Forensic psychology
Forensic psychology

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Forensic psychology

Week 8: Conclusion


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Throughout this course we have followed and evaluated two investigations of the same crime.
Even though both investigations involved the same witnesses, one led to the wrong people being accused. We saw that using leading questions, bias lineup procedures and concentrating on finding evidence to confirm existing theories made, it is possible to gather a lot of evidence seemingly confirming that an innocent person was in fact guilty of the crime.
Although our two detectives were fictional and we used a staged robbery, we saw at the start of the course that unfortunately miscarriages of justice do occur in real life, and that eyewitness evidence has played a significant role in convicting innocent people.
We might conclude that using any eyewitness evidence is just too problematic, but remember that sometimes it is the only evidence available. Psychological research has shown that it is possible to develop investigative techniques that can improve the accuracy of eyewitness evidence and that limit some of the problems that can lead to miscarriages of justice.
This week we will hear from psychologists about some of the latest research being conducted on eyewitness memory, and how it might help investigations in the future.
You'll also have an opportunity to test your knowledge of the psychology of eyewitness evidence, and to discover how you can learn more about this, and other important areas of psychology.
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You have learned about the psychology involved in obtaining evidence from eyewitnesses, and have followed two very different police investigations through to their conclusion. This week, you will look at some new psychological research on eyewitnesses and explore psychology more broadly.

At the start of this course, you completed a quiz designed to test your knowledge of how your own memory works. During the course you have learned a lot about how memory and other mental processes, such as attention, work. This knowledge has already been put to the test with regard to evaluating the investigations of DI Bullet and DS Sund, and in the next section you will get the chance to test it further in the end-of-course quiz.

Rather than test your memory of what you have learned, the quiz requires you to apply this knowledge. This means you must consider what you know and think how it relates to the question being asked. Do feel free to look back at relevant sections of the course and re-read the specific area being asked about – just remember that you will not find the actual answer within the course.

Following the quiz, you’ll look at some of the latest research being conducted in the area, at the broader work of forensic psychologists and also at how you can learn more about psychology.


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