What Does A Crime Scene Investigator And A Cognitive Psychologist Have?

729 Words Feb 22nd, 2016 3 Pages
What does a crime scene investigator and a cognitive psychologist have in common? At first glance, some may say nothing, but in reality, psychology and the law are complementary forces. Forensic psychologists constantly test and implement new techniques for the field of law enforcement, typically based on principles of human cognition; the cognitive interview (CI) is one of these techniques. The CI is a forensic interrogation technique designed to maximize the recall of correct information, while minimizing false information, by using tenets of human cognition. At its roots, the CI is based on principles borrowed from cognitive and social psychology. Specifically, it uses the encoding specificity principle to maximize memory retrieval (Kohnken et Al., 1999). A cognitive psychologist named Endel Tulving came up with the idea of memory being like a network: a specific path accesses a specific memory (Tulving, 1973). The CI tries to ‘activate’ a path in the network, to facilitate recall of a particular event or detail. The CI also avoids the use of schemata, which are mental templates of events, typically used to ‘fill’ gaps in memory (Fisher & Geiselman, 1992). Schemata can be very realistic, making it difficult to distinguish between reality and fabrication. By avoiding schemata, accuracy can be increased. From a social psychology standpoint, the CI recognizes how social interactions affect thought. Interrogations can be highly stressful, so precautions are taken to make…

Related Documents