Forensic psychology
Forensic psychology

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Forensic psychology

3.2 Re-evaluating the statements

Figure 13

You’ll now repeat a similar evaluation exercise that was performed on the evidence from DI Bullet’s statements. However, this time we have altered the possible categories as DS Sund was careful to avoid the effects of co-witnessing.

For each question in the quiz, you will be provided with a specific statement that was obtained by DS Sund in the audio you heard. Your job is to decide whether the statement is likely to have been biased by one of these three factors:

  • Biased as it was suggested by the question asked.
  • Potentially unbiased, but conflicting as the two witnesses recalled different things.
  • Biased as witnesses tend to over and underestimate height, weight, distance and time.

Alternatively, the evidence might not have been influenced by any of the above factors, nor conflicting with information provided by the other witness, in which case you should select:

  • Potentially unbiased and not conflicting with evidence from another witness.

The statements that appear in the quiz are all taken from the recording of DS Sund you heard in DS Sund: initial statements. Do feel free to re-listen to this audio as many times as you like.

Activity 4 Evaluating bias (DS Sund)

Timing: Allow about 15 minutes

Q1. ‘Lila states that there was shouting and three men with guns attacking a security van.’ This piece of evidence is:

a. 

Biased as it was suggested by the question asked.


b. 

Potentially unbiased, but conflicting as the two witnesses recalled different things.


c. 

Biased as witnesses tend to over and underestimate height, weight, distance and time.


d. 

Potentially unbiased and not conflicting with evidence from another witness.


The correct answer is d.

d. 

Well done! The witness provided this piece of evidence without it first being suggested in a question. In addition, no alternative and different account was provided by another witness.

Do re-listen to the audio of DS Sund taking the statements, and consider how this piece of evidence was obtained.


Q2. ‘Seth states that the car was a large, silver, Audi A6.’ This piece of evidence is:

a. 

Biased as it was suggested by the question asked.


b. 

Potentially unbiased, but conflicting as the two witnesses recalled different things.


c. 

Biased as witnesses tend to over and underestimate height, weight, distance and time.


d. 

Potentially unbiased and not conflicting with evidence from another witness.


The correct answer is d.

d. 

Well done! The witness provided this piece of evidence without it first being suggested in a question. In addition, no alternative and different account was provided by another witness.

Do re-listen to the audio of DS Sund taking the statements, and consider how this piece of evidence was obtained.


Q3. ‘Lila states that the car reversed into the street during the crime, at the point where one of the robbers grabbed Liz.’ This piece of evidence is:

a. 

Biased as it was suggested by the question asked.


b. 

Potentially unbiased, but conflicting as the two witnesses recalled different things.


c. 

Biased as witnesses tend to over and underestimate height, weight, distance and time.


d. 

Potentially unbiased and not conflicting with evidence from another witness.


The correct answer is b.

b. 

Well done! In this instance, the two witnesses did recall different things as Seth stated that as the start of the robbery the car drove round the corner and the robbers jumped out.

Do re-listen to the audio of DS Sund taking the statements, and consider how this piece of evidence was obtained.


Q4. ‘Seth states that Liz was kidnapped because she was trying to use her mobile phone, probably to call the police.’ This piece of evidence is:

a. 

Biased as it was suggested by the question asked.


b. 

Potentially unbiased, but conflicting as the two witnesses recalled different things.


c. 

Biased as witnesses tend to over and underestimate height, weight, distance and time.


d. 

Potentially unbiased and not conflicting with evidence from another witness.


The correct answer is d.

d. 

This is correct. The witness provided this piece of evidence without it first being suggested in a question. In addition, no alternative and different account was provided by another witness.

Do re-listen to the audio of DS Sund taking the statements, and consider how this piece of evidence was obtained.


Q5. ‘Lila states that the two masked robbers were wearing dark jackets and army trousers.’ This piece of evidence is:

a. 

Biased as it was suggested by the question asked.


b. 

Potentially unbiased, but conflicting as the two witnesses recalled different things.


c. 

Biased as witnesses tend to over and underestimate height, weight, distance and time.


d. 

Potentially unbiased and not conflicting with evidence from another witness.


The correct answer is b.

b. 

Well done! In this instance, the two witnesses did recall different things as Seth stated that ‘the two masked robbers were wearing hoodies and dark trousers’.

Do re-listen to the audio of DS Sund taking the statements, and consider how this piece of evidence was obtained.


Q6. ‘Seth states that there was something odd about the driver’s eyes; he was wearing really dark sunglasses with a silver frame and was also wearing a cap.’ This piece of evidence is:

a. 

Biased as it was suggested by the question asked.


b. 

Potentially unbiased, but conflicting as the two witnesses recalled different things.


c. 

Biased as witnesses tend to over and underestimate height, weight, distance and time.


d. 

Potentially unbiased and not conflicting with evidence from another witness.


The correct answer is b.

b. 

This is correct. In this instance, the two witnesses did recall different things as Lila stated that ‘the driver was not wearing a mask, was Caucasian, dressed in camouflage and in his early 30s, with short hair and about 5 feet 9’.

Do re-listen to the audio of DS Sund taking the statements, and consider how this piece of evidence was obtained.


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