Forensic psychology
Forensic psychology

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

Forensic psychology

Week 7: Whodunnit?


First, watch the weekly video with Graham and Catriona.

Download this video clip.Video player: ou_futurelearn_psychology_vid_1026.mp4
Skip transcript


Welcome to week 7. During this course, we have learned a great deal about the psychology of being an eyewitness, the problems of obtaining accurate eyewitness evidence and the investigative techniques that have been designed to make the most of human memory.
This has included the common errors made by eyewitnesses, problems associated with attention, weapon focus, face recognition and co-witnessing and how different types of questions and identification procedures, can alter the information that is elicited.
Our two detectives have now concluded their investigations and passed the evidence they have gathered to the prosecution. You will see that although they agree on some things, they disagree not only on what happened, but who the perpetrators are.
Using your knowledge of psychology and police investigations, you will help the defense team prepare counter arguments against the evidence that the prosecution will use.
This week you will also get the chance to solve the case yourself. We will then show a video of exactly what happened in the crime and we will get the opportunity to see the results of the investigation that was conducted by a real team of police officers.
See you next week.
End transcript
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

This week, you’ll evaluate the investigations conducted by DI Bullet and DS Sund and determine how sound their conclusions are. You will also get a chance to solve the crime yourself before seeing what actually happened, and seeing how well real police officers managed to solve it.

You’ll be presented with the cases for the prosecution that have been built on the evidence collected by our two detectives, DI Jake Bullet and DS Lara Sund. In a real case, the defence team can bring in experts to give evidence to the jury about certain aspects of the case. Psychologists can be asked to provide expert testimony on many things, including issues of mental health and eyewitness memory. When evaluating the prosecution cases, you will take the part of a psychologist who has been hired by the defence as an expert on eyewitness memory. Your job will be to evaluate the way the evidence was collected and use the knowledge you have about eyewitness memory to show that the prosecution’s case is flawed.

In producing your expert evaluation, try and judge which pieces of evidence are the most reliable. These will come in very useful at the end of the activity when you attempt to solve the crime yourself.


Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371