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Law and Human Behavior

Moa Lidén, Minna Gräns, Peter Juslin
This research tests whether a police officer's decision to apprehend a suspect triggers confirmation bias during an interrogation. The study also tests two strategies to reduce confirmation bias: (1) decoupling decision to apprehend from interrogation and (2) reducing cognitive load for the interrogating police officer. In Experiment 1, Swedish police officers ( N = 60) were faced with 12 scenarios in which they either had to decide for themselves whether to apprehend a suspect or were informed about the corresponding decision by another police officer or a prosecutor...
July 2, 2018: Law and Human Behavior
Neil Brewer, Ambika Nagesh Vagadia, Lorraine Hope, Fiona Gabbert
Eyewitnesses to crimes sometimes report inaccurate fine-grain details but fail to report accessible and potentially accurate coarse-grain details. We asked college students and community members (aged 17 to 62 years) who viewed a video of a simulated crime to answer interviewers' questions at coarse- and fine-grained levels of detail and measured the quantity and accuracy of their responses. Three experiments (overall N = 219) also (a) provided comparative data for participants who were interviewed using the open-ended Self-Administered Interview (Gabbert, Hope, & Fisher, 2009) or one of two "report everything" open-ended procedures, (b) tested the efficacy of the procedure using both written and verbal interviews, and (c) examined the generality of the findings across different encoding stimuli which required variations in the types of cued recall questions asked...
June 25, 2018: Law and Human Behavior
Mark V A Howard, Gerard van Doorn
This study tested evidence for antisocial attitudes as a mechanism of change in offender treatment by examining whether the Measures of Antisocial Attitudes and Associates (MCAA) and within-treatment change in scores on this scale have predictive validity for risk of reoffending. Pretreatment and posttreatment scores on the MCAA were obtained from a large sample of 1,858 offenders who had completed offender treatment programs while in custody (n = 854) or in the community (n = 1,004). Individual within-treatment change was calculated with simple difference scores as well as categorizations of clinically significant change...
June 25, 2018: Law and Human Behavior
Mitchell L Eisen, Gabriela C Cedré, T'awna Q Williams, Jennifer M Jones
Two experiments were conducted to see if asking witnesses to take another look at the lineup after they voiced their identification decisions would alter their choices, and if confirming feedback could then be used to solidify the selections they shifted to. Participants watched a simulated crime and were asked to identify the culprit from a photographic lineup. After voicing their identification decisions, participants were prompted to re-examine the lineup. Half of the participants then received confirming feedback for their decisions, regardless of whether they shifted to a new picture or not...
June 25, 2018: Law and Human Behavior
Jessica M Salerno, Hannah J Phalen, Rosa N Reyes, N J Schweitzer
Emotion expression is a key part of trial advocacy. Attorneys are advised to gain credibility with juries by demonstrating conviction through anger expression. In 3 experiments, we tested whether expressing anger in court makes attorneys more effective and whether this depends on their gender. We randomly assigned participants (n = 120 undergraduates) to view a male or female attorney presenting the same closing argument in either a neutral or angry tone (Experiment 1). They reported their impressions of the attorney and how likely they would be to hire the attorney...
June 25, 2018: Law and Human Behavior
Laura Smalarz, Stephanie Madon, Anna Turosak
This research examined whether criminal stereotypes-i.e., beliefs about the typical characteristics of crime perpetrators-influence mock jurors' judgments of guilt in cases involving confession evidence. Mock jurors ( N = 450) read a trial transcript that manipulated whether a defendant's ethnicity was stereotypic or counterstereotypic of a crime, and whether the defendant had confessed to the crime or not. When a confession was present, the transcript varied whether the confession had been obtained using high-pressure or low-pressure interrogation tactics...
June 25, 2018: Law and Human Behavior
Glenn D Walters
The current study sought to determine whether resistance to peer pressure contributes to crime desistance by inhibiting proactive criminal thinking (moral disengagement), a social-cognitive variable that has been found to mediate the peer influence effect. Using data from the Pathways to Desistance study ( N = 1,354), resistance to peer influence and peer delinquency were tested as predictors of subsequent offending when participants were 18, 19, and 20 years of age. Whereas peer delinquency (PD) facilitated future offending by increasing moral disengagement (MD), peer resistance inhibited future offending by decreasing moral disengagement...
June 21, 2018: Law and Human Behavior
Rick Trinkner, Jonathan Jackson, Tom R Tyler
This paper expands previous conceptualizations of appropriate police behavior beyond procedural justice. The focus of the current study is on the notion of bounded authority-that is, acting within the limits of one's rightful authority. According to work on legal socialization, U.S. citizens come to acquire three dimensions of values that determine how authorities ought to behave: (a) neutral, consistent, and transparent decision-making; (b) interpersonal treatment that conveys respect, dignity, and concern; and (c) respecting the limits of one's rightful power...
June 2018: Law and Human Behavior
Karima Modjadidi, Margaret Bull Kovera
We investigated whether watching a videotaped photo array administration or expert testimony could sensitize jurors to the suggestiveness of single-blind eyewitness identification procedures. Mock jurors recruited from the community (N = 231) watched a videotaped simulation of a robbery trial in which the primary evidence against the defendant was an eyewitness identification. We varied whether the witness made an identification from a single- or double-blind photo array, the evidence included a videotape of the photo array procedure, and an expert testified about the effects of single-blind identification procedures on administrators' behaviors and witness accuracy...
June 2018: Law and Human Behavior
Amanda N Bergold, Paul Heaton
Police departments increasingly use large photo databases to select lineup fillers using facial recognition software, but this technological shift's implications have been largely unexplored in eyewitness research. Database use, particularly if coupled with facial matching software, could enable lineup constructors to increase filler-suspect similarity and thus enhance eyewitness accuracy (Fitzgerald, Oriet, Price, & Charman, 2013). However, with a large pool of potential fillers, such technologies might theoretically produce lineup fillers too similar to the suspect (Fitzgerald, Oriet, & Price, 2015; Luus & Wells, 1991; Wells, Rydell, & Seelau, 1993)...
June 2018: Law and Human Behavior
Jodi L Viljoen, Dana M Cochrane, Melissa R Jonnson
Although it is widely believed that risk assessment tools can help manage risk of violence and offending, it is unclear what evidence exists to support this view. As such, we conducted a systematic review and narrative synthesis. To identify studies, we searched 13 databases, reviewed reference lists, and contacted experts. Through this review, we identified 73 published and unpublished studies (N = 31,551 psychiatric patients and offenders, N = 10,002 professionals) that examined either professionals' risk management efforts following the use of a tool, or rates of violence or offending following the implementation of a tool...
June 2018: Law and Human Behavior
Heather L Dyck, Mary Ann Campbell, Julie L Wershler
The risk-need-responsivity model (RNR; Bonta & Andrews, 2017) has become a leading approach for effective offender case management, but field tests of this model are still required. The present study first assessed the predictive validity of the RNR-informed Level of Service/Case Management Inventory (LS/CMI; Andrews, Bonta, & Wormith, 2004) with a sample of Atlantic Canadian male and female community-supervised provincial offenders (N = 136). Next, the case management plans prepared from these LS/CMI results were analyzed for adherence to the principles of risk, need, and responsivity...
June 2018: Law and Human Behavior
Andrew M Smith, Gary L Wells, R C L Lindsay, Tiffany Myerson
We tested the proposition that when eyewitnesses find it difficult to recognize a suspect (as in a culprit-absent showup), eyewitnesses accept a weaker match to memory for making an identification. We tie this proposition to the basic recognition memory literature, which shows people use lower decision criteria when recognition is made difficult so as to not miss their chance of getting a hit on the target. We randomly assigned participant-witnesses (N = 610) to a condition in which they were told that if they did not believe the suspect was the culprit, they would have additional opportunities to make an identification later (additional-opportunities instruction)...
June 2018: Law and Human Behavior
Grant Duwe, Michael Rocque
When sex offenders in Minnesota are assigned risk levels prior to their release from prison, correctional staff frequently exercise professional judgment by overriding the presumptive risk level per an offender's score on the Minnesota Sex Offender Screening Tool-3 (MnSOST-3), a sexual recidivism risk-assessment instrument. These overrides enabled us to evaluate whether the use of professional judgment resulted in better predictive performance than did reliance on "actuarial" judgment (MnSOST-3). Using multiple metrics, we also compared the performance of a home-grown instrument (the MnSOST-3) with a global assessment (the revised version of the Static-99 [Static-99R]) in predicting sexual recidivism for 650 sex offenders released from Minnesota prisons in 2012...
June 2018: Law and Human Behavior
Evan D Holloway, Keith R Cruise, Samantha L Morin, Holly Kaufman, Richard D Steele
Juvenile probation officers (JPOs) are increasingly using risk/needs assessments to evaluate delinquency risk, identify criminogenic needs and specific responsivity factors, and use this information in case planning. Justice-involved youth are exposed to traumatic events and experience traumatic stress symptoms at a high rate; such information warrants attention during the case planning process. The extent to which JPOs identify specific responsivity factors, in general, and trauma history, specifically, when scoring risk/need assessments is understudied...
April 5, 2018: Law and Human Behavior
Jingkang Gao, Jinhua Zhao
This study explored two aspects of the rule of law in China: (1) motivations for compliance with 4 groups of everyday laws and regulations and (2) determinants of the legitimacy of legal authorities. We applied a structural equations model, constructed from Tyler's conceptual process-based self-regulation model with morality added as a motivation, to online questionnaire responses from 1,000 Shanghai drivers. We explored the compliance with four particular groups of laws: public disturbance; conventional traffic laws; illegal downloading; and distracted driving...
April 2018: Law and Human Behavior
Shannon E Kelley, John F Edens, Kevin S Douglas
Mental health problems are disproportionately prevalent in forensic and correctional settings, and there have been numerous attempts to develop screening tools to evaluate individuals in such contexts. This study investigates the clinical utility of the Personality Assessment Screener (PAS; Morey, 1997), a brief self-report measure of risk for emotional and behavioral dysfunction, in a large mixed-gender offender sample (N = 1,658). The PAS is a 22-item measure derived from the Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI; Morey, 1991, 2007), a more comprehensive self-report instrument widely used to assess for psychological disturbances among forensic and correctional populations...
April 2018: Law and Human Behavior
Divya Sukumar, Kimberley A Wade, Jacqueline S Hodgson
When deceptive suspects are unaware of the evidence the police hold against them, they contradict that evidence more than truthful suspects do-a useful cue to deception. But given that, over time, truthful suspects might forget the past and also contradict the evidence, how effective are lie detection techniques that rely on such inconsistencies when suspects are questioned months after a crime? In Experiment 1, people committed a theft (liars) or a benign activity (truth-tellers) in a university bookshop. Shortly after or 2 months later, we questioned them about their bookshop visit without informing them of the evidence implicating them in the theft...
April 2018: Law and Human Behavior
Joshua J Reynolds, Victoria Estrada-Reynolds, Narina Nunez
Although there is a substantial body of work examining attitudes towards the police, no measure has been developed to consistently capture citizens' beliefs regarding police legitimacy. Given that police conduct has garnered a great deal of attention, particularly in the last few years, the current research sought to develop a scale measuring perceptions of police legitimacy. Across multiple studies, items were created and the scale's factor structure explored (Study 1 and Study 2), the factor structure was confirmed (Study 3a), and the predictive validity of the scale was tested (Studies 3b-3d)...
April 2018: Law and Human Behavior
Valerie P Hans, Rebecca K Helm, Valerie F Reyna
Legal systems often require the translation of qualitative assessments into quantitative judgments, yet the qualitative-to-quantitative conversion is a challenging, understudied process. We conducted an experimental test of predictions from a new theory of juror damage award decision making, examining how 154 lay people engaged in the translation process in recommending money damages for pain and suffering in a personal injury tort case. The experiment varied the presence, size, and meaningfulness of an anchor number to determine how these factors influenced monetary award judgments, perceived difficulty, and subjective meaningfulness of awards...
April 2018: Law and Human Behavior
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