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Copyright © 2012 Pearson Canada Inc.1 Chapter 3 The Psychology of Police Investigations 3-1
Copyright © 2012 Pearson Canada Inc.2 Learning Objectives The Reid model of interrogation Potential problems with the Reid model Types of false confessions Studying false confessions Criminal profiling and its goals Types of profiling Potential problems with profiling Geographic profiling 3-2
Copyright © 2012 Pearson Canada Inc.3 Police Investigations Police rely on witnesses, victims, and suspects to fill in details about crimes –Who was involved, what happened, where and when did it happen, how did it happen, why did it happen Evidence is often collected through interrogations 3-3
Copyright © 2012 Pearson Canada Inc.4 Police Interrogations In North America, there are generally two goals of a police interrogation (Kassin, 1997): –Obtain a confession –Gain information that will further the investigation (e.g., the location of evidence) 3-4
Copyright © 2012 Pearson Canada Inc.5 The Coercive Nature of Interrogations History of coercive measures: –Mid-1900s: Whipping suspects to get a confession –1980s: Stun guns used by the NYPD to extract confessions –More recently: Psychological methods such as trickery and deceit (e.g., lying about evidence) 3-5
Copyright © 2012 Pearson Canada Inc.6 The Reid Model of Interrogation The Reid model is a common interrogation method Involves 3 general stages: –Gather evidence –Conduct a non-accusatorial interview to assess deception (guilt) –Conduct an accusatorial interrogation to obtain a confession 3-6
Copyright © 2012 Pearson Canada Inc.7 The Nine Steps of Reid The third stage involves 9 steps to break down the suspect’s resistance to confessing Designed to make the anxiety associated with deception (i.e., by maintaining one’s innocence) greater than the anxiety associated with confessing 3-7
Copyright © 2012 Pearson Canada Inc.8 Minimization and Maximization In general, interrogations techniques included in the Reid model can be broken down into two categories: –Minimization techniques: Soft sell tactics that provide a sense of false security (e.g., justifying the crime) –Maximization techniques: Scare tactics that attempt to intimidate suspects (e.g., making up evidence) 3-8
Copyright © 2012 Pearson Canada Inc.9 Use of the Reid Model Despite the fact that Canadian police officers are trained to use the Reid model, actual interrogations do not always include Reid techniques 3-9
Copyright © 2012 Pearson Canada Inc.10 Canadian Interrogations 3-10 Reid TechniquesPercentage Appeal to suspect’s pride with flattery57% Play one suspect against the other43% Minimize the seriousness of the offence36% Sympathize with the suspect25% Suggest non-criminal intent for the crime9% Exaggerate the seriousness of the crime0% Source: King and Snook, 2009 (based on 44 interrogation tapes)
Copyright © 2012 Pearson Canada Inc.11 Potential Problems with the Reid Model There are a number of potential problems with the Reid model: –Deception detection –Comprehension of legal rights –Investigator bias –False confessions These problems have led some to propose changes (e.g., use of the PEACE model) 3-11
Copyright © 2012 Pearson Canada Inc.12 Detecting Deception It is assumed that investigators can detect deception when moving from stage 2 to 3 of the Reid model Little research supports this assumption (Memon et al., 2003) 3-12
Copyright © 2012 Pearson Canada Inc.13 Comprehension of Legal Rights It is assumed that safeguards (e.g., knowledge of legal rights) are in place to protect individuals being interrogated Research indicates that people often do not understand their legal rights (Eastwood & Snook, 2010) Comprehension can be improved if cautions are delivered in an appropriate format (e.g., written vs. verbal) 3-13
Copyright © 2012 Pearson Canada Inc.14 Investigator Bias Officers enter the accusatorial phase of the interrogation with the belief that the suspect is guilty This can lead to biased perceptions and behaviours on the part of the interrogator and observers of the interrogation (e.g., jurors; Kassin et al., 2003) 3-14
Copyright © 2012 Pearson Canada Inc.15 False Confessions Research suggests that the Reid model may also elicit false confessions A false confession occurs when an individual confesses to a crime they did not commit or exaggerates their involvement in a crime they did commit Must be distinguished from disputed and retracted confessions 3-15
Copyright © 2012 Pearson Canada Inc.16 Types of False Confessions Three types of false confessions: –Voluntary false confessions –Coerced-compliant false confessions –Coerced-internalized false confessions 3-16
Copyright © 2012 Pearson Canada Inc.17 Voluntary False Confessions A voluntary false confession occurs without being prompted by the police Can be the result of a desire for notoriety, an inability to distinguish fact from fantasy, an attempt to protect the real offender, or a need to be punished (Gudjonsson, 1992) Example: The Lindbergh case 3-17
Copyright © 2012 Pearson Canada Inc.18 Coerced-Compliant False Confessions A coerced-compliant false confession occurs in response to a desire to escape further interrogation or to gain a promised reward (Gudjonsson, 1992) The confessor knows that they did not commit the crime Example: Gerry Conlon and the IRA bombings 3-18
Copyright © 2012 Pearson Canada Inc.19 Coerced-Internalized False Confessions A coerced-internalized false confession results from suggestive interrogations The confessor comes to believe they committed the crime People suffering from brain impairments, extreme anxiety, or confusion may be more susceptible (Gudjonsson, 1992) Example: The Paul Ingram case 3-19
Copyright © 2012 Pearson Canada Inc.20 Studying False Confessions Laboratory studies are conducted in an attempt to understand the nature of false confessions 3-20
Copyright © 2012 Pearson Canada Inc.21 False Confessions in the Lab The classic study is the computer key study by Kassin and Kiechel (1996) –Participants accused of committing a mock “crime” –Suspect’s vulnerability manipulated as was the presence of false evidence –Percentage of false confessions recorded under various conditions 3-21
Copyright © 2012 Pearson Canada Inc.22 Kassin and Kiechel (1996) 3-22 No False Evidence False Evidence Slow Pace Fast Pace Slow Pace Fast Pace Compliance35%65%89%100% Internalization0%12%44%65% Confabulation0% 6%35% Source: Kassin & Kiechel, 1996
Copyright © 2012 Pearson Canada Inc.23 Criminal Profiling Criminal profiling is a technique for identifying the personality and behavioural features of an offender based on an analysis of the crimes they have committed Used in serial crime investigations, particularly homicide and rape 3-23
Copyright © 2012 Pearson Canada Inc.24 The Goals of Profiling Criminal profiles are used for a variety of purposes: –To prioritize suspects –To develop new lines of enquiry –To flush out offenders –To determine risk –To provide interrogation advice 3-24
Copyright © 2012 Pearson Canada Inc.25 Types of Profiling In general, there are two approaches to criminal profiling: –Deductive profiling: Profiling an offender from evidence relating to that offender’s crimes –Inductive profiling: Profiling an offender from what is known about other offenders who have committed similar (solved) crimes 3-25
Copyright © 2012 Pearson Canada Inc.26 Organized-Disorganized Model The most widely known inductive profiling approach is the organized-disorganized model developed by the FBI (Hazelwood & Douglas, 1980) 3-26
Copyright © 2012 Pearson Canada Inc.27 Assumptions of the Organized- Disorganized Model Crime scenes can be categorized as organized (methodical) or disorganized (chaotic) Background characteristics can be categorized as organized (high functioning) or disorganized (low functioning) Organized crimes are committed by organized offenders and disorganized crimes by disorganized offenders 3-27
Copyright © 2012 Pearson Canada Inc.28 3-28 Organized BehavioursDisorganized Behaviours Restraints used on victimNo restraints used on victim Use of vehicle in the crimeNo vehicle used Little evidence at sceneEvidence left at scene Organized CharacteristicsDisorganized Characteristics High intelligenceLow intelligence Skilled occupationUnskilled occupation Maintains residenceDoes not maintain residence Source: Ressler et al., 1986
Copyright © 2012 Pearson Canada Inc.29 Problems with the Organized- Disorganized Model Little research has examined the model, but that which has raises doubts as to its validity (Canter et al., 2004) Cannot account for offenders who display a mixture of organized and disorganized features (Douglas et al., 1992) 3-29
Copyright © 2012 Pearson Canada Inc.30 Potential Problems with Profiling Criminal profiling is often criticized on the following grounds: –It lack a strong theoretical base –Profiles are too ambiguous to be useful –Professional profilers are not accurate 3-30
Copyright © 2012 Pearson Canada Inc.31 Theoretical Base Many forms of profiling are based on a model of personality that lacks strong empirical support – the classic trait model (Alison et al., 2002) The model incorrectly assumes that internal traits (e.g., an organized predisposition) are the sole determinant of behaviour and it disregards situational influences 3-31
Copyright © 2012 Pearson Canada Inc.32 Ambiguous Profiles Profiles often contain ambiguous predictions (e.g., the offender will be a “social misfit”) (Alison et al., 2003) Such advice can be interpreted to fit a wide range of individuals and thus, cannot be used to prioritize suspects (Alison et al., 2003) 3-32
Copyright © 2012 Pearson Canada Inc.33 Accuracy of Profilers Despite their claims, professional profilers do not always produce profiles (under laboratory conditions) that are more accurate than profiles produced by non- professionals (Kocsis et al., 2000) 3-33
Copyright © 2012 Pearson Canada Inc.34 Geographic Profiling Geographic profiling involves an analysis of crime scene locations in order to determine the most probable area of offender residence Assumes that offenders do not travel long distances from home to commit the majority of their crimes 3-34
Copyright © 2012 Pearson Canada Inc.35 Geographic Profiling Systems Geographic profiling systems rely on mathematical models of spatial behaviour Assign probability values to locations surrounding linked crimes Probabilities correspond to the likelihood that the offender resides in those areas Geographic profiling systems can be quite accurate (Rossmo, 2000) 3-35
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