preference, or are perhaps more influenced by situational factors than stable scripted preferences. That some offenders fail to demonstrate sufficient specificity for accurate linkage suggests that identifying which crimes are likely to be the work of offenders who display more specificity a priori constitutes one challenge for future research of this kind.
    March 06, 2014   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12050   open full text
  • Police officer perceptions of harassment in England and Scotland.
    Lorraine Sheridan, Adrian J. Scott, Keri Nixon.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. February 27, 2014
    Purpose Research has demonstrated that certain relational biases exist within perceptions of stalking. One such bias concerns the perception that ex‐partner stalkers are less dangerous than those who target strangers or acquaintances despite applied research suggesting the opposite. Method In all, 135 police officers in England (where stalking has been outlawed since 1997) and 127 police officers in Scotland (where stalking has been outlawed since 2010) responded to vignettes describing a stalking scenario in which the perpetrator and victim were portrayed as strangers, acquaintances, or ex‐partners. Results Although typical relational biases existed in both samples, Scottish police officers were less susceptible to these biases than English police officers. Victim responsibility mediated the relation between prior relationship and perceptions of stalking for the English, but not the Scottish, police officers. Conclusions Future work should examine whether these biases may be found in other areas of the criminal justice system, and how far they are influenced by policy, practice, and training.
    February 27, 2014   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12049   open full text
  • Schema modes in criminal and violent behaviour of forensic cluster B PD patients: A retrospective and prospective study.
    Marije E. Keulen‐de Vos, David P. Bernstein, Silke Vanstipelen, Vivienne Vogel, Tanja P. C. Lucker, Mariët Slaats, Marloes Hartkoorn, Arnoud Arntz.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. February 24, 2014
    Purpose A clear understanding of an offender's criminal behaviour is a prerequisite for determining suitable treatment. In the literature, several specific frameworks or therapeutic approaches that aim to explicate criminal behaviour can be distinguished (e.g., cognitive analytic therapy, offence paralleling behaviour paradigm), but Schema Therapy (ST) is becoming an increasingly popular paradigm. According to forensic ST's theoretical framework, criminal and violent behaviour can be explained by an unfolding sequence of schema modes, or moment‐to‐moment states that represent emotions, cognitions, and behaviour. In this study, we examine the validity of this theory and the relationship between schema modes, psychopathy, and institutional violence. Methods Schema modes were assessed retrospectively from descriptions of patients’ crimes in a sample of 95 hospitalized cluster B personality disordered offenders. Psychopathy was rated with the Psychopathy Checklist‐Revised and institutional transgressions were coded from daily hospital reports. Results Our findings show that criminal behaviour is often preceded by schema modes that refer to feelings of vulnerability and abandonment, loneliness, and states of intoxication. Criminal behaviour itself is characterized by schema modes that refer to states of impulsivity, anger, and the use of overcompensatory strategies involving threats, intimidation, and aggression. Schema modes involving bullying and manipulation were positively correlated with the interpersonal facet of psychopathy; the vulnerable child mode was negatively correlated with the affective facet of psychopathy. The schema modes in this study moderately predicted later institutional transgressions. Conclusions Our findings suggest that the schema mode concept is of explanatory value in understanding criminal and violent behaviour.
    February 24, 2014   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12047   open full text
  • Inconsistencies undermine the credibility of confession evidence.
    Matthew A. Palmer, Lizzie Button, Emily Barnett, Neil Brewer.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. February 20, 2014
    Purpose Although inconsistencies undermine the credibility of evidence from a witness or victim, anecdotal evidence from many court cases suggests that they do not reduce the impact of confession evidence. This research provides the first empirical test of this idea by experimentally manipulating the consistency of confession evidence. Drawing on principles from attribution theory, we hypothesized that inconsistencies would undermine the credibility of confession evidence only when there was a salient, plausible alternative explanation (other than guilt) for why the defendant confessed. Methods In two experiments (total N = 245), participants were presented with information about a crime, including a confession statement, and asked to act as jurors in a courtroom case. As well as manipulating whether the confession was consistent or inconsistent with verifiable facts of the crime, we manipulated whether there was a salient alternative explanation for the confession: specifically, the presence of coercion () or the desire to protect another suspect (). Results Inconsistencies influenced participants' verdicts regardless of whether an alternative explanation was made salient, such that inconsistent confessions resulted in fewer guilty verdicts than consistent confessions. Additional mediation analysis of the data from suggested that these effects occurred, in part, because the presence of inconsistencies prompted participants to generate alternative explanations for why the defendant confessed (regardless of whether such explanations were salient in the available evidence). Conclusions Contrary to the existing literature, these results indicate that inconsistencies can undermine the credibility of confession evidence.
    February 20, 2014   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12048   open full text
  • Evaluating the effectiveness of domestic abuse prevention education: Are certain children more or less receptive to the messages conveyed?
    Claire L. Fox, Mary‐Louise Corr, David Gadd, Julius Sim.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. January 30, 2014
    Purpose A number of school‐based domestic abuse prevention programmes have been developed in the United Kingdom, but evidence as to the effectiveness of such programmes is limited. The aim of the research was to evaluate the effectiveness of one such programme and to see whether the outcomes differ by gender and experiences of domestic abuse. Method Pupils aged 13–14 years, across seven schools, receiving a 6‐week education programme completed a questionnaire to measure their attitudes towards domestic violence at pre‐, post‐test, and 3‐month follow‐up, and also responded to questions about experiences of abuse (as victims, perpetrators, and witnesses) and help seeking. Children in another six schools not yet receiving the intervention responded to the same questions at pre‐ and post‐test. In total, 1,203 children took part in the research. Results Boys and girls who had received the intervention became less accepting of domestic violence and more likely to seek help from pre‐ to post‐test compared with those in the control group; outcomes did not vary by experiences of abuse. There was evidence that the change in attitudes for those in the intervention group was maintained at 3‐month follow‐up. Conclusions These findings suggest that such a programme shows great promise, with both boys and girls benefiting from the intervention, and those who have experienced abuse and those who have not (yet) experienced abuse showing a similar degree of attitude change.
    January 30, 2014   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12046   open full text
  • Change blindness and eyewitness identification: Effects on accuracy and confidence.
    Ryan J. Fitzgerald, Chris Oriet, Heather L. Price.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. January 02, 2014
    Purpose Large changes in the visual field often go undetected, an effect referred to as change blindness. We investigated change blindness for an eyewitness event to examine its potential influence on identification accuracy and confidence. Methods Participants viewed a video that started with an innocent person walking through a building and finished with another person committing a theft. Participants subsequently attempted the thief's identification from a line‐up that contained either the thief or the innocent person from the video. Results Most viewers (64%) experienced change blindness and were unaware of the person change. Overall identification accuracy in the change blindness group was significantly lower than in the change detection group. The decrease in accuracy in the change blindness group was primarily driven by poor performance when the line‐up did not contain the thief. However, rather than misidentifying the innocent from the video, most witnesses who experienced change blindness misidentified a filler. Although change detection did not lead to a significant increase in correct identifications, it did lead to a significant increase in post‐identification confidence. Conclusions Our findings suggest that (1) although change blindness increases misidentifications, under these conditions witnesses primarily misidentify known innocents who are not at risk of wrongful conviction; and (2) confidence is inferred not only from recognition strength but also from how well observers believe the event was encoded.
    January 02, 2014   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12044   open full text
  • Not just welfare over justice: Ethics in forensic consultation.
    Philip J. Candilis, Tess M. S. Neal.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. December 28, 2013
    The ethics of forensic professionalism is often couched in terms of competing individual and societal values. Indeed, the welfare of individuals is often secondary to the requirements of society, especially given the public nature of courts of law, forensic hospitals, jails, and prisons. We explore the weaknesses of this dichotomous approach to forensic ethics, offering an analysis of Psychology's historical narrative especially relevant to the national security and correctional settings. We contend that a richer, more robust ethical analysis is available if practitioners consider the multiple perspectives in the forensic encounter, and acknowledge the multiple influences of personal, professional, and social values. The setting, context, or role is not sufficient to determine the ethics of forensic practice.
    December 28, 2013   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12038   open full text
  • Predicting verdicts using pre‐trial attitudes and standard of proof.
    Samantha Lundrigan, Mandeep K. Dhami, Katrin Mueller‐Johnson.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. December 26, 2013
    Purpose Several measures have been developed of juror pre‐trial attitudes and interpretations of beyond reasonable doubt (BRD). These have been primarily tested in North American samples. We aimed to integrate the literature on these two issues, and explored whether the effect of jurors' pre‐trial attitudes on verdicts is mediated by their interpretations of BRD. We also aimed to establish the relative predictive utility of the various measures and their relevance to a non–North American sample. Methods A total of 113 members of the jury‐eligible British public completed three measures of juror pre‐trial attitudes (i.e., Revised Legal Attitudes Questionnaire‐23 [RLAQ‐23], Juror Bias Scale [JBS], and Pre‐trial Juror Attitudes Questionnaire [PJAQ]) and two measures of BRD (i.e., direct rating [DR] and membership function [MF] methods). Participants also rendered a verdict on a hypothetical burglary case. Results With the exception of the RLAQ‐23, the pre‐trial attitude measures and the two measures of BRD were significantly independent predictors of verdicts. The PJAQ outperformed the RLAQ‐23 and JBS, whereas the MF method outperformed the DR method. We found support for a partial mediation model predicting verdicts, whereby interpretations of BRD (measured by the MF method) partially mediated the effect of pre‐trial juror attitudes (measured by the PJAQ) on verdicts. Conclusions These findings underscore the importance of examining both juror pre‐trial attitudes and interpretations of BRD when studying juror decision making.
    December 26, 2013   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12043   open full text
  • Does it matter how you deny it?: The role of demeanour in evaluations of criminal suspects.
    Amy Bradfield Douglass, Jennifer L. Ray, Lisa E. Hasel, Kathryn Donnelly.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. December 26, 2013
    Purpose In some cases of wrongful convictions, demeanour seen as inappropriate can trigger suspicions of guilt. Two experiments systematically manipulated the demeanour of criminal suspects in interrogations to test its impact on guilt ratings. Methods In Experiment 1 (N = 60), participants saw a videotaped interrogation in which the suspect displayed flat demeanour or emotional demeanour. Before viewing the interrogation, participants were told that normal reactions to trauma consisted of either flat or emotional demeanour. In Experiment 2 (N = 147), the presence of the suspect's coerced confession and demeanour evidence were both manipulated. Results In Experiment 1, a suspect who displayed flat demeanour during the interrogation produced higher ratings of guilt than did a suspect who displayed emotional demeanour, especially when participants were told to expect emotional demeanour. In Experiment 2, without a confession, flat demeanour inflated guilt ratings, whereas emotional demeanour slightly (but non‐significantly) decreased guilt ratings compared with a no demeanour information condition. When a confession was introduced, guilt ratings increased for all groups, with the highest ratings in the emotional demeanour condition. Conclusions Flat demeanour biases judgments against defendants. On its own, emotional demeanour is neutral (or potentially exonerating), but when paired with a confession, it becomes just as incriminating as flat demeanour. Recommendations for educating police professionals on the wide range of appropriate reactions to trauma are described.
    December 26, 2013   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12042   open full text
  • Children's testimony and the emotional victim effect.
    Sara Landström, Karl Ask, Charlotte Sommar, Rebecca Willén.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. December 16, 2013
    Purpose Two experiments were conducted to examine the effects of (1) child victims’ emotional expression during testimony and (2) the camera perspective used to record the testimony, on judgements of credibility. Methods Law students (N = 155 in Experiment 1; N = 86 in Experiment 2) watched a child harassment complainant provide a statement in an emotional or neutral manner, presented using different camera perspectives: balanced focus (i.e., a shot portraying an equal focus on the child complainant and the interviewer) versus picture‐in‐picture (PiP; i.e., a shot portraying only the child with an inset window depicting both the child and the interviewer in the corner of the screen) in Experiment 1 and PiP versus child focus (i.e., a shot depicting only the child) in Experiment 2. Results Although no effect was found for camera perspective, the results provide support for an emotional victim effect (EVE); the child was perceived as more credible and truthful when communicating the statement in an emotional (vs. neutral) manner. Moreover, the results provide corroborating evidence for the assumption that the EVE rests on both cognitive (expectancy confirmation) and affective (compassion) mechanisms. Conclusions These findings extend previous research by showing that the EVE and its underlying mechanisms apply to judgements of child complainants in the context of non‐sexual crimes and appear to be robust against variations of camera perspectives. Legal implications are discussed.
    December 16, 2013   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12036   open full text
  • Schema reliance and innocent alibi generation.
    Drew A. Leins, Steve D. Charman.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. December 16, 2013
    Purpose Alibis are critical components of innocent suspects' efforts to prove their innocence. However, they can often be inaccurate. Two experiments explored factors influencing innocent alibi generation. Experiment 1 tested the effect of retrieval cue (time vs. location vs. paired time and location) on report accuracy and schema reliance. Experiment 2 tested the effect of the schema consistency of critical whereabouts (consistent vs. inconsistent) on alibi accuracy and schema reliance. Methods Both experiments used the same paradigm: Participants engaged in a critical event (two events in Experiment 2), then participated in an ostensibly unrelated study occurring roughly 1 week later. During this unrelated study (in reality, the alibi generating portion of this study), participants were interviewed about their whereabouts for various times during the previous week (including the times of the critical events). Alibis were scored for accuracy and schema consistency. Results In Experiment 1, a time cue and a paired time and location cue yielded lower rates of accuracy than did a location cue. Cues including a time referent yielded high rates of schema reliance. In Experiment 2, accuracy was lower when whereabouts were schema inconsistent than when they were schema consistent. Confidence was high across conditions, irrespective of accuracy. Conclusion Time cuing appears to elicit schema reliance when generating alibis. Schema retrieval may inflate confidence in accuracy; thus, schema reliance may lead to inaccurate reporting, particularly when critical whereabouts are atypical.
    December 16, 2013   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12035   open full text
  • Forensic psychiatric experts under the legal microscope.
    Cato Grønnerød, Pål Grøndahl, Ulf Stridbeck.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. December 10, 2013
    Purpose We examined how 157 legal professionals view the role and performance of forensic psychiatric experts (psychiatrists and psychologists) in court, and what experiences they have with the experts. Methods The participants filled in an online survey with ratings and open‐ended questions. Results Their experience was fairly limited, but the general impression was one of overall satisfaction with the experts. Experience was not only valued but also clarity in language and presentation were important, together with verifiability and thoroughness. The ability or willingness to express doubt was also emphasized. In addition, a significant proportion felt they had observed differences between psychologists and psychiatrists, and they preferred psychiatrists based on a perception of higher professional skills. Conclusions Despite media uproars after controversial cases, the Norwegian system of court‐appointed experts received a positive review from the legal professionals; they report an overall positive experience with forensic psychiatric experts.
    December 10, 2013   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12037   open full text
  • The dual relationship problem in forensic and correctional practice: Community protection or offender welfare?
    Tony Ward.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. December 10, 2013
    There is no abstract available for this paper.
    December 10, 2013   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12039   open full text
  • Identifying suicide risk in a metropolitan probation trust: Risk factors and staff decision making.
    Lisa C. Cook, Jo Borrill.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. December 04, 2013
    Purpose This study aimed to identify risk factors that predicted staff judgements about previous or current suicide risk in offenders under probation supervision in a metropolitan probation trust. Method The study used data from Offender Assessment System risk assessment electronic records. Data were collected on staff judgements about previous or current risk of suicide in 38,910 offenders under community supervision in 2009/2010. Data on demographic, offence related, clinical, historical, and situational factors known to be linked with risk of suicide in relevant populations were also gathered. Results Twelve per cent of the sample were identified as previously or currently ‘at risk’ of suicide. A logistic regression revealed seven factors that reliably predicted staff decisions about suicide risk. The most significant factor which had a large effect on staff judgements was previous history of self‐harm, suicide attempts or suicidal thinking. Other factors which had a small effect on judgements included coping skills, psychiatric treatment/medication, attitude to self, childhood abuse, current psychological problems/depression, and history of close relationship problems. Several prominent risk factors for suicide in related populations did not strongly predict risk decisions including alcohol misuse, offence type, social support, age, and gender. Conclusions The study highlighted that working with offenders ‘at risk’ of suicide is a regular element of probation practice. The findings suggest that transferable risk assessment skills may support staff in suicide risk decisions. However, they also underline the need to raise awareness of prominent suicide risk factors to support staff in this challenging area of practice. The study findings strengthen support for the provision of suicide awareness training for all staff. Further research should explore staff decisions in more depth and seek to develop our understanding of risk factors associated with actual suicidal behaviour in community offenders.
    December 04, 2013   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12034   open full text
  • Pre‐release expectations and post‐release experiences of prisoners and their (ex‐)partners.
    Karen A. Souza, Friedrich Lösel, Lucy Markson, Caroline Lanskey.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. November 11, 2013
    Purpose This study compared prisoners’ and their (ex‐)partners’ forecasts and actual experiences of life after prison. The aims were to: (1) assess prisoners’ self‐expectancies of problems and actual resettlement experiences; (2) compare prisoners’ post‐release expectations and experiences to their partners’ forecasts and valuations of these outcomes; (3) examine whether pre‐prison factors have an effect on each partners’ outlook of the future; (4) examine the predictive utility of each partners’ expectations on the men's post‐release outcomes; and (5) explore a range of resettlement issues which may play a vital role in pathways for reducing reoffending (i.e., family relationships, accommodation, finances, employment, alcohol use, and drug use). Method We employed a prospective longitudinal design and used semi‐structured interviews to gather quantitative and qualitative data from 39 male prisoners in England and their respective (ex‐)partners. Results The couples showed relatively strong agreement on the men's post‐release difficulties compared to their earlier predictions; however, there was some variation in the ‘realism’ and ‘optimism’ of their outlooks. Their expectations were partially based on pre‐prison factors: higher frequencies of pre‐prison problems were positively associated with anticipated difficulties post‐release. Pre‐release expectations significantly predicted the men's post‐release difficulties with substance use and relationship factors. Conclusion Overall, our findings lend support to a dual hypothesis on the function of prisoners’ cognitions of future resettlement. On one hand, a ‘realistic view’ is important in recognizing when one is at risk for adversity. On the other hand, a ‘positive mindset’ has been associated with active coping and positive outcomes (e.g., desistance). The findings also underscore the importance of a holistic, family perspective in release and resettlement planning, and highlight key areas for targeted service delivery to promote successful desistance.
    November 11, 2013   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12033   open full text
  • Trussht me, I know what I sshaw: The acceptance of misinformation from an apparently unreliable co‐witness.
    Rachel Zajac, Jake Dickson, Robert Munn, Sarah O'Neill.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. October 28, 2013
    Purpose We used apparent co‐witness intoxication as a way to examine the effect of source credibility on the acceptance of misinformation from a co‐witness. Methods Alongside an experimental confederate, individual participants (N = 100) watched a clip involving two simulated thefts. Immediately beforehand, half of the participants watched the confederate consume what appeared to be three alcoholic beverages. During a subsequent discussion with the participant, the confederate introduced two pieces of misinformation about the clip. In the absence of the confederate, participants were then interviewed before completing a target‐absent line‐up task. Results As expected, misinformation impaired participants’ verbal reports, and misinformation about appearance impaired line‐up performance. Overall susceptibility to misinformation was not significantly related to co‐witness condition, or to participants’ ratings of the confederate's intoxication or ability to accurately complete the tasks. On individual items, however, co‐witness condition appeared to exert some influence on misinformation acceptance if the participant's pre‐misinformation response was discrepant with the misinformation, but not when it was ‘don't know’. Conclusions It is possible that effects of source credibility on misinformation acceptance may depend, at least to some extent, on the presence of a clear discrepancy between the misinformation and the witness's recollection.
    October 28, 2013   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12032   open full text
  • The effect of evidence type, identification accuracy, line‐up presentation, and line‐up administration on observers' perceptions of eyewitnesses.
    Jennifer L. Beaudry, Roderick C. L. Lindsay, Amy‐May Leach, Jamal K. Mansour, Michelle I. Bertrand, Natalie Kalmet.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. October 12, 2013
    Purpose People tend to believe eyewitness testimony and have difficulty assessing the accuracy of eyewitness identifications. This study examines observers' perceptions of eyewitness identifications made under various line‐up presentation and administration conditions. We also investigate whether observers' ability to discriminate between accurate and inaccurate identifications is enhanced by viewing video‐recorded identification decisions rather than eyewitness testimony. Methods Each participant (N = 432) viewed a video of an accurate or inaccurate eyewitness providing testimony and/or making an identification decision. Identifications were obtained from simultaneous or sequential line‐ups conducted under double‐blind, single‐blind, or post‐identification feedback administration conditions. Results Exposure to eyewitness testimony was associated with a bias to believe the evidence; exposure to the identification decision eliminated the response bias, however, it did not improve observer sensitivity to identification accuracy. Viewing the identification decision resulted in greater belief of accurate than inaccurate identifications when eyewitnesses chose from simultaneous – but not sequential – line‐ups. Regardless of evidence type or identification accuracy, observers were more likely to believe eyewitnesses who received confirmatory post‐identification feedback compared to the non‐feedback conditions. Conclusions Presenting a video record of the identification decision neither improved observers' ability to discriminate between accurate and inaccurate eyewitness identifications nor reduced belief of identifications obtained from suggestive procedures. Further research is warranted before presenting video‐recorded identification procedures in court.
    October 12, 2013   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12030   open full text
  • Criminal thinking in a Middle Eastern prison sample of thieves, drug dealers, and murderers.
    Ahmed M. Megreya, Markus Bindemann, Anna Brown.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. October 11, 2013
    Purpose The Psychological Inventory of Criminal Thinking Styles (PICTS) has been applied extensively to the study of criminal behaviour and cognition. This study aimed to explore the psychometric characteristics (factorial structure, reliability, and external validity) of an Arabic version of the PICTS, to explore cross‐cultural differences between a sample of Middle Eastern (Egyptian) prisoners and Western prison samples, and to examine the influence of type of crime on criminal thinking styles. Method A group of 130 Egyptian male prisoners who had been sentenced for theft, drug dealing, or murder completed the PICTS. Their scores were compared with the reported data of American, British, and Dutch prisoners. Results The Arabic PICTS showed scale reliabilities estimated by coefficient alpha comparable to the English version, and reliabilities estimated as test–retest correlations were high. Confirmatory factor analysis showed that the PICTS subscale scores of Egyptian prisoners best fitted a two‐factor model, in which one dimension comprised mollification, entitlement, super optimism, sentimentality, and discontinuity, and the second dimension reflected the thinking styles of power orientation, cut‐off and cognitive indolence. Observed levels of thinking styles varied by type of crime, specifically among prisoners sentenced for theft, drug dealing, and murder. Cultural differences in criminal thinking styles were also found, whereby the Egyptian prisoners recorded the highest scores in most thinking styles, while American, Dutch, and English prisoners were more comparable to each other. Conclusions This study provides one of the first investigations of criminal thinking styles in a non‐Western sample and suggests that cross‐cultural differences in the structure of these thinking styles exist. In addition, the results indicate that criminal thinking styles need to be understood by the type of crime for which a person has been sentenced.
    October 11, 2013   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12029   open full text
  • Cognitive closure and risk sensitivity in the fear of crime.
    Jonathan Jackson.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. October 05, 2013
    Purpose This study was designed to answer two questions. First, does the risk sensitivity model of worry about crime replicate in three European countries? Second, can the model be extended to include need for cognitive closure? Method A national probability survey in Italy, Bulgaria, and Lithuania measured worry about criminal victimization, risk perception, and need for cognitive closure. Additive and interactive relationships between latent constructs were tested using latent moderated structural equation modelling. Results First, perceived likelihood, control, and consequence were statistically significant additive predictors of worry about crime. Second, the association between subjective probability judgements and worry about crime was stronger among people who associated the uncertain event with serious personal consequences and among people who had a high need for cognitive closure. Third, need for cognitive closure was associated with greater perceived consequences of victimization, but not with different perceptions of the likelihood and controllability of personal victimization. Conclusions This study provides empirical support for an extended risk sensitivity model in three European countries. Findings suggest that risk perception involves multiple – and interacting – dimensions that constitute sensitivity to risk, as well as individual differences in knowledge construction, information judgement, and processing. Future work should address (1) whether probability judgements shift psychological distance to uncertain future outcomes, and (2) whether the effect of psychological distance on worry about crime is greater among people who construe the outcome to be severe in consequence and who desire definite knowledge and dislike uncertainty in their lives.
    October 05, 2013   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12031   open full text
  • Predicting nonsexual violent reoffending by sexual offenders: A comparison of four actuarial tools.
    Philip D. Howard, Georgia D. Barnett, Helen C. Wakeling.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. September 13, 2013
    Purpose This study compared the ability of four risk assessment scales to predict non‐sexual violent reoffending, and differences in non‐sexual violent reoffending rates by sexual offending history. Method Risk assessment instruments were scored, and criminal histories and three non‐sexual violent reoffending outcomes were coded, for a large sample of sexual offenders supervised by probation services in England and Wales. Predictive validities for the three outcomes were compared, varying the banding of risk scores to reflect practical constraints on offender management resources. Reoffending rates were compared by sexual offending history. Results After adjusting for risk assessment tool banding, the Offender Group Reconviction Scale version 3 and OASys Violence Predictor (OVP) had generally superior predictive validity to Risk Matrix 2000's v and c scales. However, several of OVP's dynamic risk factors were unrelated to non‐sexual violent recidivism. Non‐sexual violent reoffending rates were greater among those with prior but not current sexual offences and lower among those with indecent images offences, and sexual reoffending rates were lower but not negligible among those who had only sexually offended before the age of 16. Conclusions The use of OVP was recommended to the English and Welsh correctional services. The dynamic risk factor and sexual offence history results suggest that further work is required to optimize prediction of non‐sexual violence among sexual offenders.
    September 13, 2013   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12027   open full text
  • Internet child pornography offenders: An examination of attachment and intimacy deficits.
    Janelle Armstrong, David Mellor.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. September 13, 2013
    Purpose This study investigated attachment, intimacy, and anxiety related to interpersonal interactions, in offenders convicted of Internet child pornography (ICP), other sexual offenders, and non‐offenders. Methods The sample of 162 male participants comprised 32 ICP offenders, 32 matched child sexual offenders, 31 matched adult sexual offenders, 20 offenders convicted of both ICP and an offline sexual offence, and 47 community controls who reported that they had not been convicted of any sexual offences. Results The ICP group reported significantly less secure attachment than non‐offenders and both the matched child and adult sexual offenders. Both the ICP group and the group convicted of an ICP offence in addition to an offline sexual offence reported a significantly more fearful attachment style and a more negative view of themselves than non‐offenders. The ICP group also reported a more negative view of themselves than both of the matched sexual offender groups. Finally, the ICP group reported more social avoidance and distress than non‐offenders. Conclusions Despite a small sample size these findings provide insights into the cohort of offenders convicted of ICP and their similarities/differences to other sexual offenders.
    September 13, 2013   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12028   open full text
  • Responding to repetitive, non‐suicidal self‐harm in an English male prison: Staff experiences, reactions, and concerns.
    Lisa Marzano, Joanna R. Adler, Karen Ciclitira.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. August 28, 2013
    Objectives This study considers how those who work in prisons are affected by and respond to repetitive self‐harm of male prisoners. The perspectives of correctional staff are often overlooked in research that considers self‐harming prisoners. As prison staff have regular, potentially daily contact with prisoners who self‐harm, it is important to consider the ways in which they respond to this aspect of their job, both in terms of their own and prisoners' well‐being. Design Semi‐structured interviews were conducted with prison staff and explored using techniques of thematic analysis. Methods Semi‐structured face‐to‐face interviews were conducted with 30 correctional staff – 15 custodial officers and 15 health care staff – to explore their experiences, responses to, and ways of coping with non‐suicidal, repetitive self‐harm. Result Findings indicate high levels of frustration, tensions between health care and custodial staff, feelings of powerlessness, and low sense of job control. Conclusion We set the tasks of prison staff within the wider contexts of work‐stress literature and forensic practice. The implications of these findings are discussed in terms of prisoner and officer well‐being, secure custody, and the potential limitations both of institutional resourcing and the methodology employed within this study.
    August 28, 2013   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12025   open full text
  • Development of an actuarial static risk model suitable for automatic scoring for predicting juvenile recidivism.
    Audrey McKinlay, Victoria L. James, Randolph C. Grace.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. July 31, 2013
    Objectives To test the feasibility of an actuarial model for juvenile offending suitable for automatic scoring. Design We identified a nationally representative sample of 936 young persons aged 13–17 (745 male, 191 female) who received a juvenile justice intake in 2002 in New Zealand. Methods Best‐subsets logistic regression and a formal model selection criterion were used to generate a predictive model for reoffending, and a conservative estimate of accuracy was obtained with cross‐validation. Results Recidivism during a 1‐year follow‐up was significantly higher for male (60.8%) compared to female (46.6%) delinquents. The model showed that young persons who were male, younger at their first social welfare intake, and had more prior court dates and a greater frequency of contact with police, were more likely to re‐offend. The accuracy of the model was moderately high (area under the receiver operating characteristic curve = .710). A model developed specifically for the female cases failed to provide a significant increase in predictive accuracy. Conclusions These results demonstrate the feasibility of an actuarial model for juvenile offending that is suitable for automatic scoring. Although male delinquents pose a higher absolute risk of juvenile offending than female delinquents, a common set of items related to history of contact with police and social welfare agencies provide a similarly accurate measure of relative risk for both sexes.
    July 31, 2013   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12024   open full text
  • Three faces of justice: Competing ethical paradigms in forensic psychiatry.
    Gwen Adshead.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. July 03, 2013
    Respect for justice has traditionally been an essential principle of health care ethics. However, many bioethical accounts of justice focus only on distributive justice, and how resources for health care should be allocated. In this article, I will argue that the practice of forensic mental health care requires clinicians to engage with justice in three additional and different ways: justice as liberty and fairness; retributive justice and protection of the vulnerable; and justice as the promotion of virtue. I will argue that British forensic psychiatry favours retributive and protective justice; in contrast to a libertarian approach to forensic practice in the United States. I discuss how respect for justice as support for virtue complements therapeutic work with offenders, which aims at the development of pro‐social character. I will conclude that without respect for justice as virtue, there is a danger that clinical forensic psychiatry risks doing harm to patients and bringing the profession into disrepute.
    July 03, 2013   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12021   open full text
  • The association of distress and denial of responsibility with maladaptive personality traits and self‐esteem in offenders.
    Sharon Xuereb, Jane L. Ireland, John Archer, Michelle Davies.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. June 10, 2013
    This study aimed to examine the relationship of offenders' distress and responsibility with maladaptive personality traits, self‐esteem, and offence‐type. It also further validated the Distress and Responsibility Scale (DRS; Xuereb et al., 2009a, Pers. Individ. Diff., 46, 465). A new sub‐scale measuring social desirability was included and assessed in the DRS. Maladaptive personality traits and self‐esteem were measured in relation to the following predictions: (1) that maladaptive personality traits would positively correlate with distress (2) that self‐esteem would negatively correlate with distress and acknowledging responsibility. The sample was 405 male sexual, violent, and general offenders from a UK prison. Participants anonymously completed a questionnaire measuring the variables under investigation. The factor‐structure of the DRS was confirmed via Confirmatory Factor Analysis after minor changes. No significant differences in distress and denial of responsibility were found between sexual, violent, and general offenders. Maladaptive personality traits positively correlated with chronic and offence‐related distress, chronic self‐blame, and minimization of offence harm. Chronic and offence‐related distress and responsibility negatively related to self‐esteem. The study concludes that the DRS has reached stability, and that the social desirability scale increases the measure's validity. Assessment and treatment for offence‐related distress and denial of responsibility should be offered to all offence groups. Offenders would benefit from structured interventions to manage difficulties associated with maladaptive personality traits, including chronic distress and self‐blame. Finally, it was concluded that self‐esteem might serve a self‐defensive function for offenders.
    June 10, 2013   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12020   open full text
  • The development of a new risk model: The Threat Matrix.
    Emma Jones, Leigh Harkins, Anthony R. Beech.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. June 08, 2013
    The risk assessment of sex offenders has evolved rapidly over a 20‐year period. However, there is still disparity between empirically evaluated approaches and the needs within the applied context. This article discusses the division between the current needs in the applied setting of sex offender risk assessment, and the existing approaches to risk assessment. It highlights key needs that ought to be responded to, to continue the evolution of sex offender risk assessment (i.e., increased automation of processes, additional emphasis on early identification and prevention, and the targeting of resources towards risk). A new risk assessment model termed the Threat Matrix is introduced as a proposed response to these needs. The new model uses information derived from police systems to make proactive assessments of those who may pose a risk of sexual violence, but who have not been convicted of sexual offences. The practical and ethical implications of implementing and testing this model are discussed.
    June 08, 2013   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12019   open full text
  • After innocence: Perceptions of individuals who have been wrongfully convicted.
    Kimberley A. Clow, Amy‐May Leach.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. May 17, 2013
    Purpose Although it is easy to assume that individuals who have been wrongfully convicted are stigmatized, research has not systematically examined this issue. This research compares perceptions of individuals who have been wrongfully convicted to perceptions of offenders to investigate the stigma that wrongfully convicted persons report. Method Participants were randomly assigned to complete surveys regarding their attitudes, stereotypes, and discrimination tendencies towards one of three different groups: individuals who were wrongfully convicted of a crime, actual offenders, or people in general (control). Results Results suggested contemptuous prejudice towards offenders and wrongfully convicted persons. In comparison to the control group, individuals who had been wrongfully convicted were stereotyped more negatively, elicited more negative emotions, and were held at a greater social distance. Although participants did report greater pity for wrongfully convicted persons than others, this pity did not translate into greater assistance or support. Conclusions Perceptions of wrongfully convicted persons appear similar to negative, stigmatized views of offenders. Individuals faced stigma and discrimination even after exoneration.
    May 17, 2013   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12018   open full text
  • You cannot hide your telephone lies: Providing a model statement as an aid to detect deception in insurance telephone calls.
    Sharon Leal, Aldert Vrij, Lara Warmelink, Zarah Vernham, Ronald P. Fisher.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. May 16, 2013
    Deception research regarding insurance claims is rare but relevant given the financial loss in terms of fraud. In Study 1, a field study in a large multinational insurance fraud detection company, truth telling mock claimants (N = 19) and lying mock claimants (N = 21) were interviewed by insurance company telephone operators. These operators classified correctly only 50% of these truthful and lying claimants, but their task was particularly challenging: Claimants said little, and truthful and deceptive statements did not differ in quality (measured with Criteria‐Based Content Analysis [CBCA]) or plausibility. In Study 2, a laboratory experiment, participants in the experimental condition (N = 43) were exposed to an audiotaped truthful and detailed account of an event that was unrelated to insurance claims (a day at the motor races). The number of words, quality of the statement (measured with CBCA), and plausibility of the participants' accounts were compared with participants who were not given a model statement (N = 40). The participants who had listened to the model statement provided longer statements than control participants, truth tellers obtained higher CBCA scores than liars, and only in the model statement condition did truth tellers sound more plausible than liars. Providing participants with a model statement is thus an innovative and successful tool to elicit cues to deception. Providing such a model has the potential to enhance performance in insurance call interviews, and, as we argue, in many other interview settings.
    May 16, 2013   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12017   open full text
  • Helping to sort the liars from the truth‐tellers: The gradual revelation of information during investigative interviews.
    Coral J. Dando, Ray Bull, Thomas C. Ormerod, Alexandra L. Sandham.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. April 20, 2013
    Research examining detection of verbal deception reveals that lay observers generally perform at chance. Yet, in the criminal justice system, laypersons that have not undergone specialist investigative training are frequently called upon to make veracity judgements (e.g., solicitors; magistrates; juries). We sought to improve performance by manipulating the timing of information revelation during investigative interviews. A total of 151 participants played an interactive computer game as either a truth‐teller or a deceiver, and were interviewed afterwards. Game information known to the interviewer was revealed either early, at the end of the interview, or gradually throughout. Subsequently, 30 laypersons individually viewed a random selection of interviews (five deceivers and five truth‐tellers from each condition), and made veracity and confidence judgements. Veracity judgements were most accurate in the gradual condition, p < .001, η2 = .97 (above chance), and observers were more confident in those judgements, p < .001, η2 = .99. Deceptive interviewees reported the gradual interviews to be the most cognitively demanding, p < .001; η2 = .24. Our findings suggest that the detection of verbal deception by non‐expert observers can be enhanced by employing interview techniques that maximize deceivers' cognitive load, while allowing truth‐tellers the opportunity to respond to evidence incrementally.
    April 20, 2013   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12016   open full text
  • Eliciting intelligence from sources: The first scientific test of the Scharff technique.
    Pär A. Granhag, Sebastian C. Montecinos, Simon Oleszkiewicz.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. March 22, 2013
    Purpose The gathering of human intelligence (HUMINT) is of utmost importance, yet the scientific literature is silent with respect to the effectiveness of different information elicitation techniques. Our aim was to remedy this by conducting the first scientific test of the so‐called Scharff technique (named after the successful German WWII interrogator). Method We developed a new experimental paradigm, mirroring some main features of a typical HUMINT situation. The participants (N = 93) were given information on a planned terrorist attack, and were instructed to strike a balance between not revealing too much or too little information in an upcoming interview. One third was interviewed with the Scharff technique (conceptualized to include four different tactics), one‐third was asked open questions only, and the final third was asked specific questions only. The effectiveness of the three techniques was assessed by a novel set of objective and subjective measures. Results Our main findings show that (1) the three techniques did not differ with respect to the objective amount of new information gathered; (2) the participants in the Scharff condition perceived (as predicted) that it was more difficult to read the interviewer's information objectives; and (3) the participants in the Scharff‐ and the Open‐question condition (incorrectly) perceived to have revealed significantly less information than the participants in the Specific question condition. Conclusions We presented a new experimental paradigm, and new dependent measures, for studying the effectiveness of different information elicitation techniques. We consider the outcome for the Scharff technique as rather promising, but future refinements are needed.
    March 22, 2013   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12015   open full text
  • Short‐term goals and physically hedonistic values as mediators of the past‐crime–future‐crime relationship.
    Glenn D. Walters.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. February 22, 2013
    Purpose This study was designed to evaluate whether two features of antisocial cognition, short‐term goals, and physically hedonistic values mediate the past‐crime–future‐crime relationship. Methods Data from 395 members of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth–Child Data (NLSY‐C) were used to test this hypothesis. A path analysis was performed, with past crime serving as the independent (predictor) variable, future crime serving as the dependent (outcome) variable, and short‐term goals and physically hedonistic values serving as mediating variables. Results The results of a structured equation modelling path analysis revealed a significant mediating effect for hedonistic values but not for short‐term goals, when both variables were included in the same analysis. A causal mediation analysis was then conducted on the past crime → physically hedonistic values → future crime relationship, the results of which disclosed the presence of a partially mediated effect of physically hedonistic values on the past‐crime–future‐crime relationship after controlling for age, race, gender, and low self‐control. When short‐term goals were analysed separately, they also partially mediated the past‐crime–future‐crime relationship, although the effect was weaker than when physically hedonistic values served as the mediator. Conclusions Hedonistic values and, to a lesser extent, short‐term goals appear to mediate crime continuity, perhaps by establishing a state of psychological inertia, whereby certain psychological processes help maintain negative behavioural patterns like crime.
    February 22, 2013   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12014   open full text
  • The effects of cross‐examination on children's reports of neutral and transgressive events.
    Rhiannon Fogliati, Kay Bussey.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. February 18, 2013
    Purpose In many jurisdictions child witnesses who testify in court about their own sexual abuse are cross‐examined by a defence attorney. Children find this process to be distressing, and despite recent child‐focussed modifications to other aspects of the legal process, cross‐examination has remained largely unaltered. This lack of modification is due, in part, to the assumption that cross‐examination promotes truthful testimony (Wigmore, 1974 Evidence in trials at common law). However, little empirical research has investigated the effects of cross‐examination questions on children's reports of neutral and transgressive events. To examine these effects a laboratory‐based study was conducted. Method One hundred and twenty kindergarten (M = 6 years) and grade 2 (M = 8 years) students participated individually in a staged event. Children witnessed an adult commit a transgression and were then interviewed twice about it. Children first underwent a direct‐examination interview followed by either a direct‐ or cross‐examination interview. Results Children's reports of neutral events were significantly less accurate in Interview 2 cross‐examination, than they were in Interview 1 direct‐examination, whereas children interviewed twice with direct‐examination were equally accurate in Interviews 1 and 2. Furthermore, children whose second interview involved cross‐examination were less accurate in their reports of neutral events than were children whose second interview was a direct examination. Cross‐examination also affected some children's disclosures of a witnessed transgression. More of the older children provided truthful disclosures of the transgression in the initial direct examination compared with the Interview 2 cross‐examination. Conclusions Findings suggest that cross‐examination as used in this study may not be the most effective procedure for eliciting truthful testimony for both neutral and transgressive events from children aged between 5 and 8 years.
    February 18, 2013   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12010   open full text
  • The effectiveness of eye‐closure in repeated interviews.
    Annelies Vredeveldt, Alan D. Baddeley, Graham J. Hitch.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. February 18, 2013
    Purpose Closing the eyes during recall can help witnesses remember more about a witnessed event. This study examined the effectiveness of eye‐closure in a repeated recall paradigm with immediate free recall followed 1 week later by both free and cued recall. We examined whether eye‐closure was more or less effective during the second free‐recall attempt compared with the first, whether eye‐closure during the first recall attempt had an impact on subsequent free‐ and cued‐recall performance, and whether eye‐closure during the second free recall could facilitate the recall of new, previously unreported, information (reminiscence). Method Participants witnessed a videotaped event and participated in a first free‐recall attempt (with eyes open or closed) a few minutes later. After a week, they provided another free recall, followed by a cued‐recall interview (with eyes open or closed). Results Eye‐closure during the first free‐recall attempt had no significant effect on performance during any of the recall attempts. However, eye‐closure during the second session increased the amount of correct visual information reported in that session by 36.7% in free recall and by 35.3% in cued recall, without harming testimonial accuracy. Crucially, eye‐closure also facilitated the recall of new, previously unreported visual information. Conclusions The findings extend previous research in showing that the eye‐closure instruction can still be effective when witnesses are interviewed repeatedly, and that it can facilitate the elicitation of new information. Thus, the eye‐closure instruction constitutes a simple and time‐efficient interview tool for police interviewers.
    February 18, 2013   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12013   open full text
  • Overlooking coerciveness: The impact of interrogation techniques and guilt corroboration on jurors’ judgments of coerciveness.
    Netta Shaked‐Schroer, Mark Costanzo, Dale E. Berger.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. February 11, 2013
    Purpose The present study investigated whether mock jurors judged the coerciveness of an interrogation differently based on whether or not a confession led to the discovery of corroborating evidence. Specifically, we examined whether jurors were likely to overlook tactics they would otherwise find objectionable if they were confident that the defendant was guilty. Method A 2 × 2 between‐subjects design was used to examine the influence of interrogation techniques (low pressure or high pressure) and level of guilt corroboration (uncorroborated or corroborated) on mock jurors' verdicts and ratings of an interrogation. Two hundred and two jury‐eligible participants read a case summary, watched a realistic video recording of an interrogation that included a confession, and read prosecution and defence closing arguments. Participants then decided on a verdict and answered a series of questions about the interrogation and confession. Results The interrogation was rated as significantly less coercive when the confession led to the discovery of corroborating evidence than when corroborating evidence was not found. Furthermore, participants who viewed a high‐pressure interrogation rated it as less coercive when the confession was corroborated by additional evidence than when it was not. There was no difference between the corroborated and uncorroborated conditions for the low‐pressure interrogation. Conclusions The present findings support the idea that more extreme tactics may be considered less coercive when they produce a greater certainty that the defendant is guilty. The results can be explained in terms of self‐presentation theories.
    February 11, 2013   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12011   open full text
  • Remorse in oral and handwritten false confessions.
    Gina Villar, Joanne Arciuli, Helen M. Paterson.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. February 11, 2013
    Purpose The search for objective markers of a true versus false confession is an important but under‐researched area. In the first study of its kind, we examined the utility of expressions of remorse as a marker of a true compared with a false oral versus written confession. Methods We elicited both written and oral false confessional statements and true accounts from 85 participants. Results Results showed that the proportion of remorseful words that participants produced was significantly higher in their true compared with their false confessions, in both oral and written confession modalities. Furthermore, an acoustic analysis of oral confessions revealed that participants' remorseful utterances were significantly louder in their true compared with their false confessions. Conclusions These findings suggest that the presence and nature of remorseful utterances in oral and written statements are useful in the identification of true versus false confessions.
    February 11, 2013   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12012   open full text
  • The association between investigative interviewers' knowledge of question type and adherence to best‐practice interviewing.
    Su‐Lin B. Yii, Martine B. Powell, Belinda Guadagno.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. December 03, 2012
    It is well established that not all investigative interviewers adhere to ‘best‐practice’ interview guidelines (i.e., the use of open‐ended questions) when interviewing child witnesses about abuse. However, little research has examined the sub skills associated with open question usage. In this article, we examined the association between investigative interviewers' ability to identify various types of questions and adherence to open‐ended questions in a standardized mock interview. Study 1, incorporating 27 trainee police interviewers, revealed positive associations between open‐ended question usage and two tasks; a recognition task where trainees used a structured protocol to guide their response and a recall task where they generated examples of open‐ended questions from memory. In Study 2, incorporating a more heterogeneous sample of 40 professionals and a different training format and range of tests, positive relationships between interviewers' identification of questions and adherence to best‐practice interviewing was consistently revealed. A measure of interviewer knowledge about what constitutes best‐practice investigative (as opposed to knowledge of question types) showed no association with interviewer performance. The implications of these findings for interviewer training programs are discussed.
    December 03, 2012   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12000   open full text
  • Sex offenders with intellectual disability referred to levels of community and secure provision: Comparison and prediction of pathway.
    Derek Carson, William R. Lindsay, Anthony J. Holland, John L. Taylor, Gregory O'Brien, Jessica R. Wheeler, Lesley Steptoe, Susan Johnston.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. December 03, 2012
    Purpose To compare characteristics of sex offenders with an intellectual disability (ID) referred to community‐based and different levels of secure services. To identify those characteristics, which predict referrals to community‐based or secure services. Methods A total of 131 cases of sex offenders with ID referred to an ID service in a number of health board regions in the UK in 2002 (and 2003 for high secure referrals) were reviewed. Data were collected on demographic information, ethnicity, level of learning disability, possible medical diagnoses, psychiatric diagnoses, abuse experienced in childhood, living circumstances, employment or occupation, referring agent, legal status on day of referral, index behaviour, age at time of index behaviour, charges, legal status on day of index behaviour, previous problematic behaviour, and previous offending. Data were entered into a binomial logistic regression model in an attempt to predict the referrals to community‐based services. Results Numerous characteristics were found to be associated with the different levels of service security, but only two predictor variables retained a strong association with community or secure referrals in the model. The likelihood of the offender being referred to a community‐based service increased if they were based in the community at the time of the index behaviour and decreased as the diversity of problematic behaviour exhibited by the offenders increased. Conclusions Given the relatively high proportion of referrals to community‐based services and the fact that many of these referrals had a complicated offence history, it is important that community‐based services are properly equipped and resourced to deal with such referrals. In particular, the case is made that services for sexual offenders with ID at all levels of security should at least have available interventions directed at aggression.
    December 03, 2012   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12005   open full text
  • Assisting jurors: Promoting recall of trial information through the use of a trial‐ordered notebook.
    Lorraine Hope, Naomi Eales, Arta Mirashi.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. November 20, 2012
    Purpose This study examined the effects of note taking on juror recall of trial information and, specifically, investigated whether providing mock jurors with a pre‐structured Trial‐Ordered Notebook (TON) was more beneficial for subsequent recall than freestyle note taking by jurors. Previous research has demonstrated some benefits of freestyle note taking. However, drawing on theories relating to note taking developed in educational contexts, we predicted that providing jurors with a note taking aid designed to follow the trial structure would facilitate enhanced performance on a subsequent recall task. Method Community‐based participants served as mock jurors in a criminal trial and were permitted to take notes during the trial, using either the structured TON or plain paper (‘freestyle’ note taking) although participants in a control condition were not permitted to take notes. After watching the trial video, all participants reached an individual verdict and responded to cued recall questions concerning details of the trial. Results Mock jurors using the TON to take notes correctly recorded significantly more legally relevant details during the trial and reported more correct information in the post‐trial recall task than participants who took unaided notes (or those who made no notes at all). TON participants also reported more relevant legal information correctly in the recall task and evaluated their experience of note taking more positively than those in the free note taking condition. Conclusions The findings are discussed in relation to differences in individual experience of taking notes and the benefits that may accrue from an innovative juror aid such as the Trial‐Ordered Notebook.
    November 20, 2012   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12003   open full text
  • Tactical thieves: The process building to the criminal event.
    James F. Kenny.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. November 20, 2012
    Purpose The process model presented here was developed as part of safety seminars to help participants recognize criminal preferences and tactics. Method The assessing phase of the model identifies circumstances and target characteristics that thieves find favourable. The approaching phase identifies manipulative and deceptive tactics that thieves use to bait, distract, and control their targets. Result Theft is often the end result of a dynamic set of highly visible, purposeful, and progressively aggressive interactions between criminals and their targets. Conclusion While many thieves are highly skilled, individuals can reduce their risk of selection by limiting criminal opportunity and accessibility. Those targets that identify and respond promptly and effectively to criminal approaches may cause the thieves to withdraw.
    November 20, 2012   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12004   open full text
  • Early maladaptive schemas in relation to facets of psychopathy and institutional violence in offenders with personality disorders.
    Farid Chakhssi, David Bernstein, Corine Ruiter.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. November 08, 2012
    Purpose Current knowledge suggests that the psychopathy construct is multifaceted in nature, and reflects different underlying pathological mechanisms, including neurobiological dysfunction and maladaptive cognitions. Although many contemporary studies focus on neurobiological aspects of psychopathy, few have addressed the maladaptive cognitions. Method In this study, we examined facets of Hare's psychopathy construct in terms of their associations with maladaptive cognitions, as defined by Young's cognitive theory of Early Maladaptive Schemas (EMS). Personality disordered offenders (N = 124) were assessed with the PCL‐R and the Young Schema Questionnaire. Results The PCL‐R Lifestyle and Antisocial Facets were significantly related to EMS Mistrust/Abuse and Insufficient Self‐Control, consistent with our hypotheses, and were significantly, but negatively, related to EMS Subjugation. Also as hypothesized, EMS showed no associations with the PCL‐R Affective and Interpersonal facets. Contrary to our expectation, EMS did not predict institutional violence. Conclusion Our findings suggest that schemas relating to mistrust, inadequate self‐control/low frustration tolerance, and autonomy/dominance, play a role in the impulsive lifestyle and antisocial behaviour features of psychopathy. Treatments that focus on ameliorating these schemas may lead to better outcomes in psychopathic offenders.
    November 08, 2012   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12002   open full text
  • Influence of eyewitness age and recall error on mock juror decision‐making.
    Kaila Bruer, Joanna D. Pozzulo.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. November 07, 2012
    The purpose of this research was to determine if child eyewitnesses are seen as more or less credible compared with older eyewitnesses and to determine whether the number of descriptive errors made while recalling the appearance of a perpetrator has an influence on perceived credibility of the witness. Mock jurors were given a mock trial that presented a positive identification by an eyewitness where age of the eyewitness (4‐, 12‐, 20‐year‐old) and the number of perpetrator descriptor errors (i.e., 0, 3, 6) made by the eyewitness were manipulated. Perceived levels of credibility, accuracy, and determinations of guilt were compared using a self‐report questionnaire. Results support the hypothesis that mock jurors perceive eyewitnesses who make fewer errors in descriptions with more integrity (i.e., more credible, reliable, and accurate) and perceive the evidence presented by them (i.e., description of perpetrator and description of events) as more reliable. Overall, adult eyewitnesses are perceived with more integrity than child eyewitnesses.
    November 07, 2012   doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12001   open full text
  • Exploiting liars' verbal strategies by examining the verifiability of details.
    Galit Nahari, Aldert Vrij, Ronald P. Fisher.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. October 24, 2012
    Background We examined the hypothesis that liars will report their activities strategically and will, if possible, avoid mentioning details that can be verified by the investigator. Method A total of 38 participants wrote a statement in which they told the truth or lied about their activities during a recent 30‐minute period. Two coders counted the frequency of occurrence of details that can be verified and that cannot be verified. Results Liars, compared with truth tellers, included fewer details that can be verified and an equal number of details that cannot be verified in their statement, and the ratio between verifiable and unverifiable details was smaller in liars compared with truth tellers. High percentages of truth tellers and liars were classified correctly based on the frequency counting of verifiable details (79%) or the ratio between verifiable and unverifiable details (71%). Those percentages were higher than the percentage that could be classified correctly (63%) based on verifiable and unverifiable detail combined. We compared our verifiability approach with other theoretical approaches as to why differences in detail between truth tellers and liars emerge.
    October 24, 2012   doi: 10.1111/j.2044-8333.2012.02069.x   open full text
  • The guilty adjustment: Response trends on the symptom validity test.
    Dominic J. Shaw, Aldert Vrij, Samantha Mann, Sharon Leal, Jackie Hillman.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. October 24, 2012
    Purpose To our knowledge this was the first experiment that examined response trends over the course of a Symptom Validity Test (SVT). We predicted that the guilty group would avoid being associated with potentially incriminating information, and that they would do this more at the beginning of the test than towards the end. Method The 86 participants of the guilty group carried out an illegal activity in a room and were instructed to deny having been in that room in a subsequent interview. The 82 innocent participants had never been in that particular room. During the interview the guilty and innocent groups were exposed to a 12‐item SVT. Results and Conclusion As predicted, the guilty participants selected fewer correct (crime related) items than innocents, and this tendency to avoid selecting the correct items was the strongest during the first half of the SVT. The implications of the findings for using an SVT in real life are discussed.
    October 24, 2012   doi: 10.1111/j.2044-8333.2012.02070.x   open full text
  • Detecting offence paralleling behaviours in a medium secure psychiatric unit.
    Giouliana Kadra, Michael Daffern, Colin Campbell.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. October 23, 2012
    Purpose Offence paralleling behaviour (OPB) is a relatively new concept that emphasizes the assessment and modification of behavioural patterns that parallel criminal offending. Extant empirical research into OPB has typically focussed on the similarity between aggressive behaviours observed in custody and violent index offences perpetrated in the community; the results of these studies have been inconsistent, with the degree of similarity varying within subjects and across studies; (Daffern, Howells, Stacey, Hogue, & Mooney, 2008; Daffern, Howells, Mannion, & Tonkin, 2009). The aim of this study was to establish the level of similarity between OPB predictions and actual in‐patient aggressive behaviours. Method This prospective pilot study used a novel practice algorithm (Jones, 2010a) to develop a reference formulation from which OPBs and Pro‐social alternate behaviours (PABs), the pro‐social variants of OPBs, were predicted. Participants were five mentally disordered offenders resident in a UK medium secure psychiatric unit. Following generation of a reference formulation and OPB and PAB predictions the participants were monitored for 6 months. The degree of similarity between predicted and actual OPBs and PABs was calculated using Jaccard's coefficient. Results Results indicated considerable similarity between matched (pairing predictions and their corresponding actual behaviours) OPBs, which were also more similar than random pairs (pairing randomly selected predictions and aggressive behaviours). Conclusion This study revealed the existence of OPB in mentally disordered offenders and has provided the first test of a novel practice algorithm, revealing its potential to guide OPB formulations.
    October 23, 2012   doi: 10.1111/j.2044-8333.2012.02066.x   open full text
  • Terrorists' personal constructs and their roles: A comparison of the three Islamic terrorists.
    David Canter, Sudhanshu Sarangi, Donna Youngs.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. October 15, 2012
    It is hypothesized that individuals who play different roles in terrorist organizations will have different psychological processes underlying their activities. An innovative examination of the personal construct systems of terrorists explored this. As part of a larger study, three individuals convicted of Islamic‐related terrorist violence in India were interviewed using a semi‐structured life narrative procedure enhanced by a Repertory Grid (Kelly, 1955/1991). One was a senior leader of a terrorist group, one a subordinate, the third a person who planted a bomb without full knowledge of the larger design he was part of. Principal component analyses of these grids informed by comments from the life narratives were used to elaborate each man's conceptual system and how it related to his commitment to violence. Important differences among the three individuals' in their construct systems were found. This demonstrated that the forms of Jihadi commitment is embedded in the individual's personal construct system. So, although these three case studies can only be taken as providing indicative results, they do point to aspects of construct systems that reveal the potential for disengagement, being most likely present in the lower echelons of terrorist organizations. Those who are unable to reconstrue themselves as having a non‐terrorist future are unlikely to disengage. This is probably typical of those who lead these organizations. The results therefore contribute to the growing literature arguing for significant differences in terrorists' understanding of themselves and their roles and provide an original methodology for assessing a person's potential for deradicalization.
    October 15, 2012   doi: 10.1111/j.2044-8333.2012.02067.x   open full text
  • Applying the Cry of Pain Model as a predictor of deliberate self‐harm in an early‐stage adult male prison population.
    Karen Slade, Robert Edelmann, Marcia Worrall, Diane Bray.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. October 03, 2012
    Purpose Deliberate self‐harming behaviour is more prevalent within the prison environment than in community samples, with those in the first weeks of imprisonment at greatest risk. Research in this area has been largely atheoretical and a unifying model may improve the predictability of assessment and the development of intervention approaches. This study applied William and Pollock's (2001) Cry of Pain model as the theoretical process of deliberate self‐harm in the early stages of imprisonment. Methods A prospective study of new arrivals at an adult male prison. Participants (n = 181) completed questionnaires and it was hypothesized that the factors derived from the model (perceived stress, defeat, entrapment, and absence of rescue factors) would be predictive of future deliberate self‐harm. Prisoners with active psychosis and non‐English speakers were excluded. All participants were followed up for 4 months for instances of self‐harm. Eighteen participants engaged in self‐harm during this period. Results The Cry of Pain model was supported in the analysis. Hierarchical binary logistic regression confirmed that all features of the model were supported as predictive of future self‐harm in prison, even after controlling for previous self‐harm, depression, and hopelessness. Conclusion The Cry of Pain model is supported as a predictive model for deliberate self‐harm in prison. Suggestions are offered as to the impact on assessment and intervention directions in prison.
    October 03, 2012   doi: 10.1111/j.2044-8333.2012.02065.x   open full text
  • The religious conversion and race of a prisoner: Mock parole board members' decisions, perceptions, and emotions.
    Monica K. Miller, Samuel C. Lindsey, Jennifer A. Kaufman.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. September 26, 2012
    Parole board members (PBMs) decide whether to release inmates on parole. Decisions may be affected by in‐group bias or stereotypes regarding religion and race. Two experiments investigated whether religious conversions/secular lifestyle changes and race affect mock PBMs' release decisions, emotions, and perceptions. Mock PBMs read a case file of an inmate who was eligible for parole and decided whether to grant parole. Study 1 manipulated whether the inmate had converted to Christianity or Islam, had a secular lifestyle change, or had no lifestyle change. Study 2 also varied race (African American or Caucasian). Race was not a significant factor, possibly because the manipulation was not strong enough to influence participants or because participants did not want to appear racist. Conversions to Islam and Christianity impacted the parole decision, and effects were mediated by believability of the conversion. Secular lifestyle changes affected release decisions and were mediated by perceptions of the inmate and beliefs about his likelihood of recidivism. Such inmates were the most likely to be released and were perceived most positively; their conversions were the most believable. Inmates who made no changes were perceived least positively, indicating that any lifestyle change is better than none. Importantly, no bias towards either religion (Islam, Christianity) was found. Furthermore, conversion type affected how scared PBMs were of the inmate, but this fear did not impact release decisions.
    September 26, 2012   doi: 10.1111/j.2044-8333.2012.02063.x   open full text
  • Lie detection during high‐stakes truths and lies.
    Marianna E. Carlucci, Nadja S. Compo, Laura Zimmerman.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. September 24, 2012
    Purpose The current study seeks to expand the deception detection literature by using real‐world pre‐interrogative interviews to discern differences in how novices (students) versus experts (police officers) make judgments about truths and lies. Methods Videotapes of routine traffic stops depicting either liars (incriminating evidence was found in the car) or truth‐tellers (no evidence was found in the car) were edited so the final car search was cut out. Novices and experts watched the tapes and made truth or lie judgments about the subject in each video. Results Overall accuracy of detecting truths and lies for students was 63%, while overall accuracy for police was 60%. The difference between the groups was not significant. These results were then compared with previously published rates (Bond & DePaulo, 2006). Students' overall accuracy rates in this study were higher than previously published accuracy rates. However, police officers' accuracy rates were not higher than previously published accuracy rates. Conclusions Realistic stimulus materials seem to increase overall accuracy rates for students. However, despite differences in experience, there was no difference between novice and expert truth and lie accuracy.
    September 24, 2012   doi: 10.1111/j.2044-8333.2012.02064.x   open full text
  • ‘Mapping’ deception in adolescents: Eliciting cues to deceit through an unanticipated spatial drawing task.
    Emma Roos af Hjelmsäter, Lisa Öhman, Pär Anders Granhag, Aldert Vrij.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. September 24, 2012
    Purpose In this experiment we examined whether an unanticipated spatial task could increase the differences between lying and truth telling groups of adolescents. In addition, we explored whether there are some elements of such a spatial task that elicit more diagnostic cues to deception than others. Methods In groups of three, adolescents (N = 150, aged 13–14) either experienced (‘truth tellers’) or imagined (‘liars’) an event. In subsequent individual interviews, the adolescents were asked to provide both a general verbal description of the event (the anticipated task), and a spatial description by making marks on a sketch (the unanticipated task). Next, adults (N = 200) rated the degree of consistency between either the general descriptions or the spatial descriptions from the adolescents in each triad. Results The differences between liars and truth tellers were larger for the spatial markings (the unanticipated task) than for the general verbal descriptions (the anticipated task). Importantly, as predicted, the difference between lying and truth‐telling triads was most manifest for markings of salient (vs. non‐salient) aspects of the event. Conclusions The results suggests that (a) using spatial tasks may be a useful tool for detecting deception in adolescents, but that (b) the assessment of credibility should only draw on the salient aspects of the unanticipated spatial task.
    September 24, 2012   doi: 10.1111/j.2044-8333.2012.02068.x   open full text
  • Why ordinary people comply with environmental laws: A structural model on normative and attitudinal determinants of illegal anti‐ecological behaviour.
    Ana M. Martín, Bernardo Hernández, Martha Frías‐Armenta, Stephany Hess.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. August 14, 2012
    Purpose. The aim of this study is to propose and test a comprehensive model of compliance with environmental law (EL). The legal and psychosocial peculiarities of environmental transgressions suggest that the nature and relative impact of the determinants of ordinary people's compliance with EL may differ from those involved in compliance with ordinary laws. Method. A total of 439 university students of Law, Psychology, Pedagogy, and Speech Therapy majors, aged between 18 and 58, took part in the study. Participants answered a questionnaire assessing illegal anti‐ecological behaviour (IAEB), legal‐sanction‐related variables, injunctive and prescriptive social norms, personal norms, and sustainability attitudes. The data from all participants were processed using structural equation analysis to test the hypothesized model. Results. The main antecedents of IAEB are personal norms and, to a lesser extent, sustainability attitudes and descriptive social norms. Personal norms on IAEB are influenced by injunctive social norms and also by sustainability attitudes. Legal‐sanction‐related variables affect personal norms and IAEB, but only by indirectly influencing social norms. Conclusions. Although legal‐sanction‐related variables and norms have been traditionally used to explain illegal behaviour, the legal and psychosocial peculiarities of IAEB are reflected in the process of compliance with environmental protection laws. Results allow for a refinement of the relationship between personal and social norms, showing that the main determinants of IAEB is personal norm, but that descriptive social norms also directly affect behaviour, and that sustainability attitudes play an unquestionable role in compliance with ELs.
    August 14, 2012   doi: 10.1111/j.2044-8333.2012.02062.x   open full text
  • Two heads are better than one? How to effectively use two interviewers to elicit cues to deception.
    Samantha Mann, Aldert Vrij, Dominic J. Shaw, Sharon Leal, Sarah Ewens, Jackie Hillman, Par Anders Granhag, Ronald P. Fisher.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. July 26, 2012
    Background. We examined the effect of a second interviewer's demeanour on cues to deception. We predicted that a supportive demeanour would be the most beneficial for eliciting verbal cues to deceit, as it would encourage truth tellers, but not liars, to say more. In addition, we examined the extent to which interviewees deliberately made eye contact with the interviewers. Liars take their credibility less for granted than truth tellers, and therefore have a greater drive to be convincing. Liars are thus more likely to monitor the interviewer to determine if the interviewer appears to believe them. Method. Participants appeared before two interviewers: the first asked all the questions and the second remained silent. The second interviewer exhibited either a supportive, neutral, or a suspicious demeanour. Results. Truth tellers provided significantly more detail than liars, but only in the supportive second interviewer condition. The effect of a second interviewer's demeanour on detail was perhaps remarkable given that the interviewees hardly looked at the second interviewer (less than 10% of the time). Liars displayed more deliberate eye contact (with the first interviewer) than truth tellers did. Conclusions. A supportive second interviewer has a positive effect on interviewing. We discuss this finding in the wider contexts of investigative interviewing and interviewing to detect deception.
    July 26, 2012   doi: 10.1111/j.2044-8333.2012.02055.x   open full text
  • Investigating the implicit theories of rape‐prone men using an interpretative bias task.
    Emily Blake, Theresa A. Gannon.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. June 14, 2012
    Purpose. Ward (2000) has hypothesized that sexual offenders hold offence supportive implicit theories (ITs) or schemata that function to facilitate or maintain offending behaviour. The present research aimed to determine whether rape‐prone men hold the same offence supportive ITs as those that have been identified in rapists. Method. This study adopted both an explicit measure of ITs and also an implicit measure of ITs (an interpretative bias task). In the implicit task, participants viewed ambiguous stimuli (one‐sentence statements) that may be interpreted in either a rape‐supportive manner, or a non‐rape‐supportive manner. Participant's interpretation of the stimuli was assessed via a memory recognition task. We predicted that men higher on proclivity to rape – who presumably hold strong mental representations of rape‐supportive themes – would be more likely to interpret stimuli in a rape‐supportive manner relative to non‐rape‐supportive stimuli compared to men lower on rape proclivity. Results. Using multiple regression to determine the relative contributions of both explicit and implicit measures for predicting rape proclivity, we found that only the explicit, self‐report questionnaire and one of the ITs, ‘women are sex objects’ (as measured by the interpretative bias task), was significantly related to a person's rape proclivity score. Conclusions. This result indicates that rape‐prone men may not share the same beliefs as convicted rapists, which could be a key difference between men at risk of offending, and those who have been convicted of a sexual offence.
    June 14, 2012   doi: 10.1111/j.2044-8333.2012.02056.x   open full text
  • The showup identification procedure: An exploration of systematic biases.
    Victoria Z. Lawson, Jennifer E. Dysart.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. May 30, 2012
    Purpose. Showups are common, yet little research has investigated the biasing factors that may influence showup identifications. We investigated the effects of cross‐race conditions and clothing bias on showup identification decisions. Additionally, we explored identification decisions made in a subsequent lineup dependent on race, clothing, and showup‐target‐presence. Methods. Participants watched a mock crime and were presented with a showup in which suspect race, target‐presence, and the clothing worn by the suspect were varied. Following a delay, participants viewed a target‐present or ‐absent lineup and were asked to make a second identification decision. Results. Presentation of the suspect in the clothing worn by the perpetrator increased choosing rates in both own‐race and other‐race conditions. Despite this, differential patterns of decision response latencies indicated that eyewitnesses may use clothing information differently when making own‐race compared to other‐race identification decisions. No evidence for an own‐race bias in showup identifications was found; however, other‐race lineup identifications were less accurate than own‐race lineup identifications. Further, participants in own‐race and other‐race conditions differed in the extent to which they were affected by multiple identification procedures. Viewing an own‐race innocent suspect in a showup increased subsequent false lineup identifications, while choosing the innocent suspect from the showup was necessary to increase false lineup identifications in other‐race conditions. Conclusions. Different situational factors may affect the identification accuracy of eyewitnesses in own‐race and other‐race conditions for both showup and lineup procedures. Particular caution is advised when showups are clothing‐biased and multiple identification procedures are used.
    May 30, 2012   doi: 10.1111/j.2044-8333.2012.02057.x   open full text
  • Evaluation of the ADViSOR project: Cross‐situational behaviour monitoring of high‐risk offenders in prison and the community.
    Cynthia McDougall, Dominic A. S. Pearson, Hazel Willoughby, Roger A. Bowles.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. May 24, 2012
    Purpose. The release on licence of prisoners who have committed serious violent and/or sexual offences requires rigorous risk assessment and risk management. This study evaluates the ADViSOR project, designed to examine the contribution of prison behaviour monitoring to community supervision of a sample of the highest risk offenders released in England and Wales under Multi‐Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA). Method. The offence‐related behaviour of a total group (n= 25) of MAPPA prisoners in one prison, due for release in the following year to two adjacent probation trust areas, was monitored. Their behaviours in the community were followed up for 1 year. A comparison group (n= 36) was formed of the total number of MAPPA prisoners released from prisons nationally to the same two probation trusts. Results. The frequencies of ADViSOR negative behaviours in prison and the community were strongly correlated, rs (25) = .55, p= .004, as were positive behaviours, rs (25) = .56, p= .004. No statistically significant correlations were found either under usual MAPPA processes in the ADViSOR prison or comparison group prisons. The frequency of ADViSOR negative behaviours statistically significantly predicted, with 92% accuracy, the offenders who would reoffend or be recalled to prison (n= 8). Statistically significant similarities in types of behaviour were also identified. Conclusion. Results are discussed in terms of the contribution of behavioural monitoring to risk prediction with high‐risk offenders, consistency of cross‐situational behaviours, and implications for policy and practice.
    May 24, 2012   doi: 10.1111/j.2044-8333.2012.02059.x   open full text
  • The effect of line‐up administrator blindness on the recording of eyewitness identification decisions.
    Dario N. Rodriguez, Melissa A. Berry.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. May 22, 2012
    Purpose. Line‐up administrators’ expectations have been shown to influence eyewitnesses’ identification decisions. Expectations may also influence administrators’ willingness to record witnesses’ decisions as positive identifications. Methods. Single‐ and double‐blind participant administrators presented a line‐up to a confederate witness, who identified either the suspect or a filler. Results. A hierarchical log‐linear analysis revealed an interaction effect of blindness and witness choice on participants’ recording of the identification: Single‐blind administrators were more likely to record the confederate's choice as a positive identification when the witness chose the suspect (vs. a filler), whereas double‐blind administrators’ records were not influenced by the witness's choice. An interaction between blindness and witness choice also emerged for participant administrators’ witness evaluations. Single‐blind administrators rated confederates who chose a filler as significantly less credible than those who chose a suspect; double‐blind administrators’ ratings were consistent across photo selection. Conclusions. Blindness influenced line‐up administrators’ record of line‐up outcomes. These results add to the growing body of research supporting the use of double‐blind line‐up administration.
    May 22, 2012   doi: 10.1111/j.2044-8333.2012.02058.x   open full text
  • Evaluating the effectiveness of the Supporting Offenders through Restoration Inside (SORI) Programme delivered in seven prisons in England and Wales.
    Anthony R. Beech, Jaymini Chauhan.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. May 18, 2012
    Purpose. Supporting Offenders through Restoration Inside (SORI) is a programme that aims to: increase victim empathy in offenders; motivate offenders to change their offending behaviour; and to take personal responsibility for the harm that he has caused. A 5‐day course based on the SORI principles has been piloted across seven prison sites in the UK. The aim of the study reported here was to evaluate the effectiveness of the programme across these sites. Methods. Three psychometric questionnaires [Victim Concerns, Locus of Control, and Stages of Change (SoC) scales] were administered to the participants immediately before and after the programme had taken place (data were available for 131 participants for the Victim Concern Scale, 82 participants for the Locus of Control measure, and 96 participants for the SoC questionnaire). These psychometric measures were the primary research outcome. Statistical analyses were employed to assess whether any changes had been effected by the programme. Results. The results of this study found that: participants had an enhanced victim concern for all types of victims, were more motivated to change their offending behaviours, and were more willing to take responsibility for their actions, after completion of the course. No change was found in terms of participants seeing themselves as being more in control of their actions/environment. Conclusions. The results lend support for the notion that the 5‐day SORI course is effective in increasing participants’ levels of victim concern and motivation to change, while not really impacting upon levels of ownership for one's ownership for one's actions. Suggestions for future research and limitations of the study are discussed in the paper.
    May 18, 2012   doi: 10.1111/j.2044-8333.2012.02053.x   open full text
  • Offenders have higher delay‐discounting rates than non‐offenders after controlling for differences in drug and alcohol abuse.
    Joana Arantes, Mark E. Berg, Dayle Lawlor, Randolph C. Grace.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. May 18, 2012
    Purpose. Do criminal offenders discount future rewards more rapidly than non‐offenders? Theories of criminality assume that impulsivity is a key predictor of offending and suggest an affirmative answer, but there are no prior relevant studies with adult offenders and the only previous study with juveniles failed to find that offenders discounted delayed rewards more steeply than controls (Wilson & Daly, 2006). Method. We measured rates of delay discounting for adult offenders incarcerated in two medium‐security facilities in New Zealand (n= 63) and non‐offender controls (n= 70) using a questionnaire which asked participants to nominate an indifference point – an amount of money to be received after a delay that was equal in value to an immediate amount – for immediate rewards varying from $500 to $4,000. Indifference points were converted to annual discounting rates. Self‐reported measures of alcohol and drug abuse were also obtained. Results. Offenders discounted future rewards substantially more than non‐offenders, and rates varied systematically with amount and delay for both groups, consistent with previous research. The difference in delay discounting between offenders and controls remained significant after controlling for self‐reported drug and alcohol use. There were no significant gender differences. Conclusions. These results suggest that offenders have a deficit in delay discounting, likely appearing in late adolescence or early adulthood, which may lead them to make suboptimal choices.
    May 18, 2012   doi: 10.1111/j.2044-8333.2012.02052.x   open full text
  • Will get fooled again: Emotionally intelligent people are easily duped by high‐stakes deceivers.
    Alysha Baker, Leanne ten Brinke, Stephen Porter.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. May 18, 2012
    Purpose. There is major disagreement about the existence of individual differences in deception detection or naturally gifted detection ‘wizards’ (see O'Sullivan & Ekman, 2004 vs. Bond & Uysal, 2007). This study aimed to elucidate the role of a specific, and seemingly relevant individual difference – emotional intelligence (EI) and its subcomponents – in detecting high‐stakes, emotional deception. Methods. Participants (N= 116) viewed a sample of 20 international videos of individuals emotionally pleading for the safe return of their missing family member, half of whom were responsible for the missing person's disappearance/murder. Participants judged whether the pleas were honest or deceptive, provided confidence ratings, reported the cues they utilized, and rated their emotional response to each plea. Results. EI was associated with overconfidence in assessing the sincerity of the pleas and greater self‐reported sympathetic feelings to deceptive targets (enhanced gullibility). Although total EI was not associated with discrimination of truths and lies, the ability to perceive and express emotion (a component of EI), specifically, was negatively related to detecting deceptive targets (lower sensitivity [d′]). Combined, these patterns contributed negatively to the ability to spot emotional lies. Conclusions. These findings collectively suggest that features of EI, and subsequent decision‐making processes, paradoxically may impair one's ability to detect deceit.
    May 18, 2012   doi: 10.1111/j.2044-8333.2012.02054.x   open full text
  • Stress, coping, and psychological well‐being among forensic health care professionals.
    Katie Ann Elliott, David Daley.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. April 27, 2012
    Purpose. Although forensic services are often regarded as highly stressful environments, there has been a surprising lack of research into the phenomena of occupational stress among forensic health care professionals (FHCP) in the United Kingdom. This study investigated stress, coping, and psychological well‐being among FHCP employed within inpatient settings. Methods. One hundred and thirty‐five FHCP were recruited from four Medium Secure Units in the United Kingdom. A postal research pack was used to collect background information and measures of psychological well‐being, burnout, occupational stress, work satisfaction, and coping. Results. The study found that a substantial proportion of FHCP experienced elevated levels of occupational stress and psychological distress, while moderate levels of burnout were demonstrated in terms of emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and reduced personal accomplishment. The findings confirmed that FHCP utilized a range of problem‐focused (e.g., positive), emotion‐focused (e.g., religious, negative, and supported), and palliative coping strategies (e.g., excessive smoking and drinking). Conclusions. The results appeared to support the commonly held assertion that forensic services are an inherently stressful and dangerous working environment, which can cause FHCP to experience marked levels of psychological distress, burnout, and occupational stress.
    April 27, 2012   doi: 10.1111/j.2044-8333.2012.02045.x   open full text
  • Interrogative suggestibility: Was it just compliance or a genuine false memory?
    Serena Mastroberardino, Francesco S. Marucci.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. April 19, 2012
    Purpose. Interrogative suggestibility, as measured by the Gudjonsson Suggestibility Scales (GSS), is an independent form of suggestibility arising in the forensic/legal context. So far, an unresolved issue that may have different implications when measuring suggestibility is to what extent the scales measure internalization of suggested materials or just compliance with the interrogator. Methods. Internalization of suggested materials and compliance were here measured using a source identification task. In Experiment 1, participants were administered the GSS2 and immediately afterwards asked to perform the source identification task on the items presented in the scale. In Experiment 2, half of the participants were administered the source identification task immediately and half after a 24‐hr delay. Results. In both experiments a higher proportion of compliant responses were found. Participants internalized more suggested information after questioning (Yield 1) and made more compliant responses after negative feedback (Shift). In Experiment 2, participants in the delayed condition internalized less material than those in the immediate condition. Conclusions: Different processes appear to underlie Yield 1 and Shift scores in the GSS2. The former may include both internalization of suggested materials and compliance, while the second appears to be mostly due to compliance with the interrogator. When administering the GSS2 in a forensic/legal context as vulnerability predictor for making false confessions, or proneness to develop false memories through the internalization of suggested material, including a source identification task may provide additional information on the type of coping style and memory characteristics of the examinee.
    April 19, 2012   doi: 10.1111/j.2044-8333.2012.02048.x   open full text
  • Theoretical and legal issues related to choice blindness for voices.
    Melanie Sauerland, Anna Sagana, Henry Otgaar.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. April 16, 2012
    Purpose. To examine whether choice blindness occurs for auditory stimuli, namely voices. Methods. One hundred participants listened to three pairs of voices and had to decide each time which one they found more sympathetic or sounded more criminal. After they made a choice, participants were presented with the chosen voice again and had to match it to a face. However, during the second trial, participants were actually presented with the voice they had previously not chosen. Results. Only 19% of the participants detected this change concurrently, an additional 10% detected it retrospectively. This indicates that choice blindness transfers to auditory stimuli. Whether participants had previously evaluated sympathy or criminality of the voices had no effect on choice blindness. Conclusions. The study shows that choice blindness is a robust phenomenon that can also be elicited when auditory stimuli are employed. Implications for earwitness testimony and expert witnesses in the context of forensic speech analysis are discussed.
    April 16, 2012   doi: 10.1111/j.2044-8333.2012.02049.x   open full text
  • Eliciting cues to deception by tactical disclosure of evidence: The first test of the Evidence Framing Matrix.
    Pär Anders Granhag, Leif A. Strömwall, Rebecca M. Willén, Maria Hartwig.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. April 16, 2012
    Purpose. Research on real‐life suspect interviews shows that disclosure of evidence is a very common tactic and that it occurs in all phases of the interview. It is therefore remarkable that there is hardly any research on the effectiveness of different disclosure tactics. The aim of this study was to examine the effects of three different disclosure tactics: presenting the evidence early and two versions of the Strategic Use of Evidence (SUE) technique. Methods. For the SUE‐Basic technique (SUE‐B), the evidence was disclosed late in the interview. For the SUE‐Incremental technique (SUE‐I), we used a stepwise disclosure tactic derived from the so‐called Evidence Framing Matrix. The tactic consists of revealing evidence of increasing strength and precision. A mock‐theft scenario was employed with 195 participants who were randomly allocated to one of six conditions: guilty or innocent suspects were interviewed with one of the three techniques. Two measures of inconsistency were used as dependent variables: statement‐evidence inconsistency and the newly developed within‐statement inconsistency. Results. By interviewing with SUE‐I, strong cues to deception were elicited, especially for the statement‐evidence inconsistency variable. For the SUE‐B, significant but smaller differences between guilty and innocent suspects were obtained. Conclusions. We found that both when and how the evidence was disclosed moderated the effectiveness of disclosure. With respect to when, it was more effective to disclose the evidence late (vs. early), and with respect to how, it was more effective to disclose the evidence in a stepwise (vs. direct) manner. The tactical aspects of evidence disclosure are discussed.
    April 16, 2012   doi: 10.1111/j.2044-8333.2012.02047.x   open full text
  • Negative emotional states, life adversity, and interrogative suggestibility.
    Allan McGroarty, Heather Thomson.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. March 14, 2012
    Purpose. Interrogative suggestibility has been shown to vary according to cognitive and personality factors and if reliably measured may predict performance in real forensic interviews. It is therefore of both theoretical and practical interest to identify which psychological factors are most closely related to suggestible responding. This study examines the extent to which individual differences in negative emotional states predict performance on a measure of interrogative suggestibility and also tests the assumption that self‐reports of negative life events are associated with suggestibility. Method. A non‐clinical sample (N= 80) of participants was administered the brief form of the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales (DASS‐21), the Life Experiences Survey (LES), and the Gudjonsson Suggestibility Scale (GSS‐1). Results. Negative emotional states were found to correlate positively, although moderately, with all of the suggestibility measures. Multiple regression analyses found significant predictive models emerged for Yield 1, Yield 2, and Total Suggestibility. Each of these predicted a small proportion of the variance. Negative life event impact ratings were not associated with interrogative suggestibility. Conclusions. The findings suggest that brief self‐report measures of negative emotional states are limited as predictors of interrogative suggestibility. The results also call into question the predictive utility of traditional checklist measures of life adversity for forensic purposes.
    March 14, 2012   doi: 10.1111/j.2044-8333.2012.02046.x   open full text
  • Blame attributions and rape: Effects of belief in a just world and relationship level.
    Leif A. Strömwall, Helen Alfredsson, Sara Landström.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. February 21, 2012
    Purpose. The blaming of rape victims can cause secondary victimization. It is of importance to investigate factor that might lead to victim blaming. This study investigated the effect of belief in a just world (BJW), gender of participant, and level of relationship closeness between victim and perpetrator on attributions of both victim and perpetrator blame. Methods. In a between‐subjects experiment, a community sample (N= 166) answered questions of victim blame and perpetrator blame after reading one of four scenarios, each depicting a different level of relationship between the victim and the perpetrator (strangers, acquaintances, dating, or married). Results. Overall, high levels of perpetrator blame and low levels of victim blame were found. Contrary to previous research, the victim of a stranger rape was blamed more than when the perpetrator was known to the victim. Furthermore, participants high on BJW attributed higher levels of victim blame and lower levels of perpetrator blame. Specifically, female participants high on BJW attributed most blame to a victim of stranger rape. Conclusions. In conclusion, BJW was a significant predictor of blame attributions, and relationship type is a variable that merits further research.
    February 21, 2012   doi: 10.1111/j.2044-8333.2012.02044.x   open full text
  • Using Bayes’ theorem in behavioural crime linking of serial homicide.
    Benny Salo, Jukka Sirén, Jukka Corander, Angelo Zappalà, Dario Bosco, Andreas Mokros, Pekka Santtila.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. February 03, 2012
    Purpose. The study extends research by Santtila et al. (2008) by investigating the effectiveness of linking cases of serial homicide using behavioural patterns of offenders, analysed through Bayesian reasoning. The study also investigates the informative value of individual behavioural variables in the linking process. Methods. Offender behaviour was coded from official documents relating to 116 solved homicide cases belonging to 19 separate series. The basis of the linkage analyses was 92 behaviours coded as present or absent in the case based on investigator observations on the crime scene. We developed a Bayesian method for linking crime cases and judged its accuracy using cross‐validation. We explored the information added by individual behavioural variables, first, by testing if the variable represented purely noise with respect to classification, and second, by excluding variables from the original model, one by one, by choosing the behaviour that had the smallest effect on classification accuracy. Results. The model achieved a classification accuracy of 83.6% whereas chance expectancy was 5.3%. In simulated scenarios of only one and two known cases in a series, the accuracy was 59.0 and 69.2%, respectively. No behavioural variable represented pure noise but the same level of accuracy was achieved by analysing a set of 15, as analysing all 92 variables. Conclusion. The study illustrates the utility of analysing individual behavioural variables through Bayesian reasoning for crime linking. Feasible applied use of the approach is illustrated by the effectiveness of analysing a small set of carefully chosen variables.
    February 03, 2012   doi: 10.1111/j.2044-8333.2011.02043.x   open full text
  • Exploring liars’ strategies for creating deceptive reports.
    Drew A. Leins, Ronald P. Fisher, Stephen J. Ross.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. January 24, 2012
    Purpose. Most past research on detecting deception has relied on the assumption that liars often fabricate a story to account for their whereabouts, whereas truth tellers simply recall an autobiographical memory. However, little research has examined whether liars, when free to choose the topic of their own reports, will actually choose to fabricate information rather than use a different strategy for constructing their lies. We describe two studies that evaluated liars’ strategies for selecting the content of their lies when given the freedom to choose whatever content they desired. Method. In Studies 1 (N= 35) and 2 (N= 22) participants (a) described a truthful story in order to identify a salient event, then (b) lied about the event, and finally (c) described their strategies for choosing the content of the reported lies. Results. Liars overwhelmingly chose to report a previously experienced event for the time period they were to be deceptive about (67% and 86% in Studies 1 and 2, respectively). The majority of discrete details reported were experienced, occurred relatively frequently, occurred relatively recently, and were typical or routine. Conclusions. These findings have significant implications for the development of cognitive‐based interventions for detecting deception. In particular, some methods of deception that rely on content analysis may be ineffective if liars choose to report previous experiences rather than outright fabrications.
    January 24, 2012   doi: 10.1111/j.2044-8333.2011.02041.x   open full text
  • What do NHS staff learn from training on the Mental Capacity Act (2005)?
    Paul Willner, Jennifer Bridle, Vaughn Price, Simon Dymond, Glenda Lewis.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. December 08, 2011
    Purpose. Many studies have reported that professionals have a limited understanding of mental capacity issues. Implementation (in England and Wales) of the Mental Capacity Act (MCA) (2005) presents a challenge to services. The aim of this study was to evaluate the extent to which National Health Service (NHS) staff benefited from attending MCA training courses. Methods. Participants were assessed before and after MCA training using a structured interview, which included three scenarios describing mental capacity dilemmas, four vignettes addressing the role of the Independent Mental Capacity Advocate (IMCA), and 16 true–false items. Results. Interview performance improved post‐training, but this could be largely ascribed to an increased awareness of mental capacity issues, with minimal improvements in the knowledge that would be needed to undertake the assessments. Nine areas were identified where there remained significant gaps in participants’ knowledge post‐training. Participants with experience of dealing with mental capacity issues performed better than those without. Conclusions. The results suggest that methods other than formal training events may be needed to prepare health staff to implement new legislation.
    December 08, 2011   doi: 10.1111/j.2044-8333.2011.02035.x   open full text
  • Co‐witness information influences whether a witness is likely to choose from a lineup.
    Lora M. Levett.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. November 25, 2011
    Purpose. Much crime is witnessed by more than one eyewitness, and witnesses may learn information about other witness's decisions throughout the identification and trial process. The objective of this paper was to investigate whether hearing about a co‐witness's type of lineup decision and subsequent confidence level affects another witness's type of lineup choice. Methods. A total of 304 undergraduate students watched a crime video with a confederate co‐witness. After the video, the witnesses completed an identification task. Prior to completing the task, the participant learned that the confederate co‐witness either chose from or rejected the lineup and was subsequently confident or not confident in that decision (or heard no co‐witness information). Participants completed the identification task using either a target present (TP) or target absent (TA) lineup. Results. Overall, those who heard the co‐witness chose from the lineup were more likely to choose from the lineup than those who heard no co‐witness information or who heard the co‐witness rejected the lineup. In addition, witnesses who chose from the lineup and heard the co‐witness chose from or rejected the lineup expressed more confidence in that choice if the co‐witness was more confident versus if the co‐witness was less confident. Conclusions. In cases of multiple witnesses, identification decisions may not be independent pieces of evidence. Therefore, it is important that police separate co‐witnesses throughout the identification process.
    November 25, 2011   doi: 10.1111/j.2044-8333.2011.02033.x   open full text
  • ‘You caught ’em!’…or not? Feedback affects investigators’ recollections of speech cues thought to signal honesty and deception.
    Carroll Anne Boydell, Carmelina C. Barone, J. Don Read.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. November 25, 2011
    Purpose. When eyewitnesses to crime receive feedback about their choice of a suspect from a line‐up (or post‐identification feedback), such information can substantially alter their recollections of the witnessing experience. This study examined whether feedback exerts similar effects on investigators’ recollections of a suspect's behaviours. Methods. Participant‐investigators received training on speech cues that they were told, when present in a speaker's account, signal either honesty or deception. After hearing a suspect's account of a theft, participants decided whether the suspect was lying or telling the truth. One‐third of participants subsequently received immediate confirming feedback about their performance, while another third received disconfirming feedback. The remaining one‐third of participants did not receive feedback about their decision. Finally, participants rated the frequencies of speech cues that they had been instructed to detect in the suspect's account. Results. Disconfirming feedback significantly altered retrospective judgments about the characteristics of the suspect's account. Specifically, when told that the decision they made about the speaker's credibility was incorrect, participants judged the speaker as having exhibited fewer behaviours consistent with the credibility decision they had made, relative to those who either received no feedback or confirming feedback. Conclusions. Biases in recollections of a suspect may have consequences in real‐world interrogations wherein investigators assess credibility on the basis of numerous behavioural cues. Results are discussed in light of findings of post‐identification feedback studies on eyewitnesses.
    November 25, 2011   doi: 10.1111/j.2044-8333.2011.02037.x   open full text
  • Motivational interviewing training in juvenile corrections: A comparison of outside experts and internal trainers.
    Neal Doran, Melinda Hohman, Igor Koutsenok.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. November 24, 2011
    Purpose. This study was designed to compare expert consultant trainers and less experienced, in‐house trainers in providing basic training in motivational interviewing (MI) for juvenile corrections employees. Methods. Trainees (n= 1,552) attended a 3‐day workshop administered by either a member of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT) or a corrections staff member who had been trained by a MINT trainer. Results. Pre‐ to post‐test MI knowledge and skill gains did not vary between MINT expert and internal trainers, and increased for both groups. MINT trainees were more motivated to learn MI and expected it to be more effective in their work compared with those trained by corrections staff. MINT trainers were perceived as more knowledgeable about the topic, whereas corrections staff trainers were rated as better at utilizing handouts and visual aids. The groups did not differ on other measures of trainee satisfaction. Conclusions. These data suggest that a train‐the‐trainers model, in which expert consultants provide initial trainings to develop a pool of staff to provide subsequent trainings, may be as effective as a model that relies exclusively on expert trainers.
    November 24, 2011   doi: 10.1111/j.2044-8333.2011.02036.x   open full text
  • Delays in attentional processing when viewing sexual imagery: The development and comparison of two measures.
    Carmen L.Z. Gress, John O. Anderson, D. Richard Laws.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. October 24, 2011
    Purpose. Critically important to effectively treating and managing sexual offending is the identification or validation of an offender's deviant sexual interests as the nature of their sexual interests is what demarcates repetitive sexual offenders from non‐offenders and lower risk offenders. As an alternative or verification to self‐report or phallometric measures, focus has turned to attention‐based measures. These measures assess sexual content‐induced delay (SCID), a specific form of attentional bias associated with preferred sexual content (images or text). Viewing time (VT) and choice reaction time (CRT) were developed and utilized to assess sexual interest via SCID (Geer & Bellard, 1996) and examine the measures’ clinical utility via estimates of sensitivity and specificity. Method. Participants were 44 youth non‐sexual offenders, 60 university students, and 22 adult sexual offenders. Differences between groups were examined on various sub‐scores and receiver operator characteristic curves provided information on clinical utility. Results. The VT and CRT measures produced subtest scores with high reliability in all three samples. There were significant differences in VT between the adult sexual offenders and the youth non‐sexual offenders, but not between the youth non‐sexual offenders and the university students. Some of the VT subtests demonstrated good clinical utility in their ability to differentiate adult heterosexual sexual offenders from non‐sexual offenders (e.g., area under the curve (AUC) = 0.87 female mature images, 0.88 male child images). Interestingly, the VT and CRT measures provided significantly different results. Conclusion. The results of this study provide further evidence that measures of SCID are accurate and are useful as indications of sexual interest. Differences between measures suggest, however, that further work is required.
    October 24, 2011   doi: 10.1111/j.2044-8333.2011.02032.x   open full text
  • Reconviction following a cognitive skills intervention: An alternative quasi‐experimental methodology.
    Rosie Travers, Helen C. Wakeling, Ruth E. Mann, Clive R. Hollin.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. October 24, 2011
    Purpose. Enhanced Thinking Skills (ETS) has been the most widely delivered cognitive skills programme in the prisons of England and Wales. Four quasi‐experimental outcome studies have produced mixed results, a qualitative survey of offenders’ and facilitators’ experience on the programme proved useful in programme refinement, and a study using random allocation provided evidence that ETS impacts significantly and positively on short‐term attitudinal change. This study aims to make a further contribution, using another methodology, to the accumulation of evidence. Methods. This was a real‐world evaluation, comparing the reconviction outcomes of the population of 17,047 ETS participants in custody from 2000 to 2005 with a national cohort of 19,792 prisoners released over the same period. Results. Overall, prisoners who had attended ETS were found to reoffend at a rate 6.4 percentage points less than the cohort (rising to 7.5 percentage points for programme completers) and 9.5 percentage points less than the predicted rate. In all but the very highest risk group and in every sentence length band, the reoffending outcomes for ETS participants were significantly better than for prisoners in the cohort. Conclusions. It is argued that this non‐experimental methodology makes a contribution to the ‘What Works’ evidence.
    October 24, 2011   doi: 10.1111/j.2044-8333.2011.02026.x   open full text
  • Confidence inflation in eyewitnesses: Seeing is not believing.
    Amy Bradfield Douglass, Eric E. Jones.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. October 13, 2011
    Purpose. Confidence inflation in eyewitnesses obscures a useful cue to identification accuracy and affects evaluations of eyewitnesses (e.g., Bradfield & McQuiston, 2004; Jones, Williams, & Brewer, 2008). We examine whether sensitivity to confidence inflation evidence is enhanced by seeing a videotape of the identification procedure. Methods. Participants (N= 131) watched a videotaped trial in which the witness's original confidence statement was presented as part of a previously recorded videotaped identification procedure or read by the witness at trial. In addition, the witness's identification confidence was either consistently high or low at the time of the identification and high at the trial (i.e., it was inflated). Results. Significant interactions demonstrated that confidence inflation evidence factored into judgments of the eyewitness and defendant guilt more strongly in the videotape condition compared with the read condition. Conclusions. The present results support recommendations to collect immediate confidence reports and videotape identification procedures. Using videotape evidence may help innocent defendants convince jurors that the eyewitness's identification is not accurate.
    October 13, 2011   doi: 10.1111/j.2044-8333.2011.02031.x   open full text
  • Detecting deception in second‐language speakers.
    Cayla S. Da Silva, Amy‐May Leach.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. October 05, 2011
    Purpose. We examined whether language proficiency had an impact on lie detection. Methods. We collected video footage of 30 targets who spoke English as their native or second language and who lied or told the truth about a transgression. Undergraduate students (N = 51) then judged the veracity of these 30 clips and indicated how confident they were in their ratings. Results. Participants were more confident when judging native‐language truth‐tellers than second‐language truth‐tellers. In addition, participants were more likely to exhibit a truth‐bias when observing native‐language speakers, whereas they were more likely to exhibit a lie‐bias when viewing second‐language speakers. Conclusions. Given the difficulties and biases associated with second‐language lie detection, further research is needed.
    October 05, 2011   doi: 10.1111/j.2044-8333.2011.02030.x   open full text
  • Hungry like the wolf: A word‐pattern analysis of the language of psychopaths.
    Jeffrey T. Hancock, Michael T. Woodworth, Stephen Porter.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. September 14, 2011
    Purpose.  This study used statistical text analysis to examine the features of crime narratives provided by psychopathic homicide offenders. Psychopathic speech was predicted to reflect an instrumental/predatory world view, unique socioemotional needs, and a poverty of affect. Methods.  Two text analysis tools were used to examine the crime narratives of 14 psychopathic and 38 non‐psychopathic homicide offenders. Psychopathy was determined using the Psychopathy Checklist‐Revised (PCL‐R). The Wmatrix linguistic analysis tool (Rayson, 2008) was used to examine parts of speech and semantic content while the Dictionary of Affect and Language (DAL) tool (Whissell & Dewson, 1986) was used to examine the emotional characteristics of the narratives. Results.  Psychopaths (relative to their counterparts) included more rational cause‐and‐effect descriptors (e.g., ‘because’, ‘since’), focused on material needs (food, drink, money), and contained fewer references to social needs (family, religion/spirituality). Psychopaths’ speech contained a higher frequency of disfluencies (‘uh’, ‘um’) indicating that describing such a powerful, ‘emotional’ event to another person was relatively difficult for them. Finally, psychopaths used more past tense and less present tense verbs in their narrative, indicating a greater psychological detachment from the incident, and their language was less emotionally intense and pleasant. Conclusions. These language differences, presumably beyond conscious control, support the notion that psychopaths operate on a primitive but rational level.
    September 14, 2011   doi: 10.1111/j.2044-8333.2011.02025.x   open full text
  • Psychiatric disorder, IQ, and emotional intelligence among adolescent detainees: A comparative study.
    Jennifer Margaret Hayes, Gary O’ Reilly.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. September 06, 2011
    Objectives. To document criminality, psychiatric difficulty, IQ, EQ, and EI amongst Irish, male juvenile detainees (Detainee Group). To compare their IQ, EQ, and EI to non‐offending boys attending a child psychiatry clinic (Psychiatric Group) and boys without offending or psychiatric problems (Community Group). To compare psychiatric morbidity between the detainee and psychiatric groups. Method. Criminality levels of 30 detainees were evaluated using official court charge sheets. Psychiatric status was assessed through structured clinical interview (DISC‐IV); IQ through an individually administered IQ‐scale (WASI); EQ using the BarOn EQi:Youth Version (EQi:YV); and EI using the MSCEIT: Youth Version – Research Edition (MSCEIT:YV‐RE). IQ, EQ, and EI levels in the psychiatric and community groups were compared. Psychiatric morbidity between detainee and psychiatric groups were compared. Results. A total of 335 crimes led to the detention of detainees. Eighty‐three percent of detainees had a psychiatric disorder compared to 60% of young people in the psychiatric group. Detainees had 3.1 disorders each compared to 1.4 disorders in the psychiatric group. A total of 63.3% of detainees had an externalizing problem, 37.9% an internalizing problem, and 66.7% a substance dependency or use problem. A total of 21.4% of detainees had an IQ score below 70. The detainee and psychiatric groups had similar deficits in EI and significantly lower EI than the community groups. Conclusions. Serious levels of criminality and psychiatric disorder exist amongst Irish detainees. They have significantly lower IQ than young people attending a psychiatry clinic and both share deficits in the ability to accurately identify emotions, use emotions to guide thought processes and to prioritize thinking and to effectively regulate emotions.
    September 06, 2011   doi: 10.1111/j.2044-8333.2011.02027.x   open full text
  • Victim responsibility, credibility, and verdict in a simulated rape case: Application of Weiner's attribution model.
    Kathryn Sperry, Jason T. Siegel.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. July 18, 2011
    Purpose. Victims of rape are often attributed a certain amount of responsibility, which is often translated into reduced victim credibility and fewer convictions in the courtroom. The purpose of the present study was to apply Weiner's attribution model to the literature on rape blame to understand why victim blame impacts credibility and verdict. Weiner's model posits that perceptions of a target's responsibility will lead to less sympathy and therefore reduced willingness to help the target. In line with this model, it was hypothesized that sympathy for a rape victim mediates the relationship between victim responsibility and: (a) willingness to help the victim, (b) credibility, and (c) verdict. Methods. Participants read a 1,000‐word transcript of a rape trial and made judgements regarding the victim's responsibility for the rape, sympathy for the victim, willingness to help the victim, perceived witness credibility, and verdict. The victim's responsibility for the rape was manipulated between subjects. Results. The hypotheses were supported: sympathy mediated the relationships between perceived victim responsibility and: (a) willingness to help the victim, (b) credibility, and (c) verdict. Using EQS, two models are presented (one hypothesized and one modified) that further delineate these relationships. Conclusions. The present study applied a well‐established theory in social psychology to further understand the relationship between victim blame, willingness to help, victim credibility, and verdict. In line with Weiner's attribution model, sympathy for the victim played a key role in those relationships. Implications of these findings for legal professionals are discussed.
    July 18, 2011   doi: 10.1111/j.2044-8333.2011.02022.x   open full text
  • Investigating the relationship between justice‐vengeance motivations and punitive sentencing recommendations.
    Jennifer Murray, Mary E. Thomson, David J. Cooke, Kathy E. Charles.
    Legal and Criminological Psychology. June 16, 2011
    Purpose. The present research investigated the relationship between underlying justice and vengeance motivations and sentencing recommendations made by expert clinicians, semi‐experts, and lay‐people. It was hypothesized that the semi‐experts would recommend significantly different sentence lengths from those recommended by the expert and lay‐person groups, in line with previous research findings. It was also hypothesized that justice and vengeance motivations would be related to punitive sentencing recommendations, and that these would not be the same across the three levels of expertise. Method. An independent groups design was utilized in the main analysis, with participants belonging to three distinct levels of clinical experience (experts, semi‐experts, and lay‐people). A questionnaire was administered, with participants being measured on levels of justice and vengeance motivations, and asked to recommend appropriate sentence lengths based on nine separate crime‐scenarios. These covariables were correlated and the correlation coefficients were compared across the three levels of expertise. Results. The former hypothesis was not upheld. Findings do, however, support the latter hypothesis, with the key finding indicating that for both justice and vengeance motivations in punitive judgement, it is the lay‐participants who appear distinct from the experts and semi‐experts. Conclusions. The current findings emphasize that while expert and lay‐person judgements may often appear to be the same, different processes and motivations underlying clinical judgements are occurring at the different stages of expertise. With the differences in the relationships between justice and vengeance motivations and judgements found in the current research, it is argued that expert and lay judgements that appear to be the same are, in fact, distinguishable and are related to quite different underlying motivations and decision‐making processes.
    June 16, 2011   doi: 10.1111/j.2044-8333.2011.02021.x   open full text