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Remembering as exploration of “absence”: An approach to “experience” in the context of criminal justice Kotaro TAKAGI Aoyama Gakuin University

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Presentation on theme: "Remembering as exploration of “absence”: An approach to “experience” in the context of criminal justice Kotaro TAKAGI Aoyama Gakuin University"— Presentation transcript:

1 Remembering as exploration of “absence”: An approach to “experience” in the context of criminal justice Kotaro TAKAGI Aoyama Gakuin University

2 Ashikaga case The first criminal case in Japan which was proven to be a false accusation by retesting of DNA In 2008, a retesting of DNA proved Mr. Sugaya’s innocence, which also proved his confession during the interrogation and at a first trial were a false one. In 1993, as expert witness, we evaluated the credibility of Mr. Sugaya’s confession and found stylistic feature of remembering which suggest he has no experience of the murder.

3 In explanations of Mr. Sugaya’s actual experience… Frequent use of the verbs involving bodily action Description of actions by strict temporal order Alternate use of subject noun referring ‘self’ and ‘other’

4 Excerpt #1 Well, the police officer said `Are you Mr. Sugaya?, so I replied, `Yes, that's right’. Then, he told me 'Can I take a quick look inside’. So, I then let him, well, come in the house, and because he told me, `will you open that up for me,' referring to the closet, I opened it, and then there was, well, a little box inside. Inside. He told me, the box, `Why don't you let me take a look at that’, so I took the box and showed it to him, after that he goes, `now what have we got here’. I said, `These are goodies for adults,’ next he told me, `I think this toy's for women, so I said, `it's for men.’ After that he told me, `well then, you can put these things away now.’

5 Stylistic discrepancy in description of past event Stylistic featuresExperienced eventCriminal actions Frequent use of the verbs involving bodily action 91.0%82.7% Description of actions by strict temporal order86.0%87.6% Alternate use of subject noun referring ‘self’ and ‘other’ 61.5%29.8%

6 Excerpt #2 After I strangled her, then carried her, next, right there, I uh, you know, sort of did it.

7 In summary… Mr. Sugaya referred others as an active agent in his explanation of experienced event. Mr. Sugaya did not refer the victim as an active agent in his explanation of criminal act. Significant stylistic discrepancy in remembering which suggests Mr. Sugaya has no experience of the murder crime.

8 Stylistic feature of remembering Repeated and idiosyncratic pattern of action in present environment Schema approach

9 Cognitive approach Original event Representation Processing Observation #1 Observation #2

10 Joint remembering approach Shared representation Social interaction Original event ? Observation

11 Schema approach R1R2 Original event R3R4 R5 Observations ?

12 What is the distinctive features of remembering as action (=schema) ?

13 Ecological approach to remembering (Neisser, 1982) ◯ Remembering as action in present naturalistic context ◯ Functional approach to remembering ⇔ Representational approach However, features of remembering as action was not fully examined

14 Remembering as exploration of environment (Reed, 1994) Perception Exploration of environment based on the duality of environment and self (Gibson, 1979) Remembering Starts when perception failed (Sasaki, 1996) Exploration of environment based on the duality of past and present

15 Types of duality in remembering Existence of object in environment Patterns of duality pastpresent Recognition ◯◯ The object existed is still existing Recall ◯ − The object existed is absent now New event− ◯ The object which was absent exists now Non-existence −− The object which was absent is still absent

16 Remembering as “instable” embodied exploratory action Dynamic posture oriented to “absence” (=past environment) Instability of exploration caused by partial discrepancy between bodily action and current environment Rememberer’s embodied exploratory action is mediated by various artifacts (signs and tools) Instability of exploration caused by the absence of referent in current environment Rememberer’s embodied exploratory action is observable by others Rememberer and observer can not share “absence” (=past environment) Instability of interaction caused by insufficient joint attention

17 Schema approach R1R2 Original event R3R4 R5 Embodied explorative action Duality of past and present Multi-layered instability of action and interaction ? Environment #1 Perception Environment #2 Remembering

18 Multi-layered instability of action and interaction ? Original event Instability of exploration and use of mediations Instability of joint attention Instability of interaction

19 Excerpt #1 Well, the police officer said `Are you Mr. Sugaya?, so I replied, `Yes, that's right’. Then, he told me 'Can I take a quick look inside’. So, I then let him, well, come in the house, and because he told me, `will you open that up for me,' referring to the closet, I opened it, and then there was, well, a little box inside. Inside. He told me, the box, `Why don't you let me take a look at that’, so I took the box and showed it to him, after that he goes, `now what have we got here’. I said, `These are goodies for adults,’ next he told me, `I think this toy's for women, so I said, `it's for men.’ After that he told me, `well then, you can put these things away now.’

20 Excerpt #2 After I strangled her, then carried her, next, right there, I uh, you know, sort of did it.

21 Thank you!


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