Hypothesis: A statement about how two or more things might be related.
Offender/Perpetrator: A person who commits an illegal act or crime. In Crime101x, we use the terms offender and perpetrator interchangeably. In our crime drama, Crime101, the offender is the person who murdered Janine Jenker.
Offence: A behaviour that breaks criminal law. In our crime drama, Crime101, the offence is the murder of Janine Jenker.
Principle: A statement of how a psychological process works.
Scientific method: A systematic process used in psychology to investigate human behaviour. The scientific method involves stating a testable hypothesis, designing a study to test that hypothesis in an unbiased and fair manner, and then reporting the results of that test for public scrutiny and peer review by the scientific community.
Serial crimes: Several crimes of the same type (e.g., murder, rape, arson) that are performed in approximately the same way by the same offender.
Statistical association or correlation: A relationship between two variables. A significant association suggests that the two variables are related in some way, but it does not mean that changes in one necessarily cause changes in the other. For example, it is likely that an increase in the sales of soft drinks is statistically associated with the number of people attending public swimming pools. However buying a soft drink does not cause you to go swimming. They are simply positively associated because they may both be caused by a third (unmeasured) variable. In this instance, hot weather.
Theory: An integrated set of principles that describes, explains and predicts observed events. Psychological theories generally attempt to explain the things influences human behaviour. Good theories not only explain what we can already observe, but make testable predictions about things that we have not observed at this point.
Variable: Something capable of being measured or influencing outcomes. For example, eyewitness accuracy could be a measured variable.
‘Wrong time slice’ error: This refers to when people are asked to retrieve a memory about a particular event, and they incorrectly describe an event from a completely different time.
Behavioural science: A science studying the actions and reactions of humans and animals, using both experimental and observational techniques.
Cognitive interview: This is an interviewing strategy designed to improve eyewitness recall by employing techniques based on research and theory in cognitive psychology.
Context reinstatement: This refers to attempts to help an individual recall the circumstances associated with some detail that they are being asked to remember.
Encoding specificity principle: When something is remembered, the resulting memory also contains other information (such as the context of what has been remembered). The chance of successfully recalling this memory is determined by the overlap between the information in the memory and the information that is already available to the individual. This means that reminding an individual of the context in which they saw some detail, often increases the chance they’ll successfully recall that detail.
False memories: These are inaccurate memories; for example, of events that never happened.
Hypnosis: Hypnosis is a process in which people are guided to place themselves in an altered state of consciousness. It’s argued that, in this altered state, individuals have heightened focus and concentration, allowing then to potentially concentrate better on a specific thought or memory. In this state, people also appear to be particularly open to suggestion.
Identification accuracy: In the context of this course, identification accuracy refers to the chance that people will correctly identifya suspect (if a suspect is present in, say, a line up) or correctly indicate that the suspect is not present.
Memory encoding: This refers to the stage of memory in which people acquire what is to be remembered in the first place.
Memory retrieval: This refers to the stage of memory when people attempt to recall a given memory.
Memory storage: This refers to the stage of memory in which people store a given memory over a period of time.
Narrative reconstruction: This refers to when people are constructing a narrative account of an event and they report elements of the story incorrectly, based on their preconceptions of what usually happens in a given situation.
The misinformation effect: This refers to the situation when an individual is presented with incorrect information about an event, and this impairs their memory of the original event.
Weapon focus effect: This effect refers to the proposal that the witness’s memory of a criminal’s physical appearance may be impaired when the criminal is holding a weapon.
Baseline: This refers to a value that other values can be compared to. In the context of Brewer’s line up procedure, the “baseline” was derived from eyewitnesses’ ratings of the foils (i.e. how certain they were of line up members who definitely weren’t the suspect). This baseline was then used as a comparison for their ratings of the actual suspect.
Biasing behaviours: In the context of line ups, biasing behaviours refer to anything the administrator of a line up does that might prejudice the eyewitness towards identifying the suspect.
Contingency table: This is a table that displays the frequency distribution of variables.
Correlation coefficient: A statistic that measures the strength of a (linear) relationship between two variables.
Diagnosticity: In the context of this course, this refers to an eyewitness’s overall ability to make accurate identifications (Greathouse & Kovera, 2009).
Double-blind procedure: This refers to a situation in a test or experiment, in which information that may bias the outcome of the procedure is concealed from either the participant AND the person conducting the procedure.
Foils: In the context of a line up, the foils are the members of the line up who are not the suspect (also known as distractors).
Inverted face effect: This refers to the finding that upside-down faces are proportionally harder to recognize than upright faces, in comparison with other types of object.
Meta-analysis: This is a statistical procedure for combining and contrasting the results from lots of smaller individual scientific research studies, to essentially create larger “super-sized” studies. The results of these “super-sized” studies are likely to be more reliable than any one of the smaller studies.
Neuro-imaging: This is the process of creating images of the brain (or nervous system) that show its structure and/or activity.
Operationalize: In the context of this course, this was the act of turning a scientific finding (specifically, Brewer and Well’s research into confidence in line ups) into a procedure that could potentially be used in police investigations (i.e. Brewer’s confidence-based line up procedure).
Photofit: This refers to procedures in which an eyewitness attempts to recreate the face of someone they have seen. Traditionally, this involves eyewitnesses using a library of facial features to create a composite face.
Point-biserial correlation: This is a special type of correlation that describes a relationship between a two option variable (e.g. accurate vs inaccurate) and a multiple-option variable (e.g. level of confidence).
Scatterplot: This is a type of graph, in which two variables are plotted against one another along horizontal and vertical axes. Each data point is represented as a dot. The pattern of dots describes the relationship between the two variables.
Sequential presentation: In the context of a line up, a sequential presentation is when all line up members are presented to the eyewitness one at a time.
Simultaneous presentation: In the context of a line up, a simultaneous presentation is when all line up members are presented to the eyewitness at once.
Single-blind procedure: This refers to a situation in a test or experiment, in which information that may bias the outcome of the procedure is concealed from either the participant OR the person conducting the procedure.
Behavioural Analysis Interview: An interview conducted prior to an interrogation. It is through this interview that a decision is made whether or not to subject the suspect to a formal interrogation.
Confession: A statement that the individual has performed an illegal or prohibited act. Confessions to criminal offences can also be referred to an admission of guilt.
Field study: An investigation conducted in a natural setting or environment or where the variables of interest naturally occur. For example, a study of false confessions conducted using confessions made by imprisoned offenders is a field study.
Gaze aversion: Looking away from or avoiding eye contact with the interviewer in an interrogation.
High stakes: In psychological research on deception, the term ‘high stakes’ is used to refer to when there are consequences for any deception the participant engages in.
Investigative interviewing: An approach to interviewing a suspect thought to be involved in a crime involving building rapport between the suspect and interviewer and positive confrontation of the suspect to elicit a confession.
Laboratory or lab study: A study conducted in a laboratory. Typically in psychology this term refers to an, experimental or quasi-experimental study. In a lab based experiment, the experimenter randomly assigns participants to groups in which a key variable is manipulated. The Kassin and Kiechel (1996) study discussed this episode in the video ‘False confessions’ is an example of a laboratory study.
Linguistic style: The style of language used by an individual in verbal communication. For example, an individual may regularly utilise ‘slang’ or colloquialisms and this would be an aspect of their linguistic style.
Miscarriage of justice: Convicting and punishing an innocent person for an offence they did not commit.
(Nine-step) interrogation: A style of interaction between an investigator and a suspect that aims to allow the investigator to establish control over the suspect and use psychological manipulation to obtain a confession.
Observational study: In psychology this refers to the observation of naturally occurring groups understand human behaviour. A study in which police officers’ and judges’ attitudes towards punishment are compared is an example of an observational study.
Paralinguistic style: The vocal style used by an individual including variation in vocal tone and placement of emphasis in speech.
Polygraph: A machine that simultaneously records a number of physiological responses from sensors placed on the body.
Speech disturbance: A disruption to the normal flow of speech. For example a participant showing a speech disturbance may stumble over words or repeat segments of phrases.
Speech latency: Pauses or delays in speech.
The Accused: the person who has been charged with the criminal offence in a criminal trial. The accused can also be referred to as the defendant. In Crime101, our crime drama, the accused is Mr Neil Fox. In our Crime101x videos we use the terms the accused and the defendant interchangeably.
Challenge for cause: Objecting to the selection of a juror for a reason. Typically challenges for cause are made because the juror may be not be able to act impartially as a decider of fact in the criminal trial (e.g. because they know the accused or a witness who will be called).
Defence or defence counsel: The lawyer(s) who represent the accused/defendant in a criminal trial. The role of the defence team or defence counsel is to advocate the interests of the accused and put forward a defence to the charges presented at trial.
Inadmissible: Information that is not allowed to be presented in the trial as evidence. Evidence can be ruled inadmissible for a range of reasons including for being too prejudicial, for having being obtained improperly (e.g. through an illegal search) or for being irrelevant to the facts that must be proven before the jury or judge.
Mock jurors: Community members who are eligible for jury service who are asked to participate in the trial process as if they were actual jurors. In the United States, trial consultants use mock jurors to simulate how trial strategies will be evaluated by jurors who have different individual characteristics. Psychology researchers use mock jurors to understand how jurors make decisions in experimental trial simulations.
Peremptory challenge: Objecting to the selection of a juror without a reason. Prosecutors and defence counsel generally can only make a set number of peremptory challenges in the jury selection process.
Prejudicial information: Information that is more damaging to the defence than it is valuable as evidence to prove a fact in a criminal trial.
Prosecution or prosecutor: The lawyer(s) who represents the community by bringing charges against the defendant. The role of the prosecutor is to prove that the accused/defendant committed the crime by presenting evidence in the criminal trial. This week on Crime101, Kate and Ray had a conversation with the prosecutor QC Richard Gambaro.
QC: An acronym for ‘Queen’s Counsel’. In Australia, ‘Queen’s Counsel’ is a title given to a highly qualified and experienced barrister. Barristers are specially trained lawyers who are permitted to present arguments before the court.
Voir dire: In the United States, the term voir dire refers to the jury selection process in which prospective jurors are questioned about their suitability to sit as a juror on the trial at hand. In Commonwealth countries (such as Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom), voir dire refers to a hearing about the admissibility of evidence between the judge, prosecutor and defence counsel for which the jury are temporarily removed from the courtroom.
Attitude: An enduring evaluation of a person, group or category, object or concept.
Base rates: The rate that something naturally occurs in the population. Blake discusses the base rate of criminal offending by males and females in his video on extra-legal factors.
Cognitive optimisers: A hypothesis that jurors may strategically use stereotypes and schemas to make decisions.
Cognitive misers/mental sluggards: A hypothesis that jurors put in the minimal amount of cognitive effort possible to reach a decision.
Confirmation bias: A tendency to look for evidence that confirms a pre-existing belief or hypothesis about a particular issue.
CSI effect: Podlas (2006) defines the CSI effect in three ways including that watching CSI-type television shows increases the public's interest in forensics and science, creates unreasonable expectations about forensic evidence on the part of the jurors, making a conviction less likely or raises the credibility of scientific evidence so that it is seen as almost infallible, making a conviction more likely.
Elaboration: The amount of thinking that an individual might do about an issue.
Heuristics: Quick decision rules or mental short cuts that we learn from experiences in life. Relying on a heuristic enables faster, though not necessarily better, decision-making.
Schema: A mental model of the world or the self, structured to facilitate cognitions and decision-making.A stereotype is a particular type of schema.
Self-report data: Answers to questionnaire items/questions provided by the individual about themselves or their perceptions.There are problems associated with this kind of data that Blake will discuss next week in Episode 7.
Stereotype: A mental representation of information about a social category. A stereotype can include information about whether we feel positively or negatively about people from that category and also information about what people from that category are like (their attributes), their behaviours and role.
Stereotype congruent: Information that is consistent with the stereotype for a social category.
Stereotype incongruent: Information that is inconsistent with the stereotype for a social category.
Appeal: An application made by the prosecution or defence to a higher court to reconsider the decision made by the trial court.
Conformity: Agreeing with others in a group situation because ofreal or imagined social pressure.
Decision rule: The rule about the number of jurors who must agree on the verdict for the verdict to be legally valid. Generally more serious criminal offences attract a unanimous decision rule where all jurors must agree on the verdict. Lesser criminal offences sometimes use a majority decision rule where some jurors may not agree with the verdict but it still stands.
Dissent: Talking about information or arguments that counters what the majority of group members are saying.
Evidence driven deliberation: A type of deliberation in which jurors focus on a more systematic discussion of the evidence that was presented at trial. The emphasis is on evaluating the evidence rather than taking polls in an attempt to reach a verdict.
Groupthink: A mode of thinking that occurs in highly cohesive, high status groups in which the desire to reach unanimous agreement overrides the motivation to adopt proper, rational decision-making procedures.
Group polarisation: Group discussion intensifies the group's opinions resulting in individual group members' original attitudes become more extreme following group discussion.
Hidden profiles: Information held by individual group members that would contradict the choice that commonly held information by group members would lead the group to.
Hung jury: A jury that cannot reach agreement on a verdict.
Jury foreperson: A person elected to speak for the jury and deliver the jury’s verdict to the court. Research suggests that the jury foreperson does not have a large influence on the jury’s verdict but does influence the deliberation style of the jury.
Judicial instruction: Information provided to the jury by the judge about the law to be applied to the evidence in order to arrive at a verdict. In some jurisdictions, instructions are referred to as ‘directions’.
Paraphrase test: A test of a juror’s comprehension of evidence that asks the juror to write down in their understanding of an instruction provided by the judge.
Substantive law: Laws about that regulate the conduct or behaviour of members of the community. In criminal law, offences are one key aspect of the substantive law.
Question trails: A written form of instructions that converts questions of law into concrete questions of fact for the jury to answer in arriving at a verdict.
Verdict driven deliberation: A type of jury group discussion focussed on reaching a unanimous decision (or a majority decision if the decision rule for the jury requires only a majority decision). The discussion tends to be less about the evidence and more about discussing the verdict options.
Acquittal: A finding at law that the accused person in a criminal trial is not guilty of the offences they were charged with.
Hindsight bias: Thinking that after an event has occurred that the event was more likely to occur than it actually was.
Intervention: A strategy or action used to overcome or avoid a particular behaviour or way of thinking. Mark discussed ‘counter-factuals’ as a possible intervention to avoid the influence of the hindsight bias this episode.
Sentence: Punishment imposed by a judge on a convicted person after that person has been found guilty.