Category Archives: Psychology

Drawing Conclusions and Predictions

Question

Assignment 1: Conclusions and Predictions

In the last two modules, you were involved in reviewing your classmates’ work and providing constructive feedback on their papers and their Microsoft PowerPoint presentations.

In this assignment, you will draw conclusions from the entire body of work represented by the research papers and make predictions in the forensic psychology field.

 For this assignment, consider the seminar papers and Microsoft PowerPoint presentations that you have reviewed and your own research paper.

 On the basis of these research papers and presentations, present what you have learned. Your presentation should be in terms of specific conclusions that you might draw about the dimensions of forensic psychology and the ramifications for forensic psychology services. Describe how the conclusions and knowledge obtained from these papers and presentations will affect the state of practice in one area in the field of forensic psychology over the next ten years. To do this, take what you have learned from these research papers and infer generic themes and factors pertinent to a field of practice. For example, one paper might be about apples and another about oranges. We do not mix apples and oranges, but apples and oranges are both fruit, are edible, bear seeds, grow on trees, etc.

In the field of forensic psychology, research on posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and victims of violence might have a major impact on preventing burnout among criminal justice personnel at the same time. So although the papers reviewed may seem very different, their results and conclusions may have an important impact on one of the following fields of forensic practice: Law enforcement Community corrections Jails and prisons Offender or victim treatment Offender assessment or evaluation Professional ethics in forensic services Etiology of criminal behavior Public policy Prevention Post an analysis in a minimum of 500–600 words.

Sample paper

Drawing Conclusions and Predictions

One of the emerging themes from these papers is the issue of rehabilitation programs and their efficacy in reducing recidivism rates. This is in the category of offender assessment or evaluation. Offender assessment or evaluation systems are designed to identify and make classifications relating to the risk of re-offending. Offender assessment and evaluation systems also examine the risk of causing serious harm, to either self or others. The research paper by Nadia examines the effectiveness of rehabilitation programs in reducing recidivism rates in prison. The major them is that various rehabilitation programs in prisons lower the rate of recidivism among offenders. The research paper by Jazmin examines the application of correctional psychology practice in reducing the risk of recidivism. Correctional psychology involves various activities such as assessing offender risk, developing therapy sessions, catastrophe interventions, and others aimed at reducing recidivism.

My research paper explores the impact of interrogation tactics and suspect characteristics on false confession rates in the criminal justice system. The conclusions I have made is that there are significantly high incidences of false confessions especially among the youths. Aggressive interrogation tactics are the major cause of false confessions especially among the youth. These interrogation tactics combined with mental health issues and certain personalities improve the susceptibility of an individual to false confessions. These conclusions have a significant impact in offender assessment and evaluation. The study conclusions can enable law enforcement officers to identify innocent individuals who have nonetheless receive wrongful convictions.

Another emerging theme concerns the approach applied by law enforcement officials in dealing with offenders. Taking a punitive approach does not help since it increases the risk of recidivism. As Jazmin concludes, the increase in application of punitive approach in the criminal justice system worsens the recidivism rates. The criminal justice system should take a therapeutic approach in helping offenders reform their criminal behaviours. The research paper by Nadia defines rehabilitation as the application of therapeutic procedures, counselling, and vocational training to help shape the offenders’ behaviour. The goals or incarceration and rehabilitation are not to punish the offender but to help them to reintegrate back into the society especially after the end of their sentence. Rehabilitation aims at ensuring that the offender is not a danger to self or to other individuals in the community. These themes are critical in offender assessment or evaluation.

An emerging ramification of these studies is the need to enlist the services of qualified forensic psychologists in conducting offender assessment or evaluations. Majority of law enforcement officers hold the notion that they can accurately tell whether a suspect is lying or telling the truth (Kassin, Drizin, Grisso, Gudjonsson, Leo, & Redlich, 2010;2009;). As I note in my research, most of the times the law enforcement officers often make the wrong assumptions. The papers highlight the increasing need to rely on forensic psychologists who can evaluate offenders with a higher degree of accuracy. While conducting offender assessment or evaluations, there is, need to enlist trained professionals who can be able to conduct the assessments accurately. Correctional psychologists are also valuable in providing psychotherapeutic as well as medical services to offenders. The predictions from these papers is that there will be increased reliance on the services of forensic psychologists in the criminal justice system, and in the coming decade.

Reference

Kassin, S. M., Drizin, S. A., Grisso, T., Gudjonsson, G. H., Leo, R. A., & Redlich, A. D. (2010;2009;). Police-induced confessions: Risk factors and recommendations. Law and   Human Behavior, 34(1), 3-38. doi:10.1007/s10979-009-9188-6

Seminar Questions

Question

Assignment 2: Seminar Questions

For this assignment, develop three open-ended discussion questions related to your research topic in a 1- to 2-page Microsoft Word document. Include with each question a short paragraph or two with your answer or response to the question.

These questions should generate critical thinking about your topic. Your questions might be developed around some of these topics:

Issues and further research to be addressed

Ramifications and applications for forensic services practitioners

Conflicting results and data

Prejudice and bias in the field about the topic

Arguments for and against results and conclusions

All written assignments and responses should follow APA rules for attributing sources.

Developed three open-ended, clearly phrased questions designed to generate critical thinking about your topic.

Wrote in a clear, concise, and organized manner; demonstrated ethical scholarship in the accurate representation and attribution of sources; and displayed accurate spelling, grammar, and punctuation.

Sample paper

Seminar Questions

Question 1

Should officers hold lengthy interrogations with suspects in order to ensure they obtain all the information they need?

There is raging debate over the duration of time that a suspect should spend in the interrogation process. One faction argues that lengthy interrogation sessions are ineffective since they put more pressure on the suspect, which leads to false confessions. The other faction argues that lengthy interrogation sessions are necessary to obtain critical information from the subject. In addition, a lengthy interrogation session enables the interrogator to evaluate every aspect of a particular issue. If the suspect is giving false information, there is a high chance of giving contradictory evidence to the advantage of the interrogator. Some experts have suggested that three-hour time limits for each interrogation session may help in reducing the incidences of false confessions caused by stress and fatigue. This idea is controversial because law enforcement officers gain more information and understanding of the suspect’s characteristics when they interact with him/her for a longer duration.

Would it be appropriate to apply certain interview techniques such as presentation of false evidence to minors?

On many occasions, interrogators provide false evidence of witnesses in an attempt to get a confession from the suspect. However, various studies have issued warnings over the application of false evidence to minors. Some experts argue that minors may not have the confidence to protest the false evidence and may end up making false confessions (Kassin, Drizin, Grisso, Gudjonsson, Leo, & Redlich, 2010). The ramification of this is that interrogators must change their interview techniques to more appropriate ones that do not put too much pressure on suspects. Voluminous studies indicate that minors are particularly vulnerable to making false confessions. This is because of their underdeveloped brain. In particular, aggressive interviewing techniques are highly likely to put too much pressure on minors and lead to false confessions.

To what extent can interrogators tell whether a suspect is telling the truth or giving false statements?

There is controversy relating to how well interrogators or police can tell whether a suspect is giving the truth or false statements. The common view among law enforcement professionals is that they can be able to judge accurately whether a suspect should be interrogated or let free (Kassin et al., 2007). Law enforcement officials attribute the confidence to job experience and training programs that enables them to tell a truth from a lie. For instance, law enforcement professionals can make use of verbal and non-verbal cues to tell whether a suspect is lying. However, recent studies indicate that it is difficult to tell whether a suspect is lying by simply examining verbal or non-verbal cues. As such, it appears that the confidence among law enforcement professionals is misplaced.

Reference

Costanzo, M. A., & Constanzo, M. L. (2014). False confessions and police interrogation. In G.    Bruinsma & D. Weisburd (Eds.), Encyclopedia of criminology and criminal justice (pp.            1547–1554). New York: Springer

Kassin, S. M., Drizin, S. A., Grisso, T., Gudjonsson, G. H., Leo, R. A., & Redlich, A. D. (2010). Police-induced confessions: Risk factors and recommendations. Law and Human Behavior, 34(1), 3-38. doi:10.1007/s10979-009-9188-6

Kassin, S. M., Leo, R. A., Meissner, C. A., Richman, K. D., Colwell, L. H., Leach, A., & La        Fon, D. (2007). Police interviewing and interrogation: A self-report survey of police          practices and beliefs. Law and Human Behavior, 31(4), 381-400. doi:10.1007/s10979- 006-9073-5

Related:

Presentation on Research Paper Elements

Presentation on Research Paper Elements

Research Topic

  • This is the first element of the research paper.
  • The topic is the subject matter being discussed.
  • The topic for the paper is “Examining the duo impact of interrogation tactics and suspect characteristics on false confessions”.

Abstract

  • The role of DNA exonerations in highlighting incidences of false confessions.
  • Overview of police interrogations.
  • Overview of suspect characteristics.
  • The issue of false memories

Introduction

  • A general presentation of the problem under scrutiny.
  • Explanation of the purpose of the research paper.
  • Presenting evidence on DNA exonerations (Kassin, Drizin, Grisso, Gudjonsson, Leo, & Redlich, 2010).
  • Thesis statement.

Literature Review

  • This part comprises of scholarly articles detailing the topic.
  • It comprises of an examination of what other scholars are saying about the topic.
  • Informs the reader about knowledge and ideas surrounding the topic.

DNA Exonerations

  • Overview of DNA exonerations
  • The first DNA exoneration
  • Popular case laws on DNA exonerations
  • Percentages.

(Kassin et al., 2010; “Associated Press”, 2017).

Issues in False Confessions

  • The problem of proving innocence in the court of law
  • Methods used in identifying false confessions
  • Overview of the type of crimes that records highest exonerations.

(Kassin et al., 2010),

False Memories

  • Definition
  • Factors affecting the development of false memories
  • The role of persuasion strategies in the development of false memories.
  • The misinformation effect

(Leding, 2012; Narchet, Meissner, and Russano, 2011)

Interrogation Techniques and False Confessions

  • Literature review on types of interrogation techniques
  • Overview of minimization techniques
  • Overview of maximization techniques

(Narchet, Meissner, & Russano, 2011; Frenda, Berkowitz, Loftus, & Fenn, 2016).

  • Overview of a study examining the impact of maximization techniques
  • The “ALT Key” paradigm
  • Study conclusions

(Frenda, Berkowitz, Loftus, & Fenn, 2016; Safarik, Ann, & Burgess, 2012).

Personal Factors in False Confessions

  • How age influences false confessions
  • The effect of intellectual disabilities on false confessions
  • The role of personality in false confessions
  • Vulnerable personalities.

(Perillo & Kassin, 2011).

Conclusions from the Review of Literature

  • Police interrogation techniques have a significant influence in false confessions
  • Suspect characteristics also influence false confessions
  • False memories play a key role in false confessions

Gaps and Contradictions in Literature

  • There are concerns that seasoned inmates who are seeking legal advice often refuse to cooperate with interrogators due to mistrust.
  • It is still unclear why people make voluntary confessions to crimes they did not commit, holding certain factors constant such as mental illness, retardation, escaping punishment, and seeking publicity.
  • There is incomplete data on the role of cognitive and psychological factors in contributing to false confessions

Recommendations for Further Research

  • There is need to conduct research on appropriate length on interrogation sessions.
  • There is need to examine the impact of use false evidence to minors.
  • There is need for future research in interrogator’s abilities to tell whether a suspect is telling the truth or lying.

Conclusion

  • The interplay of police interrogation techniques and suspect characteristics influence the he likelihood of suspects making false confessions.
  • Persons with personality disorders are also at increased risk of false confessions.
  • Majority of false confessions involve juveniles

References

  • Associated Press. (2017, March 21). Virginia governor pardons ‘Norfolk 4’ sailors in 1997 rape and murder. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved from http://www.latimes.com/nation/nationnow/la-na-norfolk-four-virginia-pardon-20170321- story.html
  • Frenda, S. J., Berkowitz, S. R., Loftus, E. F., & Fenn, K. M. (2016). Sleep deprivation and false confessions. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 113(8):2047-2050.
  • Kassin, S. M., Drizin, S. A., Grisso, T., Gudjonsson, G. H., Leo, R. A., & Redlich, A. D. (2010;2009;). Police-induced confessions: Risk factors and recommendations. Law and Human Behavior, 34(1), 3-38. doi:10.1007/s10979-009-9188-6
  • Leding, J. K. (2012). False memories and persuasion strategies. Review of General Psychology, 16(3), 256-268. doi:10.1037/a0027700
  • Leo, R. A. (2009). False confessions: causes, consequences, and implications. Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, 37(3): 332-343.
  • Mnookin, J. L. (2015). Constructing evidence and educating juries: The case for modular, made-in-advance expert evidence about eyewitness identifications and false confessions. Texas Law Review, 93(7), 1811.
  • Mnookin, J. L. (2015). Constructing evidence and educating juries: The case for modular, made- in-advance expert evidence about eyewitness identifications and false confessions. Texas Law Review, 93(7), 1811.
  • Narchet, F. M., Meissner, C. A., & Russano, M. B. (2010;2011;). Modeling the influence of investigator bias on the elicitation of true and false confessions. Law and Human Behavior, 35(6), 452-465. doi:10.1007/s10979-010-9257-x
  • Perillo, J. T., & Kassin, S. M. (2011). Inside interrogation: The lie, the bluff, and false confessions. Law and Human Behavior, 35(4), 327-37. doi:http://dx.doi.org.libproxy.edmc.edu/10.1007/s10979-010-9244-2.
  • Safarik, Mark E,M.S., V.S.M., Burgess, Ann W,D.N.Sc, A.P.R.N., & Burgess, A. G., D.B.A. (2012). FALSE CONFESSION vs. investigative logic. Forensic Examiner, 21(1), 8-17. Retrieved from https://login.libproxy.edmc.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com.libproxy.edmc.edu/  docview/1239519408?accountid=34899
  • Shaw, J., & Porter, S. (2015). Constructing rich false memories of committing crime. Psychological Science, 26(3), 291-301. doi:10.1177/0956797614562862
  • Snook, B., Brooks, D., & Bull, R. (2015). A lesson on interrogations from detainees: Predicting self-reported confessions and cooperation. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 42(12), 1243- 1260. doi:10.1177/0093854815604179.
  • Yang, Y., Guyll, M., & Madon, S. (2017). The interrogation decision-making model: A general theoretical framework for confessions. Law and Human Behavior, 41(1), 80-92. doi:http://dx.doi.org.libproxy.edmc.edu/10.1037/lhb0000220

Powerpoint

False Confessions

Question

Usually, students underestimate the importance of a rough draft. It is obviously secondary to the final paper; however, the final product is based entirely on the rough draft. The greater the effort made in developing the rough draft, the better will be the final version of the seminar paper. The rough draft will take more time than just a haphazard writing of ideas takes, and if the draft is done well, it will save much time and worry at the time of the final writing.

Gather all the materials you have collected so far related to your seminar paper.

Strategy: Read all notes and write one or two paragraphs in your own words explaining the main point of your seminar paper. Explain the essential message you have researched and are trying to communicate. Keep this material before you as you write the rough draft. Revise it as you proceed, if necessary. This may become your introduction or your conclusion. Your seminar paper should be constructed to develop and support your thesis through discussion of the studies you have researched.

Created an appropriate introduction explaining the topic and its importance in the forensic psychology field.

Provided a well-integrated analysis of the scholarly research on the topic appropriate in depth and length.

Clearly expressed one or more conclusions emerging from the review of the literature and showed how your review of the literature supports your conclusions.

Identified recommendations for conducting further research to address the specific gaps in the literature.

Wrote in a clear, concise, and organized manner; demonstrated ethical scholarship in the accurate representation and attribution of sources; and displayed accurate spelling, grammar, and punctuation.

Sample paper

False Confessions

Examining the duo impact of interrogation tactics and suspect characteristics on false confessions

Abstract

Various studies suggest that certain interrogation practices by police increase the likelihood of obtaining false confessions. This is true in light of the recent incidences of DNA exonerations. DNA exonerations indicate that people may confess to offenses that they did not take part in due to a multiplicity of factors. This paper examines the factors relating to the nature of police interrogations and the suspect characteristics. The various factors relating to the nature of police investigations include minimization and maximization strategies, presentation of false evidence, and coercive interrogation techniques. The nature of police interrogations fundamentally affects the likelihood of false confessions. The various individual or suspect characteristics include age, mental illness, IQ score or intelligence, as well as various personality traits. Suspect characteristics and interrogation methods also play a huge role in development of false memories.

Interrogation tactics and suspect characteristics play a significant part role in suspect confessions. A combination of interrogation tactics and suspect characteristics largely influence the outcomes of an interrogation process. In the recent period, the issue of wrongful convictions has come in the limelight following DNA evidence exonerations of high profile cases. This has raised concern over the efficacy of interrogation tactics employed by law enforcement officers. Indeed, interrogation practices employed by the police have been a center of interest in various fields include criminology, sociology, and in the field of forensic psychology. Forensic psychologists apply psychological knowledge to solving legal matters in the criminal justice system. The issue of false confessions is important to the field of forensic psychology. Forensic psychologists scrutinize psychological evidence and provide opinion that influence court decisions. Application of forensic psychology can assist in evaluating the best interrogation practices and in determining false confessions. Recent evidence indicates that about 20 percent of DNA evidence exonerations comprise of false confessions (Kassin, Drizin, Grisso, Gudjonsson, Leo, & Redlich, 2010). This calls for a closer look at factors contributing to false confessions and making recommendations to mitigate these factors.

DNA Exonerations

The application of DNA testing provides credible evidence that helps in decision making in courts. DNA evidence is highly accurate. Over the last three decades, DNA evidence has been used in exonerating wrongly convicted individuals. The first DNA exoneration occurred in in 1989, involving Gary Dotson, convicted of rape (Kassin et al., 2010). Since then, DNA testing has contributed to over 200 exonerations. Surprisingly, about 20 percent of DNA exonerations represent false confessions. These are incidences where suspects admit to committing a crime but later evidence evaluation proves their innocence. This is especially in high profile cases that may attract the death sentence or lead to lengthy incarcerations. There have been recent incidences of high-profile cases involving false confession. In 1997, four men namely Williams, Dick, Jr., Tice and Eric faced conviction for the rape and murder of a woman (“Associated Press”, 2017). Dick, Jr. implicated Tice and Eric during hearing. Later, the men claimed that they pleaded guilty after the interrogation officers issued threats of death penalty. After serving sometime in prison, an inmate, Omar Ballard, confessed to committing the heinous crime. His DNA matched that on the crime scene.

The ‘Norfolk Four’ case and others involving false confession has been the subject of public debate in the recent period. The focus is mainly on the efficacy of interrogation practices employed by the police. These high profile cases highlight the dire need for reexamining interrogation practices by law enforcement officials. The rise of DNA exonerations highlights critical errors in the administration of justice. It also highlights the major sources of wrongful convictions as errors in application of forensic science, false testimonies, eyewitness misidentification, and poor interrogation techniques leading to false confessions. Continued application of DNA evidence in post-conviction analysis will lead to identification of more wrongful conviction. It is difficult to estimate the total number of wrongful convictions that occur in the criminal justice system. This is because of difficulties in proving innocence and lack of official data from the criminal justice system regarding reversed judgments.

Issues in False Confessions

It is difficult to establish false confessions in the criminal justice system because of challenges in proving innocence on the part of the accused. There are several ways of identifying false confessions within the criminal justice system. The most common method is through DNA exonerations. This occurs when DNA evidence reveals that an individual was not on the scene of crime. Authorities can also consider other forms of scientific evidence. The second way involves the revelation that the alleged crime did not take place. For instance, when a person alleged to be dead emerges. The third way is through the identification of the real perpetrator of the crime. In some cases, the real perpetrators come forward and confess their actions, leading the law enforcement officials to decriminalize those charged.

Most exonerations occur in high profile cases. According to Kassin et al. (2010), 81 percent of false confessions involve murder cases. The sample of this study included the period between 1971 and 2002.  Rape came second with 8 percent of the total exonerations between the periods. Majority of the exonerations occurred because of the arrest or identification of the real perpetrators, representing 74 percent. About 46% of the exonerations were the result of the introduction of new scientific evidence, and mainly DNA evidence. The most vulnerable population includes the young, those with mental illness, and the mentally retarded. About 63 percent of those who confess falsely are below 25 years, and 32 percent below 18 years. These findings indicate an increased likelihood of obtaining false confessions from among the youth.

False Memories

Memory plays a critical role in retrieving information. However, memory is susceptible to distortions especially with the passage of time. Leding (2012) examines the likelihood of developing false memories when interrogators apply persuasion strategies. An analysis of literature indicates that persuasion strategies by interrogation officials increases the risk of not only false confessions by also the formation of false memories, albeit in rare cases. According to Leding (2012), persuasion strategies increase the likelihood of false confessions by curbing the suspect’s ability to engage systematic judgment and by reducing the volume of evidence needed for creating memories. This is similar to Narchet, Meissner, and Russano (2011) assertion that maximization techniques create memory uncertainties among individuals. False memories apply in other key areas apart from influencing false confessions. Research in false memory is integral in evaluation of eyewitness testimony.

Certain persuasion strategies promote the development of false memories among individuals. During interrogations, forensic psychologists or interrogators can exert undue pressure on a suspect, either deliberately or unknowingly, while attempting to evaluate past occurrences (Shaw & Porter, 2015). This undue pressure can significantly affect the accuracy of retrieved memories. In 1979, Elizabeth Loftus examined the misinformation effect and the development of false memories. According to Leding (2012), the misinformation effect occurs in three stages. In the first stage, the individual observes an event occurring. In the second stage, a different party introduces false information concerning the event. In the third stage, the individual who witnessed the event recalls the occurrence. At this stage, it is highly likely that the individual will ‘recall’ things that did not happen in the event. When a third party introduces false information, some infiltrates the witness’s memory, which leads to development of false memories.

Apart from the misinformation effect, other strategies can also influence the formation of false memories. Research indicates that distractions that occur during recounting of events can influence memory formation. Another strategy is imagination inflation. This occurs when individuals imagine or form memories of events that never occurred. Studies have indicated that insinuations about particular events occurring during childhood increase some people’s subjective confidence that the said event actually occurred. For instance, participants were asked to fill a questionnaire purporting that they could have done something during their childhood, such as breaking a window with their bare hands. In the second stage, the researchers requested the participants to imagine the event occurring. In the last stage, the researchers asked the participants to fill out the forms again. This was under the impression that the first forms were lost. The findings indicated that participants had greater confidence that the imaginary events occurred.

It is clear that persuasion strategies increase the possibility of false memories and hence the rate of false confessions. The study of false memories is important because it helps in understanding real world problems in therapeutic process as well as in the criminal justice system (Frenda, Berkowitz, Loftus, & Fenn, 2016). For instance, studies on false memories provide the basis for evaluating cases involving childhood memories of abuse. When investigators or forensic psychologists attempt to dig into past memories, various social influences may come into play, hindering the accurate retrieval of such memories. It is worth noting that the interrogators and forensic psychologists can greatly influence the outcomes or the decision of the court in relation to a particular case. As such, the interrogators and forensic psychologists must ensure that social influences do not come into play while scrutinizing the evidence presented.

From the above, it is clear that researchers can induce individuals to produce false accounts of events through various manipulation strategies. The memories may seem real since individuals involved are able to create new accounts of particular events and hold them as true. According to Porter and Shaw (2015), the mind has the ability to construct coherent but false images of particular events. Memories from emotional and stressful events are also susceptible to memory modifications (Leding, 2012). Lending (2012) notes that alpha strategies that appeal to emotion or fear during interrogations are highly likely to lead to false confessions.

False memories have a significant influence in the interview process. Interrogators who introduce new and inaccurate information during the interview process can lead to formation of false memories. Further, applying aggressive methods such as pressuring a suspect to provide particular information can lead to giving of false accounts (Lending, 2012; Porter & Shaw, 2015). Confrontational approaches during the interview process increase the likelihood of the suspect giving false confessions. Guilt presumption can also influence the development of false memories and hence facilitate false confessions. Internalized confessions are different from compliant and voluntary false confessions described by Kassin et al. (2010). In internalized confessions, the individual involved actually believes that he/she committed the offence (Porter & Shaw, 2015). False memories have similar characteristics as true memories. It is therefore difficult for the suspect or interrogator to identify false memories when they occur.

Interrogation Techniques and False Confessions

Classification of interrogation techniques falls into two main categories. These include maximization and minimization techniques. Minimization techniques are those that are not coercive (Narchet, Meissner, & Russano, 2011). In applying minimization techniques, interrogators may underplay the seriousness of the offense to avoid creating pressure on the suspect. The interrogators show sympathy and provide excuses for why the suspect may have committed the offense in question. The interrogator may also attempt to justify why the suspect committed the offense. On the other hand, maximization techniques are more aggressive and may include coercion (Narchet, Meissner, & Russano, 2011). While applying maximization techniques, the investigators often exaggerate the consequences of the crime to the suspect. Another approach under maximization techniques is the use of false evidence, where the interrogator claims to have DNA evidence or witnesses to the offense. The two categories of interrogation techniques have a significant impact on suspect’s tendency to make a confession.

A number of studies have examined the risk of maximization techniques in leading to false confessions among suspects. Kassin and Kiechel conducted a study to evaluate the impact of aggressive investigation methods in making admissions among suspects (as cited in Narchet, Meissner, & Russano, 2011). The study, also known as “Alt key” paradigm, involved participants completing some typing tasks. During typing, the computer would crash and the researcher would accuse the person of striking the ‘ALT’ key while typing. Prior to the start of the typing exercise, the researcher warned the participants not to strike the ‘ALT’ key. The findings of the study indicate that most participants had memory uncertainty concerning whether they hit the ‘ALT’ key. Presentation of a false witness further convinced the participants that they actually hit the ‘ALT’ key (Frenda, Berkowitz, Loftus, & Fenn, 2016). The study conclusions indicate that the use of false evidence and accusations increase the likelihood of false confessions during interrogations.

Kassin et al. (2010) examines three types of false confessions. The first type of false confession is voluntary false confession. This occurs when a suspect confesses to a crime without coercive action by the investigators. Kassin et al. (2010) hypothesize a number of reasons why people may engage in this type of false confession. One of the possible reasons is a pathological want to be labeled as notorious. Another possible reason is an unconscious need for self-punishment. It is worth noting that majority of voluntary false confessions involve highly publicized murders, such as those involving famous persons. The second type of confession is compliant false confessions. Compliant false confessions involve the suspect being coerced to a confession and usually to avoid particular consequences (Safarik, Ann, & Burgess, 2012). For instance, the interrogator may threaten the suspect with a severe sentence if he/she fails to confess. The last type is internalized false confession, whereby the suspect comes to believe that he/she committed the offence (Porter & Shaw, 2015; Kassin et al., 2010). This occurs through persuasion and influence of errors in remembering.

Generally, aggressive approaches during interrogations increase the likelihood of suspects to make false confessions. Misclassifications by interrogators often increase their use of coercive approaches. Misclassification errors occur when the detectives believe that an innocent individual is guilty of a crime. Once the interrogators misclassify somebody as guilty, they may apply undue pressure until the person confesses to be innocent. This leads to the problem of false confessions. This is worse especially in cases where the interrogators believe they can detect lies among suspects. Psychological coercion leads to police-induced false confessions. This also increases the number of wrongful convictions. According to Snook, Brooks, and Bull (2015), accusatory investigations are more likely to lead to false confessions due to suspect intimidations.

Personal Factors in False Confessions

Age. Certain dispositional factors play a significant role in determining the likelihood of a false confession. Vast volumes of literature indicate that age and mental status are the key dispositional risk factors influencing false confession. Age is a significant factor in influencing false confessions. According to Yang, Guyll, and Madon (2017), adolescents have an immature brain that encourages impulsivity and inadequate controls in various cognitive tasks. This affects their decision-making. Moreover, the brain of an adolescent is still in development. According to Leo (2009), most of the developmental traits characterizing those with mental disabilities also characterize children and a significant portion of adolescents. This increases their vulnerability to false confessions. Adolescents tend to show immaturity, acquiescence, great trust to authority, and other characteristics that increase their vulnerability to making false confessions. Children and adolescents have a skewed understanding of the consequences or gravity of a particular situation. They may downplay a serious case leading to wrongful convictions.

Intellectual Disabilities. Intellectual disabilities play a significant role in leading to false confessions. According to Yang, Guyll, and Madon (2017), individuals with cognitive impairments are impulsive and unlikely to realize the full gravity of the issues at hand. Thus, while they may could be facing high profile charges, such individuals may not understand the long-term impacts of what they say. Those with cognitive impairments have intellectual disabilities that impair their judgment capabilities. As such, they are unable to appreciate fully the future impacts of the decisions they make. Intellectual disabilities characterized by IQ scores of below 70 present a range of serious impairments such as communication challenges, interpersonal skills, self-direction, and among others. Various mental illnesses can also increase the likelihood of a false confession. Some mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, and among others can increase the likelihood of false confessions.

Personality. Other dispositional factors influence the susceptibility of the suspect to false confessions. Personality plays an important role in determining false confessions among individuals (Perillo & Kassin, 2011). Certain personality traits such as compliance, suggestibility, agreeability, and others influence false confessions. Other important factors to include in this category include personality disorders and psychopathology. According to Kassin et al. (2010), personality disorders increase the possibility of false confessions, albeit in a complex way. Individuals with personality disorders are more likely to engage in criminal acts. In line with this, they are more likely to face arrests and interrogations by the police. Since they are prone to lying, this increases their likelihood of making false denials or even false confessions. Psychopathology is closely connected with mental health issues, and hence its presence increases the chance of false confessions.

Vulnerable personality. General vulnerabilities can influence false confessions among individuals. Although coercion plays a greater role in determining false confessions, individual differences also play a role in determining whether an individual can withstand aggressive tactics and pressure from interrogators. Highly compliant individuals are susceptible to making false confessions when under interrogation pressure. Compliant individuals often tend to avoid conflicts by engaging in behaviors that aim to please others (Leo, 2009). In addition, highly suggestible individuals are also at increased risk of false confessions. These persons have common characteristics such as low assertiveness, anxiety, and low self-esteem. Others have poor memory of events. Personality factors, combined with different situational factors such as fatigue, lack of sleep, alcohol withdrawal can lead to false confessions.

Conclusion

The interplay of police interrogation techniques and suspect characteristics influence the he likelihood of suspects making false confessions. Incidences involving false confessions have been on the rise in the recent past as revealed by DNA exonerations. Surprisingly, majority of false confessions involve the youth. Juveniles and individuals with mental health problems are at increased risk of false confessions. Persons with personality disorders are also at increased risk of false confessions. The findings of this study indicate that maximization techniques applied by police are particularly likely to induce false confessions. Maximization techniques are more aggressive and may include coercion. While applying maximization techniques, the investigators often exaggerate the consequences of the crime to the suspect. Personal factors that influence the likelihood of making false confessions include age, intellectual disability, mental illness, personality traits, and other general vulnerabilities.

References

Associated Press. (2017, March 21). Virginia governor pardons ‘Norfolk 4’ sailors in 1997 rape    and murder. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved from    http://www.latimes.com/nation/nationnow/la-na-norfolk-four-virginia-pardon-20170321-      story.html

Frenda, S. J., Berkowitz, S. R., Loftus, E. F., & Fenn, K. M. (2016). Sleep deprivation and false   confessions. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of    America, 113(8):2047-2050.

Kassin, S. M., Drizin, S. A., Grisso, T., Gudjonsson, G. H., Leo, R. A., & Redlich, A. D. (2010;2009;). Police-induced confessions: Risk factors and recommendations. Law and   Human Behavior, 34(1), 3-38. doi:10.1007/s10979-009-9188-6

Leding, J. K. (2012). False memories and persuasion strategies. Review of General            Psychology, 16(3), 256-268. doi:10.1037/a0027700

Leo, R. A. (2009). False confessions: causes, consequences, and implications. Journal of the        American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, 37(3): 332-343.

Mnookin, J. L. (2015). Constructing evidence and educating juries: The case for modular, made- in-advance expert evidence about eyewitness identifications and false confessions. Texas        Law Review, 93(7), 1811.

Mnookin, J. L. (2015). Constructing evidence and educating juries: The case for modular, made- in-advance expert evidence about eyewitness identifications and false confessions. Texas        Law Review, 93(7), 1811.

Narchet, F. M., Meissner, C. A., & Russano, M. B. (2010;2011;). Modeling the influence of         investigator bias on the elicitation of true and false confessions. Law and Human          Behavior, 35(6), 452-465. doi:10.1007/s10979-010-9257-x

Perillo, J. T., & Kassin, S. M. (2011). Inside interrogation: The lie, the bluff, and false      confessions. Law and Human Behavior, 35(4), 327-37.             doi:http://dx.doi.org.libproxy.edmc.edu/10.1007/s10979-010-9244-2.

Safarik, Mark E,M.S., V.S.M., Burgess, Ann W,D.N.Sc, A.P.R.N., & Burgess, A. G., D.B.A.       (2012). FALSE CONFESSION vs. investigative logic. Forensic Examiner, 21(1), 8-17.    Retrieved from             https://login.libproxy.edmc.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com.libproxy.edmc.edu/            docview/1239519408?accountid=34899

Shaw, J., & Porter, S. (2015). Constructing rich false memories of committing       crime. Psychological Science, 26(3), 291-301. doi:10.1177/0956797614562862

Snook, B., Brooks, D., & Bull, R. (2015). A lesson on interrogations from detainees: Predicting   self-reported confessions and cooperation. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 42(12), 1243-            1260. doi:10.1177/0093854815604179.

Yang, Y., Guyll, M., & Madon, S. (2017). The interrogation decision-making model: A general   theoretical framework for confessions. Law and Human Behavior, 41(1), 80-92.             doi:http://dx.doi.org.libproxy.edmc.edu/10.1037/lhb0000220

Related:

False Confessions and Annotated Bibliography

Data and Gap Analysis and Outline

Question

Assignment 2: Data and Gap Analysis and Outline

Part 1: Initiating Data Analysis

As you reach the completion of your research and develop the annotated bibliography, you may begin to see themes and patterns emerging from your selection of sources. Organization is of supreme importance in piecing together and writing a major research paper. A system providing easy access to logically categorized reference material in an outline sequence provides you with a very efficient tool for composing a research paper.

For this assignment, you will begin to:

Organize resources and bibliographical items.

Analyze the content of pertinent research and studies included in your bibliographies.

Formulate the commonalities and interrelationships in your resources or data as they pertain to the focus of your research paper topics.

Follow the guidelines in your textbook for reviewing and analyzing your sources from the established literature in the research paper topic.

Take note of the research question of each study, the methods used to study the question, how data samples were collected, the results, and the conclusions. Engage in a critical analysis to determine whether the studies have validity and reliability.

While reading and rereading these sources, note the themes, patterns, or other classifications that may come to your mind for organizing the resources, articles, and other materials. Another strategy is to separate those articles that support one key set of results from those articles that refute similar results.

Develop a 1- to 2-page analysis of the validity and reliability of your sources and about the themes and patterns that are emerging from the collected data.

Part 2: Gaps and Contradictions

Unlike a jigsaw puzzle, a major research paper does not usually have all the pieces that you would desire to have for a complete picture or the thorough exposition and analysis of a thesis. A few pieces are often missing, some data and results are contradictory, and some obvious questions and issues remain unaddressed in the research literature.

While completing the research papers, it is important for you to observe what is missing or absent or what can be found in your research. This assignment offers you an opportunity to analyze the data, information, and resources you have collected so far for your research area.

Analyze where the data may be incomplete and pose a method or a strategy for reaching a strong support or a confident conclusion for your paper. For example, there may be gaps in the research, the research can be outdated, or there can be conflicting research results. An example of the latter might be the inclusion of an article that addresses sociological factors involved in police shootings when your thesis addresses solely psychological factors.

Examine the data, information, and resources obtained from the research paper and analyze the following:

Explore the issues of gaps, contradictions, and limitations as they may have emerged while developing the research topic.

Determine whether these gaps can be filled and how.

Assess how these gaps or deficiencies impact the research topic and the conclusions that might be reached.

Develop this gap analysis into a 1- to 2-page document.

Part 3: Outline

An outline is an architect’s blueprint for authors of research papers. In an outline, two or more concepts or ideas are linked by words describing their relationship.

This assignment provides you with an opportunity to present through the use of an outline relationships existing within the information you have gathered so far pertaining to your research paper.

Use the outline to organize the raw data gleaned from your bibliographical research. The data should be organized to provide a template for writing the rough draft of your research paper. Your use of the outline should be aimed at achieving the following:

Organizing ideas, data, and information in a logical format

Making connections between ideas and determining the existing relationships between data

Establishing delimited sections and subsections for different topics and categories in the paper

Indicating the deductive or inferential connections between assertions and sections in research writing

Facilitating the writing process

Note: Refer to your textbook, which provides an excellent exposition of outlines.

Combine your data analysis, gap analysis, and outline in a single Microsoft Word document.

All written assignments and responses should follow APA rules for attributing sources.

Part 1: Initiating Data Analysis

Assessed the validity and reliability of the empirical studies.

Identified and described the categories of themes and patterns emerging from the body of studies.

Part 2: Gaps and Contradictions

Accurately explored the gaps, contradictions, and limitations while collecting data, information, and resources for your research paper

Accurately analyzed and clearly articulated whether you can fill the identified gaps and how.

Accurately assessed how the identified issues impact your research topic and the conclusions you might reach.

Part 3: Outline

Accurately illustrated relationships between the raw information and organized data and information in a logical format.

Organized the information to provide a template for writing the rough draft of your research paper.

Accurately established delimited sections and subsections for different topics and categories for your research paper.

Presented logically consistent, integrated, congruent, and thorough information in the outline considering your thesis statement or research question.

Wrote in a clear, concise, and organized manner; demonstrated ethical scholarship in the accurate representation and attribution of sources; and displayed accurate spelling, grammar, and punctuation.

Sample paper

Data and Gap Analysis and Outline

Part 1: Analysis of the Validity and Reliability of Sources

It is important to ensure that the sources utilized in developing a research paper have both aspects of validity and reliability. Validity refers to the soundness or credibility of the research. When evaluating the validity of research, the research examines whether the research design and methodology used are appropriate for the research (Baumgarten, 2013). There are two types of validity: internal validity and external validity. Internal validity concerns the flaws within the study that may affect the results, such as design flaws, data collection problems, and others. External validity relates to the generalizability of the research findings (Baumgarten, 2013). For instance, the researcher can examine whether the results are generalizable to a larger group basing on the sample applied. If the sample is limited, it is impossible to generalize such results. The research will largely utilize peer-reviewed sources in order to ensure reliability and validity of the sources.

There are certain themes and patterns that are already emerging from the collected data. The first theme is that interrogation methods play a significant role in influencing the likelihood of suspects giving false confessions. Highly suggestive interrogation techniques have an increased likelihood of leading suspects into making false confessions (Snook, Brooks, & Bull, 2015). Highly suggestive interrogation techniques are particularly inappropriate to minors and those in their teenage years. Another theme concerns compliant confessions. These are type of confessions where suspects admit guilt in order to gain an implied reward or avoid punishment. For instance, the interrogating officers may lead the suspect to believe that by making a guilty confession, he/she will receive a lesser sentence or fine. Another emerging theme is that presence of a mental health condition plays a significant role in leading suspects to admit guilt although being innocent. The last key theme is the admissibility of eyewitness evidence in court. False eyewitness confessions have led to the incarceration of many innocent individuals.

Part 2: Gaps and Contradictions

There are certain gaps and contradictions involving false confessions. There are concerns that seasoned inmates who are seeking legal advice often refuse to cooperate with interrogators due to mistrust (Narchet, Meissner, & Russano, 2011). The reason behind mistrust towards interrogators is that they believe cooperating with interrogators will lead to self-incrimination. There is need for research in this area to determine whether expectations of legal advice affect suspect’s cooperativeness with interrogators. In order to reach a strong conclusion with regard to the missing data, there is need to evaluate literature on confession behaviour where police hold strong incriminating evidence towards a suspect, such as video evidence.

It is still unclear why people make voluntary confessions to crimes they did not commit, holding certain factors constant such as mental illness, retardation, escaping punishment, and seeking publicity (Kassin et al., 2010). A small fraction of people have made confessions to murder charges, yet later scrutinizing of the evidence indicates that they did not commit the alleged crimes. In order to reach a strong conclusion, there is need to evaluate the evidence regarding the influence of personality traits in making false confessions. Certain personality traits can contribute towards the making of false confessions. Certain personality traits could increase the likelihood of suspect compliance leading to false confessions. Some of the personality traits that would be of interest include extraversion, contentiousness, openness, neuroticism, and agreeableness. Inadequacy of this data can lead to wrong conclusions regarding the reasons that influence suspects to make wrong conclusions.

There is incomplete data on the role of cognitive and psychological factors in contributing to false confessions. There is need for research examining the role of various cognitive processes such as reasoning, perception, attention, and learning. Research on various psychological processes can help interrogators develop a good understanding of the suspect’s vulnerability during interrogation.

In order to fill the literature gap on the influence of various cognitive factors in admissibility of guilt, there is need to conduct quantitative study. The decision to confess is influenced by various factors including cognitive and psychological factors, interrogation tactics, investigative bias, and others. It is possible to address this research gap by conducting a quantitative analysis of various cognitive elements, psychological elements such as heart rate, and emotional elements. This should focus on guilty and innocent participants. This factor may influence the accuracy of the research conclusions.

There is need for further research to establish the link between various social factors and the possibility of admission while employing various psychologically coercive interrogation methods (Safarik et al., 2012). Some social factors may increase the likelihood that a suspect will incriminate himself or herself. Some of the social factors include social isolation and need for affiliation. As such, they will react differently while subjected to stress. It is also possible to bridge the existing gap on social influences on confession by conducting experimental studies. This can help determine whether certain social factors such as isolation increase the likelihood of making confessions, whether guilty or not. This factor can influence the accuracy of the results. Since there is little information available on the issue of social influence, it is possible that the research conclusions will show biasness.

Part 3: Outline

  1. Abstract
  2. Introduction – overview of general issues concerning false confessions.
  3. Body
  4. The role of interrogation methods applied by police in influencing false confessions.
  5. The role of DNA evidence in exonerations.
  • Examination of various known reasons why people confess falsely. They include:
  1. Mental retardation
  2. Mental illness
  3. Publicity –seeking
  4. Coercion by interrogators
  5. There are three types of confessions that suspects may adopt.
  6. Compliant confessions – making a confession to avoid negative repercussions.
  7. Voluntary confessions – making a confession out of own free will.
  8. Internalized false confessions – innocent suspects come to believe that they have committed a crime following suggestive interrogation techniques.
  9. The problem presented by false confessions in the administration of justice.
  10. The influence of Miranda warnings, rights, as well as waivers in relation to false confessions.
  • The role of eyewitness evidence in admissibility of evidence and the influence on suspects to making false confessions.

Delimited sections and subsections for different topics

  1. The influence of seeking legal advice to cooperativeness with interrogation officers among seasoned offenders.
  2. Extraneous factors that contribute to the admission of guilt among innocent suspects.
  • The role of cognitive factors in admission of guilt.
  1. The role of social factors in admission of guilt among suspects.
  2. Findings
  3. Recommendations
  4. Conclusions

References

Baumgarten, M. (2013). Paradigm wars – validity and reliability in qualitative research. GRIN Verlag.

Kassin, S. M., Drizin, S. A., Grisso, T., Gudjonsson, G. H., Leo, R. A., & Redlich, A. D. (2010).             Police-induced confessions: Risk factors and recommendations. Law and   Human             Behavior, 34(1), 3-38. doi:10.1007/s10979-009-9188-6

Narchet, F. M., Meissner, C. A., & Russano, M. B. (2011). Modeling the influence of       investigator bias on the elicitation of true and false confessions. Law and Human           Behavior, 35(6), 452-465. doi:10.1007/s10979-010-9257-x

Safarik, Mark E,M.S., V.S.M., Burgess, Ann W,D.N.Sc, A.P.R.N., & Burgess, A. G., D.B.A.       (2012). FALSE CONFESSION vs. investigative logic. Forensic Examiner, 21(1), 8-17.    Retrieved from             https://login.libproxy.edmc.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com.libproxy.edmc.edu/            docview/1239519408?accountid=34899

Snook, B., Brooks, D., & Bull, R. (2015). A lesson on interrogations from detainees: Predicting   self-reported confessions and cooperation. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 42(12), 1243-            1260. doi:10.1177/0093854815604179

Related:

False Confessions and Annotated Bibliography

Research Paper on Ethics

Questions

Assignment 1: Research Paper and Ethics

This assignment provides you with an opportunity to ascertain any explicit or implicit ethical issues and considerations in your literature reviews and research papers.

For this assignment, review data-gathering methods, validation, sampling, and research studies—all of the resources used in the development of your papers—in terms of any ethical considerations or issues raised.

Relative to this, discuss the following with your classmates in a minimum of 500–600 words:

What are the key ethical issues you have discovered or may have inferred during your review of the literature?

How and where will you incorporate discussion of ethical issues as you write your research paper?

How do your research and that of the authors and scholars you reviewed relate to the ethical principles of beneficence, nonmal feasance, autonomy, and justice?

You may use your textbook, previous course material available, or the Argosy University online library resources for a basic review of ethics in the behavioral sciences. You might also refer to the Webliography of this course to read about the American Psychological Association (APA) code of ethics.

Sample paper

Research Paper on Ethics

Name

Institutional Affiliation

Key Ethical Issues

Plagiarism

Plagiarism is one of the key ethical issues to consider. Plagiarism refers to the use of another person’s words, ideas, findings, processes, and findings without giving proper acknowledgement of the source (Committee on Science et al., 2009). Plagiarism may arise either due to failure of an individual to credit the sources of particular information or applying inappropriate methods while crediting the sources.

Informed Consent

Another key ethical consideration is informed consent. This applies when using human subjects in the study. Informed consent requires the researcher to brief the participants about the nature of the research (“APA,” 2016). For instance, the researcher should brief the subjects about the procedures to be applied in the study and whether there is risk of harm. The researcher should provide all relevant details concerning the study. This enables the subjects to make decisions on whether to participate in the study. For minors and those with mental health issues, the researcher should seek informed consent from the relevant authority such as nursing home or from parents/guardians.

Privacy and Confidentiality

This principle requires the researcher to ensure the confidentiality or privacy of the subjects and the information they provide (“APA,” 2016). The law requires that those involved in research should take necessary steps to secure information and identities of the subjects. The requirement to ensure confidentiality extends to third parties who may encounter the information or subjects. Revealing the identities of subjects or the information they provide without their permission can lead to serious consequences such as victimization of the subjects.

Conducting a Risk Assessment

The researcher should conduct a risk assessment to ensure that the expected benefits from the study outweigh the potential harms. Studies using human subjects pose the risk of physical or emotional harm. The researcher should carefully weigh the benefits Vis a Vis the possible risks to determine whether the study is worth. If there is a high risk of harm, the researcher should drop the study or make modifications.

Mistakes and Negligence

The researcher can make honest mistakes during collection and interpretation of data. An example of this is wrong calibration of equipment and data entry errors (Committee on Science et al., 2009). On the other hand, mistakes may arise due to negligence. For instance, the researcher may have limited time on his hands to complete the data gathering process.

Incorporating Discussion of Ethical Issues

I will incorporate the discussion of ethical issues by stating the inclusion criteria for the study. The inclusion criteria highlight eligibility to participate in the study. I will mention the willingness of the subjects to participate in the study. I will indicate that the subjects understand all details of the study, including the risks, and voluntarily agreed to take part in the study. Lastly, I will indicating the approval of the appropriate board, such as Argosy University Institutional Review Board (IRB). The approval of this board indicates that the study meets the acceptable standards. I will incorporate the discussion of ethical issues at the ‘method’ section of the study.

My research and that of other authors relate to the principle of beneficence in that they aim at minimizing risks to subjects and maximizing the benefits to society and participants. The research relates to non-maleficence in that it aims at causing no harm to subjects. The research relates to the principle of autonomy by respecting the subjects. In other words, the researchers seek informed consent to participate in research. The principle of justice relates to distributing the benefits as well a burden of research. The research will adhere to this principle by ensuring that all groups in the society benefit or bear the costs in an equal manner.

References

American Psychological Association (APA). (2016). Ethical principles of psychologists and code            of conduct. Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/ethics/code/index.aspx

Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy (U.S.), National Academy of Sciences      (U.S.), National Academy of Engineering., & Institute of Medicine (U.S.). (2009) On       being a scientist: A guide to responsible conduct in research, (3rd ed.). Washington, D.C:           National Academies Press.

Related:

False Confessions and Annotated Bibliography

False Confessions and Annotated Bibliography

Question

Assignment 3: Choosing the Research Paper Topic and Developing an Annotated Bibliography

Part 1: Choosing a Research Topic

From your examination of the literature dealing with the three topics of interest to you through M1 Assignment 1, narrow down your focus to the one topic that interests you the most. Be sure to choose a topic that is a driving force in contemporary forensic psychology and associated services.

Once you choose a topic, you should condense it and state it in the form of a research question or a thesis statement. Explain the topic in terms of its importance in the field. Your topic must be narrow so that you can adequately cover the topic in a 15- to 25-page paper. (For example, posttraumatic stress disorder [PTSD] would be far too broad a topic. A more focused topic within this might be researching the efficacy of cognitive behavioral therapy in treating returning veterans with PTSD.)

Provide a 1- to 2-page overview of your topic, illustrating how it is a current and important topic in forensic psychology.

All written assignments and responses should follow APA rules for attributing sources.

Note: Your instructor will approve or provide you feedback on the chosen topic. In cases where there are other students studying the same topic, the instructor will consult with you about modifying the topic or even selecting another one.

Part 2: Building an Annotated Bibliography

This part of the assignment focuses on building an annotated bibliography for your chosen research topic.

Throughout this module, expand your research by including a minimum of twelve peer-reviewed scholarly resources and the contact information for one expert interview (the interview can be conducted via e-mail or telephone or in person at a later date).

Your research should include a combination of the following types of sources:

Empirical research—including at least one example of qualitative research

Theoretical articles

At least one expert interview

At least two landmark studies

Note: While minimums are specified above, you are encouraged to include more than one expert interview, one qualitative research study, or two landmark studies to create the right balance of studies to effectively address your topic.

You may visit the page titled “Researching Your Chosen Topic” in Module 1 to read more about sources relevant to your research paper.

Expert Interview

(Schedule this early in the course.)

Use the Argosy University online library resources to find, explore, and research these types of sources. To identify an appropriate expert for a personal interview, look for an author of one of the articles that you find interesting; this should be an author you would consider an interesting person to interview, especially if you were left with some questions after reading a particular study he or she had authored. You may also find this author interesting if his or her views contradict what other scholars have found about your topic.

Faculty members of Argosy University around the country, other universities, and forensic areas of education and service are also good choices for interviews.

Sample paper

False Confessions and Annotated Bibliography

In the recent period, there has been an increasing focus on the issue of false confessions in the criminal justice system. This is due to the continued application of DNA evidence, leading to exoneration of individuals serving various sentences including life. False confessions refer to oral or written statements by a suspect admitting guilt to a crime he/she did not commit. False confessions lead to wrongful convictions and miscarriage of justice. Confessions provide admissible evidence in the criminal justice system. As such, most suspects who give false confessions are most likely to face a conviction. There are various reasons why people may give false confessions. Two of the reasons include mental disorders and poor interrogation methods, such as coercion into admittance of committing a crime.

This paper examines how interrogators can make informed decisions by promoting reliable confessions and taking into consideration certain suspect characteristics that may influence confessions.

Making informed decisions during interrogations is critical in avoiding miscarriages of justice. Wrongful convictions lead to incarceration of innocent people, while the real perpetrators of crimes roam free. Wrongful convictions increase the risks to the larger society since those who are at risk of committing crimes remain free while the innocent are imprisoned. This gives them a chance to commit multiple crimes before they be arrested. Psychological science plays a critical role in helping investigators to apply appropriate interrogation methods, and thus reducing the incidences of wrongful convictions. The topic focuses on guidelines that can help interrogators to minimize errors that lead to wrongful convictions. Poor interrogation methods such as coercion and accusatory methods can lead to a suspect making false confessions. There is also need for interrogators to cross-examine eyewitness reports since they can contribute to false confessions. The topic also focuses on suspect characteristics that increase the likelihood of false confessions. Interrogators can look out for certain suspect characteristics such as mental illness, adolescence, personality traits, and others that can lead to false confessions.

Annotated Bibliography

Kassin, S. M., Drizin, S. A., Grisso, T., Gudjonsson, G. H., Leo, R. A., & Redlich, A. D. (2010;2009;). Police-induced confessions: Risk factors and recommendations. Law and   Human Behavior, 34(1), 3-38. doi:10.1007/s10979-009-9188-6

This is a qualitative research study that examines the influence of police interrogation methods on false confession rates, which relates to the topic on promoting reliable confessions.

Safarik, Mark E,M.S., V.S.M., Burgess, Ann W,D.N.Sc, A.P.R.N., & Burgess, A. G., D.B.A.       (2012). FALSE CONFESSION vs. investigative logic. Forensic Examiner, 21(1), 8-17.    Retrieved from             https://login.libproxy.edmc.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com.libproxy.edmc.edu/            docview/1239519408?accountid=34899

This is a qualitative review. The study examines the various reasons that lead suspects to making false confessions.

Mnookin, J. L. (2015). Constructing evidence and educating juries: The case for modular, made- in-advance expert evidence about eyewitness identifications and false confessions. Texas        Law Review, 93(7), 1811.

This is a qualitative study. The study examines the role of psychological experts in            eyewitness identification and evidence relating to false confessions.

Narchet, F. M., Meissner, C. A., & Russano, M. B. (2010;2011;). Modeling the influence of         investigator bias on the elicitation of true and false confessions. Law and Human          Behavior, 35(6), 452-465. doi:10.1007/s10979-010-9257-x

This is a theoretical article. The article is concerned with investigator bias using the          Russano et al. (2005) paradigm. Investigator bias increases false confessions.

Leding, J. K. (2012). False memories and persuasion strategies. Review of General            Psychology, 16(3), 256-268. doi:10.1037/a0027700

This is a theoretical article. The article examines how persuasion strategies lead to            development of false memories. The article examines various false memory paradigms.

Yang, Y., Guyll, M., & Madon, S. (2017). The interrogation decision-making model: A general   theoretical framework for confessions. Law and Human Behavior, 41(1), 80-92.             doi:http://dx.doi.org.libproxy.edmc.edu/10.1037/lhb0000220

This is a theoretical article. The article examines the efficacy of interrogation decision-     making model in enhancing accuracy of interrogations.

Leo, R. A. (2009). False confessions: causes, consequences, and implications. Journal of the        American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, 37(3): 332-343.

This is a landmark study. The study is important since it looks at the causes,          consequences and implications of false confessions.

Frenda, S. J., Berkowitz, S. R., Loftus, E. F., & Fenn, K. M. (2016). Sleep deprivation and false   confessions. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of    America, 113(8):2047-2050.

This is a landmark study. The study analyses the link between suspects’ sleep deprivation             patterns and false confessions.

Shaw, J., & Porter, S. (2015). Constructing rich false memories of committing       crime. Psychological Science, 26(3), 291-301. doi:10.1177/0956797614562862

This landmark study aims at proving that certain memory tactics can influence people to recount events that never occurred.

Perillo, J. T., & Kassin, S. M. (2011). Inside interrogation: The lie, the bluff, and false      confessions. Law and Human Behavior, 35(4), 327-37.             doi:http://dx.doi.org.libproxy.edmc.edu/10.1007/s10979-010-9244-2.

This is an empirical study. The study examines the impact of bluff tactic of interrogation on false confessions.

Snook, B., Brooks, D., & Bull, R. (2015). A lesson on interrogations from detainees: Predicting   self-reported confessions and cooperation. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 42(12), 1243-            1260. doi:10.1177/0093854815604179

This is an empirical study. The study asserts that a humanitarian interviewing style can     improve the accuracy of confessions by suspects.

Expert Interview: Julia Shaw, University of Bedfordshire. E-mail: juliashaw@gmail.com

Related:

False Confessions and Annotated Bibliography

Comprehensive Examination Overview

Question

Assignment 2: Comprehensive Examination Overview

This assignment will familiarize you with the forensic psychology comprehensive examination that you will be scheduled to take soon. Check with your academic advisor for the dates your exam will be offered. The examination is based upon the program objectives, which form the backbone of the forensic psychology curriculum.

In a minimum of 300–400 words, respond to the following:

If you are scheduled to take the exam during this term, you will review the course Comprehensive Examination Course (another course that you should be attached to in eCollege). Please be sure to read all the announcements and review all the attachments. Pay particular attention to the Comprehensive Examination Guide and Comprehensive Examination Grading Rubric sections.

Watch the comprehensive examination review workshop (the link is provided below).

Compose a list of three open-ended questions that you want to ask about the comprehensive examination.

Add a reference citation for one scholarly source that you believe will be helpful in answering the comprehensive examination questions. Provide a clear rationale for how this reference will be helpful in preparing for and answering the comprehensive examination question.

Watch this set of videos on how to prepare for the comprehensive examination.

Sample paper

Comprehensive Examination Overview

Open-ended questions to consider

What are the appropriate psychological tests to apply in the case of Jason Warren?

What specific pitfalls should be avoided while making a diagnosis basing on the DSM model?

What role(s) does humor play during an interview?

Important reference citation

Cooper, R. V., PhD. (2013). Avoiding false positives: Zones of rarity, the threshold problem, and            the DSM clinical significance Criterion/Éviter les faux positifs : Les zones de rareté, le           problème du seuil, et le critère de significativité clinique du DSM. Canadian Journal of          Psychiatry, 58(11), 606-11. Retrieved from            https://login.libproxy.edmc.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com.libproxy.edmc.edu/    docview/1467950532?accountid=34899

This reference will be critical in answering the comprehensive examination questions. In establishing the correct diagnosis relating to the case study, it is important to apply the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual-5 (DSM-5). The DSM-5 is an important manual that can assist in classifying mental health disorders. Cooper (2013) examines the applications of the DSM-5 manual in the diagnosis of mental health disorders. The most important details presented in the reference concerns how a psychology professional or a researcher can avoid making false positives. False positives are invalid conclusions that the psychology professional can make concerning the perceived presence of a mental health disorder on the patient. While applying the DSM-5 statistical manual, there is an inherent risk that the psychology professional makes a wrong conclusion or diagnosis.

Cooper (2013) suggests different ways a psychologist professional can avoid arriving at false positives. One suggestion is for a psychology professional to utilize zones of rarity. Zones of rarity refer to the presence of distinct boundaries in the stages of defining characteristics. Another way of avoiding false positives is by applying the harm criterion. Unlike in DSM-IV where the harm criterion is presented as a solution to the emerging threshold problem, in DSM-5 the harm criterion is applied to ensure that harmless conditions do not pass of as conditions leading to the disorder. Although the harm criterion does not solve the threshold problem, it will help eliminate diagnosis of individuals who may be different in some ways, but their difference does not contribute to harming themselves. An example is a homosexual person. Another suggestion is to make enquiries about whether the patient needs treatment, or whether he/she has sought treatment.

Lastly, the reference will assist in solving the threshold problem. The threshold problem primarily involves making the critical decision on whether a particular behavior is normal or abnormal. Cooper (2013) suggests that a forensic psychologist can solve the threshold problem by setting arbitrary cut-off marks or points. For instance, the cut-off point for infatuation may be staring at somebody. Any behavior that goes beyond that point, such as stocking could be considered as above the threshold.

Related:

Contemporary Issues and Methods: Anonymous

Contemporary Issues and Methods: Anonymous

Question

Assignment 2: RA 2: Contemporary Issues and Methods: Anonymous

In today’s world, technology must be considered when examining the psychology of espionage. Additionally, societal response is a key in understanding the impact of these acts. In this assignment, you will have the opportunity to analyze the relationship between cyber activity compromising national security information and the social media response.

The government organization for which you work has taken notice of the actions of a group named “Anonymous” against the Church of Scientology, among others. In order to better prepare, your organization wants you to analyze, from a forensic psychological perspective, a potentially significant compromise of national security information via a cyber attack. You have been instructed to use the attack on Scientology, the HBGary attack, or other significant cyber attacks credited to Anonymous as your basis of comparison.

Tasks:

Using the Argosy University online library resources and other reputable, valid sources, research the group Anonymous and its cyber-hacking activities, paying particular attention to the actions against the group’s methods. Use your interrogatories (who, what, where, when, how, and why) to guide your research.

Write a 10- to 12-page report that analyzes the impact this group has (or may have) on the U.S. (societal impact, including economic and infrastructure), corporate America (business impact), and the government (political impact).

In your report, address the following:

Provide a synopsis of the group’s methods, goals, and activities. Make sure you address its actions against its target as well as its overall activities, goals, and methods. Also, include an explanation of the group’s members and its makeup (e.g., the demographics and characteristics of the group members).

Discuss motivations and possible explanations for the group’s behavior. Identify the psychological constructs and processes and explain the group’s actions. For example, describe what types of social psychological constructs reinforce its membership. Social psychology research on group dynamics will help in this explanation.

Analyze the impact of a potential attack on the US government. At minimum, address the following:

How vulnerable is the US government to a potential cyber attack?

What parts of the IC are most affected by a potential cyber attack on US systems? Why?

Analyze the impact of a potential attack on society. At minimum, address the following:

What role would the social media play in future incidents of espionage and counterintelligence (CI) activities?

What would be society’s response to the attack? Would society be supportive or nonsupportive? How would it be divided? Justify your answers.

What would be the real and intangible consequences of Anonymous’s hacking activities? What would be the positive and negative impacts of its actions on society? Overall, would society benefit from or be hurt by such actions? Justify your answers.

Summarize key points and provide a conclusion, based on your analysis, of what can be done in the IC to avoid future compromises.

Sample paper

Contemporary Issues and Methods: Anonymous

Introduction

The Anonymous hacktivist group has made a significant societal, business, and political impacts across the United States. The hacktivist group poses a growing challenge to various kinds of businesses, government organizations, and high-ranking individuals. The group achieves its objectives by disrupting business operations or by leaking sensitive information to the public. Such actions have far-reaching consequences upon business organizations, the government, and individuals. In the face of the growing cyber threats, modern governments and business entities cannot survive without the internet. As such, they have to develop the means and mechanisms of protecting themselves from cyberattacks. While there exists various means of preventing cyber intrusions, hacktivist groups such as Anonymous have been able to stay ahead of technology, perpetrating attacks even on the most secure websites. This paper examines the Anonymous hacktivist group operations in cyberspace and the potential consequences to the societal, business, and political arenas.

 

Synopsis of the Group’s Methods, Goals, and Activities

In 2008, the hacktivist group Anonymous made headlines after successfully launching a devastating cyberattack on the Church of Scientology’s official website. The group launched a DDOS (distributed denial of service) attack against the Church of Scientology’s website in protest against the church’s alleged brainwashing (Dipankar & Denise, 2013). In particular, Anonymous made allegations against the church that it engaged in campaigns of suppression of dissent, misinformation, and its litigious nature. Anonymous launched the attacks after the church attempted to remove a YouTube video by Tom Cruise, a movie star, professing his acknowledgement of the Scientology’s activities. This was in an effort by the church to ensure that people did not access the copyrighted video.

Hacktivist groups such as Anonymous use complex methods to steal data or information from the internet and cause disruptions in normal operations involving the internet. The group mostly uses DDOS attacks (distributed denial of service) to bar users from accessing the internet, causing disruption if service provision (Dipankar & Denise, 2013; McCarthy, 2015). This is what was used in the Church of Scientology attack. The group uses DDOS attacks on corporate websites, government websites, and religious websites. DDOS attacks involve overwhelming a particular online service with traffic originating from different and multiple sources. Anonymous may also use conventional tools used by hackers such as Havij to steal data from various applications. Havij is an SQL injection tool that enables users to retrieve data. This is the reason why hackers apply this tool for stealing data and information from applications.

Unlike other hacktivist groups that have clear goals, Anonymous seem to lack clearly defined goals. Anonymous does not have a specific course for its hacktivist activities. Instead, the group has multiple goals and targets. The targets keep on changing from government websites, corporations, to individuals and for diverse reasons (McCarthy, 2015). Despite the lack of a clear or specific goal, the group’s activities points to an overarching desire to promote freedom of information and curtail government censorship. As such, the group aims at preventing any forms of censorship or efforts by governments or other organizations to deny their citizen the freedom of information. The Church of Scientology had made efforts to prevent access by members of the public a copyrighted video on YouTube. Anonymous does not comprise of any specific membership, but includes a diverse membership from different races, age groups, and gender. Moreover, Anonymous lacks a clear organizational structure in that it does not have a top and neither central command. The mode of the group’s operation involves reaching informal mutual agreements to conduct specific attacks (McCarthy, 2015). This makes it difficult to control the group.

Motivations and Possible Explanations for the Group’s Behavior

The major motivation behind Anonymous’ behavior is to combat censorship of information especially by governments. The hope is that through its actions, the group can promote the freedom of speech by exposing even sensitive information to the public. In the Church of Scientology attack, the major contentions were alleged misinformation and dissent by the church. The group takes political dimensions at times but lacks affiliation to any party. The Anonymous group is also against any corporation or individual that threatens free sharing of information. In the past, Anonymous has launched attacks to organizations such as Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), which have attempted to curtail information sharing over file-sharing websites such as Pirate Bay (Sauter, 2013). Anonymous group also launches attacks against any entities and individuals that attempts to undermine its activities.

Various psychological constructs and processes can help explain the group’s actions and the manner in which it operates. Social processes play a critical role in binding together members of a particular group. One of the key social processes is the interdependence of the individuals that make up the group. Group interdependence refers to the ability of the group to create interrelationships among members, enhance social interactions, and achieve common goals. Group interdependence plays a critical role in ensuring that Anonymous attracts and retains members. Another social psychological construct is group cohesion. This refers to the forces or processes that enhance connectivity of the group members at all times (Phan, Rivera, Volker, & Garrett, 2004). Group cohesion is also defined as the willingness of group members to stick together. Group cohesion may arise from a number of factors that are characteristic of the group. Some of the factors influencing the Anonymous group cohesion include belongingness, social attraction, a sense of support, and the need to achieve common goals.

Another social psychological construct that reinforces the group’s membership is altruism. This refers to an overbearing concern for the welfare of others (Phan et al., 2004). The altruism construct enables group members to feel helpful and that their actions are actually necessary for the welfare of others. Altruism also entails the desire to gain respect by unconditionally helping others overcome their problems. Thus to group members, the mere action of helping others creates a sense of satisfaction. Group Synonymous fights for the public’s right to information without any direct gains, which reflects altruism. Universality is another important element in the Synonymous group. Universality involves sharing a sense of connection among the group members and developing feelings of acceptance by other group members (Phan et al., 2004). Universality enables the group members to perceive that the problems they are facing are not unique to them but apply to different people.

Impact of a potential attack on the US government

The U.S. government is quite vulnerable to potential cyber-attacks basing on the recent history and patterns of attacks. Big corporation such as Citigroup, Sony, Verizon, the International Monetary Funds, JPMorgan, and others have experienced cyberattacks over the last decade. These firms are just a pointer to the fluidity of the security situation involving computer systems. The cyberattack threat is ubiquitous problem across the entire country, and involving corporations, government, and even individuals. The government faces serious challenges in averting the possibility of cyber warfare. A major reason for this is the rapid rate of technological evolution taking place across the country. Information technology has been a major force revolutionizing business across the world. However, the interlinked computer network has increased vulnerabilities of countries experiencing cyberattacks from any part of the world (Shackelford, 2013). The countries at greatest risk include the United States, China, Israel, United Kingdom, and Russia. This means they may experience attacks targeting their economics, military, and critical infrastructure networks such as power.

The emergence of new cyber powers has complicated policy development efforts that could see the enactment of regulations to improve cybersecurity. Moreover, growing tension between the United States and other counties such as North Korea, Russia, China, and others complicates the policy development process. The United States is highly vulnerable to cyberattacks that target its critical infrastructural systems such as electrical power supply, financial services provision, military command information systems, and government websites. According to Shackelford (2013), there have been attempts in the past to disrupt the country’s electrical system using logic bombs. Such cyberattacks, if successful, could lead to catastrophic results. On the other hand, some studies indicate that over 50% of companies have experienced cyberattacks in the US.

The motivations for cyberattacks are diverse. They range from espionage, terrorism, theft of confidential information such as customer financial data, and others. Currently, the US has recorded various instances of espionage attacks aimed at stealing the country’s economic and military secrets. One of the worst forms of cyberattacks is those that are state-sponsored. These may target private or public firms and cause much damage. According to Shackelford (2013), the U.S. government websites face over 1 billion attacks in a span of one month. However, only a fraction of these attacks reaches the mainstream media. Most of the cyberattacks reported are those of a high magnitude involving millions of dollars and many people. For instance in 2008, Georgia experienced serious cyberattacks that threatened the state’s entire internet infrastructure. This involved the use of botnets and DDOS attacks to overwhelm the state’s internet infrastructure, thereby crippling government service provision.

The current strategies for prevention and responding to potential cyberattacks are ineffective. Part of this problem lies in the use of legacy architecture in most of the country’s critical infrastructure. Legacy infrastructure is more vulnerable to cyberattacks comparing to newer architectures. The newer architectures offer resilience, flexibility, and functionality. The US lacks the appropriate policy frameworks that can help in tackling cyber insecurity. One of the major challenges in this relates to the inability to develop multilateral initiatives that can help countries develop and apply the appropriate legal frameworks. The government must also increase the workforce involved in cybersecurity operations. It is also critical to improve the cybersecurity workforce skills and knowledge in dealing with emerging cyber threats.

The vulnerabilities of the US government to cyberattacks are likely to persist in the near future. This is due to a number of inherent challenges relating to enhancing of cybersecurity. One of the challenges relates to design in that developers tend to overlook security features while concentrating more on features (Fischer, 2016). This is because of economic reasons. Another challenge in enhancing cybersecurity is the lack of incentives. While cybercrime is relatively safe, cheap, and profitable, cybersecurity on the other hand is an expensive undertaking with low returns. This discourages private firms and individuals from venturing into cybersecurity. There is also the lack of consensus among different stakeholders concerning how to implement cybersecurity. This is because of the different degree of risks that each organization faces. Another challenge contributing to the continued vulnerability is the ever-changing technological environment. Technology is rapidly evolving, with new applications and computing methods emerging every day.

Cyber threats in the US may have significant impacts in a number of areas. This may subsequently affect various parts of the IC. One of the key areas under threat is the information and communication systems. Cyberattacks may affect the communication infrastructure. The intelligence community heavily relies on the communication infrastructure to relay important information to the relevant authorities (Fischer, 2016). Military aviation systems are also at increased risk. The intelligence community relies heavily on the military and other law enforcement agencies for responding to potential threats. The other part that is most affected is data storage. With the ever-looming potential for a cyberattack, the intelligence community, just like other organizations lacks a full proof method of keeping sensitive data from unauthorized persons. Another part that could be most affected is the electrical power distribution system. An attack on this system could spell disaster since it could be difficult to keep communication lines open.

The impact of a potential attack on society

The social media has a perverse and profound impact in almost every aspect on the society. Various social media platforms have brought people together, which means that people are now more interconnected that any other period in history. Cyberspace has enabled humankind to overcome physical boundaries that were present in the past. The ubiquity of the social media could transform it into an attractive tool for use in future incidents of espionage and counterintelligence, either against or for the US. Social media provides a good opportunity for third-party information harvesting or tracking. Data aggregators often use cookies to obtain information about a user’s browsing patterns across various websites (Dipankar & Denise, 2013). This can allow hackers to obtain third-party information, which could be part of sensitive data.

Another role that social media would play in an incident of espionage and counterintelligence is spreading of misinformation and rumors. Social media is a critical tool for availing real time information to a large segment of the populace. Cyber criminals can use social media to boast about their espionage victories either to law enforcement agencies or to the public. This may damage the reputation of the organizations involved. Hacktivist groups can use social media platforms to call members to action. For instance, Anonymous group is known to marshal members to conduct simple tasks such as directing traffic to particular sites. Hackers can impersonate people in a bid to steal sensitive information during espionage activities. Social media provides intelligence services with excellent opportunities to identify and establish relationships with potential spies who may be working in the country. The intelligence services can learn more about them by going through their social media accounts. For instance, it is possible to learn about their political views, their employers, people they interact with, and many other details.

Social media is already playing an increasingly pivotal role in espionage and counterintelligence activities. Intelligence services can be able to identify potential targets and develop social media accounts that appeal to their potential targets. For instance, intelligence services or spies have been able to develop fake social media accounts that depict owners as sharing similar interests as those of the potential target. With time, the intelligence service or spy can develop friendship with the potential target and get to know more about them. The intelligence service or spy can then send phishing messages to their potential victims. Once the real social media account clicks on the message with a phishing ling, the spy or intelligence service can be able to infect their devices with malware that transmit vital information without the victim’s knowledge. Social media is thus a vital tool in future incidents of espionage and counterintelligence activities.

In case of an attack, the society may be either supportive or non-supportive. This depends on the nature of attack as well as who or what organization the attack is directed. The public would be non-supportive in case a cyberattack targets the critical infrastructure. For instance, disruption of electrical power supply may significantly affect every individual thus developing a negative attitude towards such an attack. The public could be unsupportive of an attack instigated by a foreign country, and one that affects the critical infrastructure. The public may be supportive of cyberattacks that target particular institutions that have established a negative image or bad rapport with the public. For instance, the public may be supportive of cyberattacks targeting institutions that dump harmful waste in a reckless manner. The public may also support cyberattacks targeting institutions working against the people’s interests. For instance, the public has past been supportive of cyberattacks for quite some time.

The public may be divided along age segments concerning being supportive or non-supportive of an attack. A recent study by Pew Research Center (2014) indicates that 57% of young Americans between ages 18 and 29 believe that Wikileaks serves in the best interests of the public. Between ages 30 to 49, only 48% of the respondents agree that it has served the interest of the public. Between ages 50 to 64, the figure is 39% while above age 65 only 35% indicated that Wikileaks serves the interests of the public (“Pew Research Center,” 2014). Indeed, these findings are not surprising. The findings reflect the differences in perceptions among various age groups regarding cyberattacks. Public opinion could also be divided along various other factors, and depending on the personal interests of the people.

Political affiliations also play a significant role in influencing the public’s opinion on cyberattacks. In the last general election, claims emerged linking Russia to interference with the general elections. According to Kreps and Das (2017), there are divisions of public opinion concerning whether Russia is an enemy or a friend. The divisions reflect party identification among citizens. As such, there are sharp divisions over whether the government should take retaliatory action against Russia. Some people have questioned whether Russia actually conducted the cyberattacks, while others feel that Russia was fully responsible. This depends on party affiliations during the last general elections. One faction of the political divide, mainly the Democrats, has called for sanctions against Russia. On the other hand, the Republicans maintain Russia had nothing to do with the elections. Nonetheless, both parties agree that the US may take retaliatory action in case of cyberattacks that result to casualties.

There growing fears that Anonymous group may lead to serious consequences befalling the country. Anonymous hacking activities could lead to an increase in number and scale of cyberattacks and cybercrime in the country. This is because the group’s success acts as motivation for other groups to engage in cyber-activism and cyber-terrorism. Another consequence of the group’s activities relates to leaking of sensitive government information to spies and enemy states. Some of the sensitive information may increase tension among states or even lead to war. Anonymous group may cause the public, government, organizations, and individuals to lose trust in the internet, especially when they lose sensitive information. With increasing threats from Anonymous and other groups, there is a possibility that the government may opt to increase restrictions and fragmentation of the internet. The group’s activities could also lead to a cyber-warfare with devastating consequences.

The positive impacts of groups such as Anonymous are that they promote uncensored distribution of information to the public. Anonymous is part of groups fighting to end information asymmetries that arise due to government censorship of the right to information (McCathy, 2015). Anonymous can help promote freedom of information by enabling the free flow of information and deliberations. Anonymous group promotes the concept of human rights to societies by availing information that may otherwise be kept away from the public for personal interests. On the other hand, there are negative impacts for the group’s actions. One possible impact is breaching of intellectual property rights. For instance, Anonymous activists believe that intellectual property should be public good (McCarthy, 2015). Another negative impact is the denial of service. Anonymous group sometimes work by disrupting government or private websites, which denies member of the public their right to access services. Another negative impact is loss of sensitive customer information. Anonymous group may target financial institutions with an aim of revealing customer data to the public, putting them at risk of data theft and financial losses.

Overall, the society will suffer such actions by Anonymous group. By revealing government secrets, the group will likely damage the relation between the US and other governments. This will lead to tension between the US and other states; hence reduced trade and economic cooperation. This will hurt the society more. Although the public has the right to information, there is need to enhance confidentiality and privacy. Another reason why the society may not benefit is that groups such as Anonymous operate outside the confines of the law. As such, what they do is illegitimate. Moreover, they are not responsible for their actions even if they lead to losses upon innocent victims. For instance, many people may experience losses especially when denial of service attacks occurs.

Summary and Conclusion

Anonymous is a hacktivist group that mainly uses DDOS attacks to cause denial of service to internet users. The group lacks clear goals and neither does it have a clearly defined organizational structure. The major aim of the group is to ensure that the public retains unrestricted access to information. In other words, the group aims at curtailing government censorship, although its goals may change depending on circumstances. The analysis indicates that the United States is highly vulnerable to a cyberattack that may cripple its critical infrastructure systems. The increased use of social media has given hackers a tool that they can use to their advantage in collecting information through various means. In order to avoid future compromises, this study recommends that the government upgrades its legacy infrastructure and replace it with newer architectures that offer resilience to cyberattacks.

References

Dasgupta, D., & Ferebee, D. (2013). Consequences of diminishing trust in cyberspace.     International Conference on Information Warfare and Security, , 58.

Fischer, E. A. (2016). Cybersecurity issues and challenges: in brief. Congressional Research        Service. Retrieved from https://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R43831.pdf

Kreps, S., & Das, D. (2017, Jan. 19). Americans are united on retaliating against Russian cyberattacks. The Washington Post.

McCarthy, M. T. (2015). Toward a free information movement. Sociological Forum, 30(2): 439- 455.

Pew Research Center. (2014). Most young Americans say Snowden has served the public             interest. Retrieved from http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2014/01/22/most-young-      americans-say-snowden-has-served-the-public-interest/

Phan, L. T., Rivera, E. T., Volker, M. A., & Garrett, M. T. (2004). Measuring group dynamics:    an exploratory trial. Canadian Journal of counselling, 38(4): 234-243.

Sauter, M. (2013). LOIC will tear us apart: The impact of tool design and media portrayals in the             success of activist DDOS attacks. American Behavioral Scientist, 57(7), 983-1007.             doi:10.1177/0002764213479370

Shackelford, S. J. (2013). Toward cyberpeace: managing cyberattacks through polycentric             governance. American University Law Review, 62(5), 1273-1364

Related:

Forensic Psychologists and the USIC

 

Forensic Psychologists and the USIC

Question

The forensic psychological professional can add great value when considering perspectives of national intelligence. However, there is a debate over how involved forensic psychologists should be in the US Intelligence Community (USIC).

Using the module readings, the Argosy University online library resources, and independent resources, research the roles and responsibilities of the forensic psychology professional in the USIC.

Tasks:

In a minimum of 300 words, respond to the following:

Explain both sides of the debate on how involved forensic psychologists should be in the USIC.

Provide your perspective on the issue and the side with which you concur. There is no right or wrong side.

Give reasons in support of your responses. Be sure to cite your sources

Sample paper

Forensic Psychologists and the USIC

Forensic psychology is the practice that combines the science of human/animal behaviors with the law. This form of work is imminent in rehabilitation centers, prisons, law firms, government agencies, schools or even private practice. A forensic psychologist is a professional knowledgeable in learning human behaviors and has comprehensive knowledge in the justice system as well. The United States intelligence community has a large coordinated chain of professionals distributed throughout all states and in the federal government. The intelligence community operates in cooperation with other bodies such as the police and the judiciary. We shall look into the roles and responsibilities of forensic psychology professionals in the United States Intelligence Community (USIC).

Forensic psychology is a hybrid of both civil and criminal sides of the justice system. Forensics is, therefore, crucial in the conduct and practice of the supreme law in the land. Forensics also encompasses both clinical and experimental aspects of psychology.  Forensic psychology professionals in the United States have roles and responsibilities in the intelligence community to secure and ensure safety; justice is served to the American people.

There have been discussions about how important forensic psychologists are to the information commission. These professionals have special skills distinct from other professionals such as the police. They have investigative skills shared with other security enforcing professionals, reason why they blend in well. Forensic psychologists have various roles and responsibilities in the United States. They can serve as trial consultants, case evaluators, researchers, experts on witnesses, treatment providers, academicians, and correctional psychologists.

Trial consultants work hand in hand with other professionals in the legal fraternity. Trial consultation involves the whole process for determining a case from case preparation to judgment. Selection of judges that will be deciding the case is one of the activities in trial consultation. The development of a strategy in how the matter is approached, preparation of the witnesses, are some of the roles tasked on these professionals. They are the right-hand men for attorneys as they prepare for a case. Collecting the data and research would include surveys in the community. Forensic psychologists assist in all stages of the proceedings.

An expert witness is a professional who can testify on specific knowledge professionally determined on the case. This can be a role played by the psychologist. Clinical psychologists have the expertise training suited and curved to be an expert witness. They are tasked with evaluating a witness’s mental form and determine insanity, civil commitment, competency, and hostility to the case. A forensic psychologist can also take the role of a correctional psychologist.  A correctional psychologist works with offenders and inmates detained in correctional facilities such as prisons. This part goes a long way to evaluating and determining the fate of these individuals. Inmates can be set free, or sentence increased upon evaluation by professionals. In the mention of these few roles among others, it is evident that forensic psychologists are vital in gathering intelligence for the justice system. These professionals should be incorporated rather than pushed away in their daily duties in serving citizens of the United States. My take on the involvement in the USIC is that they should be incorporated since they possess expertise that is direly required in the intelligence community.

References

Gannon, T. A. (2016). Forensic psychologists should use the behavioral experiment to facilitate cognitive change in clients who have offended. Aggression and violent behavior, 27, 130-141.

Wortley, R., & Townsley, M. (Eds.). (2016). Environmental criminology and crime analysis. Routledge.

Related:

Intelligence and Counterintelligence