The Popular Policeman and Other Cases
Psychological Perspectives on Legal Evidence
Distributed for Amsterdam University Press
The authors, both expert psychologists with extensive experience in the courtroom, are quite familiar with the fundamental differences between the law and psychology as an empirical science. As well as dealing with well-known and controversial issues such as recovered memories or false confessions, The Popular Policeman and Other Cases examines a variety of less traditional criminal topics, including illegal gambling, trademark litigation, and the perils of risky courtship behavior. Each chapter reviews an actual case, appraises the relevant scientific research, and then demonstrates how psychological insights were introduced within the courtroom. The authors conclude by noting the outcome of each case—and how their research played a role in the decision.
With its detailed investigation of the complex links between psychological research and its eventual application in the courtroom, The Popular Policeman and Other Cases fills a critical vacancy. It is virtually impossible for researchers to make significant progress within the field of law and psychology without experience as expert witnesses in actual trials. This casebook will be essential for their studies.
“New insights into evidentiary perils and pitfalls from two of our leading psychology and law scholars. Wagenaar and Crombag convincingly and engagingly demonstrate the practical and theoretical benefits of detailed psychological analyses of actual cases. A rewarding read for anyone interested in investigation and proof.”--Steven D. Penrod, Distinguished Professor of Psychology, John Jay College of Criminal Justice
"The Popular Policeman is a tour de force. This powerful collection and analysis of examples shows the enormous significance of psychological science to the resolution of legal cases. Whether the case is about psychological coercion in a false confession case, or human reflexes in a climbing wall accident case, readers will eagerly absorb the science as they think through its application to the fascinating case to which it links. Wagenaar and Crombag display eloquence as writers, and their flair for narrative combined with faithfulness to science makes this book a remarkable work on psychology and law."
1. Illegal Gambling or the Victory Travel Club
2. On Causal Reasoning or Death in the Warmoesstraat
3. Consumer Confusion or Potato Chips and Olive Oil
4. Fiction and Reality of 'the Average Individual' or the Case of Old Mr. Lane
5. Case Histories and Scientific Proof or the Case of JR
6. Not a Good Story or the Disappearance of Maddy and Vicky
7. Conflicting Scenarios or the Case of the Man Who Needed a Companion
8. Two Processes Obstructing the Accuracy of Long-Term Memory or the Case of the Stolen Mercedes
9. Confessions after Repeated Interrogation or the Putten Murder Case
10. Collaborative Storytelling or the Artist's Models and an Angry Neighborhood
11. Allegation of Sexual Child Abuse in a Case of Disputed Visitation or Cindy's Story
12. Psychogenic Amnesia or the Case of the Amnesic Strangler
13. Obeying Reflexes or Death on the Climbing Wall
13. Visual Acuity or Shooting Mimi the Cat
15. Sexual Semiotics or the Case of the Popular Policeman
Postscript: Psychological Expertise and the Law