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Article
Publication date: 4 January 2019

Karin A. Spenser, Ray Bull, Lucy Betts and Belinda Winder

Prosociality is considered important in the study of offenders and associated cognitive skills: theory of mind, empathic understanding and moral reasoning, are said to…

Abstract

Purpose

Prosociality is considered important in the study of offenders and associated cognitive skills: theory of mind, empathic understanding and moral reasoning, are said to enable self-control and reduce the risk of offending behaviours. Previous research has made associations between these skills and executive functioning; however, research into a link between them, in an offending population, is limited. The paper aims to discuss this issue.

Design/methodology/approach

To further understand the practicalities of this, the present study considered the predictive abilities of the constructs believed to underpin executive functioning: working memory, cognitive flexibility and inhibitory control, in relation to theory of mind, empathic understanding and moral reasoning. In total, 200 male and female offenders completed measures in all six constructs.

Findings

Using path analysis working memory was demonstrated to be predictive of theory of mind and empathic understanding, cognitive flexibility was found to be predictive of theory of mind, and inhibitory control was found to be predictive of theory of mind, empathic understanding and moral reasoning.

Research limitations/implications

The study focussed on offenders serving a custodial sentence of six months or less and did not differentiate between crime categories or take into consideration the socio-environmental backgrounds or ethnicity. Therefore, considering these things could further establish the generalisability of the current findings. It is noted that the more focussed the intervention is to the specific needs of an offender, the greater the impact will be. Therefore, pre-screening tests for the constructs discussed may be able to more accurately assess an offenders’ suitability for a programme, or indeed tailor it to meet the specific needs of that person.

Practical implications

These findings may enable practitioners to more accurately assess offenders’ suitability for interventions aimed at reducing offending behaviours by improving levels of prosociality and develop more focussed programmes to meet the specific needs of individual offenders to reduce re-offending.

Social implications

As recommended in the study, a more tailored approach to offender rehabilitation may be a potential aid to reducing levels of recidivism.

Originality/value

The present study adds to the literature as it is the first to consider whether the constructs of executive functioning can predict levels of theory of mind, empathic understanding and moral reasoning and so provide a more accurate method in assessing the cognitive abilities of offenders prior to participation in rehabilitative interventions.

Details

Journal of Criminal Psychology, vol. 9 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2009-3829

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Article
Publication date: 31 May 2019

Indiana Bonar and Paula Sonja Karlsson

Social enterprises are competitive businesses in the marketplace, yet insubstantial research has investigated how they market their businesses. This paper aims to…

Abstract

Purpose

Social enterprises are competitive businesses in the marketplace, yet insubstantial research has investigated how they market their businesses. This paper aims to investigate the impact a social enterprise label – “Buy the Good Stuff” – used in Edinburgh has had on consumer awareness and explore whether a possible national label could be used as a marketing tool by social enterprises in Scotland.

Design/methodology/approach

The study uses a mixed-methods approach, consisting of an online questionnaire with 100 participants and seven semi-structured interviews with representatives of social enterprises involved in the marketing campaign in Edinburgh and representatives of social enterprises who were not involved in the campaign.

Findings

Findings indicate that the label used in Edinburgh has had little impact on increasing consumer awareness of social enterprises. However, a national label has the potential to help social enterprises increase consumer awareness. Yet, successful implementation requires thorough design of the label and broad support for its promotion.

Practical implications

The paper offers insights into the implementation of a national label. Managers of social enterprises and social enterprise networks should consider the findings when adopting marketing activities.

Originality/value

Findings contribute to the sparse literature regarding marketing activities of social enterprises. The paper provides evidence that the broader social enterprise sector and its representatives in Scotland should re-evaluate their position on the introduction of a national label, given that one priority identified for the sector is to create and promote a social enterprise brand which the SE code is not focussed on.

Details

Social Enterprise Journal, vol. 15 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-8614

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 9 May 2016

Rebecca Milne and Ray Bull

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Abstract

Details

Journal of Forensic Practice, vol. 18 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-8794

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Article
Publication date: 3 December 2020

Michael King

The purpose of this paper is to examine the investigative interviewing processes in the context of financial frauds, as experienced by corporate investigators.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the investigative interviewing processes in the context of financial frauds, as experienced by corporate investigators.

Design/methodology/approach

A diverse sample of 33 corporate investigators individually participated in in-depth interviews.

Findings

This study examined perceptions of investigative interviewing of those undertaking fraud investigations. The corporate investigator’s response indicated understanding of the necessary skills required to conduct interviews. The findings suggest that the investigator agreed on the interviewing skills that are required to conduct interviews; however, upon reflection, they may not use the skills during interviews.

Originality/value

This study is the first to reveal limitations in corporate investigators’ investigative interviewing and fills a gap in the academic literature by examining corporate investigators’ beliefs and practices in conducting their private investigations of corporate and white-collar crime.

Details

Journal of Financial Crime, vol. 28 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-0790

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Article
Publication date: 9 May 2016

Sanne van Can, Olivier Dodier, Henry Otgaar and Fanny Verkampt

The purpose of this paper is to examine the beneficial effect of a modified cognitive interview (MCI) on adolescents’ testimonies in case of a negative emotional event…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the beneficial effect of a modified cognitive interview (MCI) on adolescents’ testimonies in case of a negative emotional event. Furthermore, the authors were interested in assessing the impact of a MCI on within-statement consistency.

Design/methodology/approach

In total, 37 adolescents (12-15 years) watched a emotionally negative video and were interviewed, seven days later, with a MCI or a structured (control) interview (SI).

Findings

Results showed that adolescents interviewed with the MCI reported significantly more correct and tended to report more incorrect information than those interviewed with the SI. Nonetheless, this rise in incorrect details did not impair the accuracy of statements gathered with the MCI (vs SI). Moreover, consistent, reminiscent, and forgotten information within a statement was positively linked to overall accuracy. In conclusion, testimonies gathered with the MCI might be perceived as more complete and detailed than the ones gathered with the SI.

Practical implications

The improvement of interview techniques helps solving criminal cases.

Originality/value

The innovative aspect of this work is that the benefits of the cognitive interview (CI) and the absence of an effect of inconsistency on accuracy are now also seen among adolescents.

Details

Journal of Forensic Practice, vol. 18 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-8794

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1983

Colin Milner

The Arthur Edwards Building was opened on the 30 October 1982 by the Rt. Hon. Harold Wilson, KG, OBE, FRS, MP in the presence of local and civic dignatories. The occasion…

Abstract

The Arthur Edwards Building was opened on the 30 October 1982 by the Rt. Hon. Harold Wilson, KG, OBE, FRS, MP in the presence of local and civic dignatories. The occasion was something of a reunion in that Gerry Fowler, Director of the Polytechnic, served as a Minister of State under Sir Harold; and the brother of Lady Mary Wilson was formerly on the staff of West Ham College, which was a constituent college of NELP.

Details

Education + Training, vol. 25 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0040-0912

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Article
Publication date: 9 May 2016

Melanie Sauerland, Svenja Mehlkopf, Alana C Krix and Anna Sagana

– The purpose of this paper is to test how modifying one’s alibi statement interacts with exposure to deceptive interrogation techniques.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to test how modifying one’s alibi statement interacts with exposure to deceptive interrogation techniques.

Design/methodology/approach

In all, 90 participants walked about a university building for 15 minutes and either stole an envelope from a staff pigeonhole (guilty condition) or put the envelope there along the way (innocent condition). Subsequently, participants were asked to provide an alibi for the past 15 minutes. Guilty and half of the innocent participants were instructed to omit that they had been in the vicinity of the pigeonholes. The rest of the innocent participants were asked to tell the truth. Several days later, participants were questioned about six statements taken from their alibis, three of which contained altered information.

Findings

As expected, participants were largely blind to our alterations, with detection rates ranging from 1 to 36 percent. Contrary to cognitive load predictions, detection rates did not vary as a function of truthfulness. Rather, guilty participants were less likely to detect alterations than innocents.

Research limitations/implications

Memory distrust and guilty suspects’ aim to keep a low profile might be possible explanations for these findings.

Practical implications

It is recommended that law enforcement officers and other legal practitioners refrain from using deceptive interrogation techniques and such techniques that can cause inconsistencies in suspects’ reports. Researcher should make it their task to educate these professional groups about the natural occurrence of memory related, non-deceptive inconsistencies in successive statements.

Originality/value

This research uses a new methodology to study the effect of deceptive interrogation techniques on both innocent and guilty suspects. The findings are relevant for legal practitioners and researchers.

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Article
Publication date: 9 May 2016

Kimberlee S. Burrows, Martine B. Powell and Mairi Benson

Interviewing victims of child sex abuse requires considerable care in order to minimise error. Due to children’s heightened suggestibility any question asked of a child…

Abstract

Purpose

Interviewing victims of child sex abuse requires considerable care in order to minimise error. Due to children’s heightened suggestibility any question asked of a child could potentially incite error that could undermine the witness’s credibility. A focus group was conducted in order to facilitate the development of guidance for interviewers around the circumstances in which it is necessary to ask children follow-up questions in an interview. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

Seven Crown prosecutors representing every Australian state and territory (with the exception of one small state) were issued with 25 hypothetical narrative accounts of child abuse and asked to indicate what information, if any, required follow-up in the child’s narrative. Their responses and rationale for requiring following up in some cases and not others were discussed.

Findings

Thematic analysis revealed three recommendations to guide questioning: whether the case involved identification or recognition evidence; the presence of contextual features that may influence the witness’s memory, or that should trigger a particular line of questioning; and whether the information can or should be sought at a later stage by the trial prosecutor, rather than by the interviewer.

Practical implications

The recommendations are discussed within the context of their implications for interviewing, that is, how each recommendation could be implemented in practice.

Originality/value

The present study extends prior literature by elucidating principles to guide decision making across interview topic areas. The need for such guidance is highlighted by research suggesting that topics such as offender identity, offence time and place, and witnesses are a source of overzealous questioning in interviews.

Details

Journal of Forensic Practice, vol. 18 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-8794

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 9 May 2016

Kirk Luther and Brent Snook

A recent Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) ruling resulted in stricter rules being placed on how police organizations can obtain confessions through a controversial undercover…

Abstract

Purpose

A recent Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) ruling resulted in stricter rules being placed on how police organizations can obtain confessions through a controversial undercover operation, known as the Mr. Big technique. The SCC placed the onus on prosecutors to demonstrate that the probative value of any Mr. Big derived confession outweighs its prejudicial effect, and that the police must refrain from an abuse of process (i.e. avoid overcoming the will of the accused to obtain a confession). The purpose of this paper is to determine whether a consideration of the social influence tactics present in the Mr. Big technique would deem Mr. Big confessions inadmissible.

Design/methodology/approach

The social psychological literature related to the compliance and the six main principles of social influence (i.e. reciprocity, consistency, liking, social proof, authority, scarcity) was reviewed. The extent to which these social influence principles are arguably present in Mr. Big operations are discussed.

Findings

Mr. Big operations, by their very nature, create unfavourable circumstances for the accused that are rife with psychological pressure to comply and ultimately confess. A consideration by the SCC of the social influence tactics used to elicit confessions – because such tactics sully the circumstances preceding confessions and verge on abuse of process – should lead to all Mr. Big operations being prohibited.

Practical implications

Concerns regarding the level of compliance in the Mr. Big technique call into question how Mr. Big operations violate the guidelines set out by the SCC ruling. The findings from the current paper could have a potential impact of the admissibility of Mr. Big confessions, along with continued use of this controversial technique.

Originality/value

The current paper represents the first in-depth analysis of the Mr. Big technique through a social psychological lens.

Details

Journal of Forensic Practice, vol. 18 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-8794

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 9 May 2016

Christine Saykaly, Angela Crossman, Mary Morris and Victoria Talwar

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the influence of question type (open-ended, prompted, reverse order and chronological order recall) on children’s ability to…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the influence of question type (open-ended, prompted, reverse order and chronological order recall) on children’s ability to maintain a truth or a lie in a two-part mock-courtroom study.

Design/methodology/approach

In total, 96 children (M age=131.00 months) between 9 and 12 years of age were asked to testify about an interaction with a research assistant the week prior. They were assigned to one of four conditions (true/false×assertion/denial).

Findings

Results indicate that question type has an influence on children’s ability to maintain their condition. Results also indicate that regardless of question type, children have difficulty recalling information sequentially.

Practical implications

Implications of the current research support the use of various question types, including increasing the cognitive load demands, when interviewing children.

Originality/value

To date, this is the first study to investigate the use of reverse order questioning in a courtroom study with children.

Details

Journal of Forensic Practice, vol. 18 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-8794

Keywords

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