The Popular Policeman and Other Cases

Psychological Perspectives on Legal Evidence

W. A. Wagenaar and H. F. M. Crombag

The Popular Policeman and Other Cases

W. A. Wagenaar and H. F. M. Crombag

Distributed for Amsterdam University Press

286 pages | 6-1/4 x 9-1/4 | © 2005
Paper $38.50 ISBN: 9789053567630 Published January 2006 For sale only in the United States, its dependencies, the Philippines, and Canada
The role of psychologists, both in the courtroom and at the crime scene, is rapidly expanding. Surveying a wide range of international court cases, The Popular Policeman and Other Cases explores the critical—and often misunderstood—intersection of psychology and law.
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.
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
Name Index
Subject Index
Review Quotes
Steven D Penrod

“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 

Elizabeth Loftus, past President of the American Psychological Society and Distinguished Professor, University of California - Irvine

"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."

William Twining, professor of jurisprudence, University College, London
"This book is a most welcome addition to the literature on law and psychology. The work of two distinguished psychologists, it is authoritative, insightful, concrete, and eminently readable."
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