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Roles of Psychologist

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By pgoad51
Words 2119
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Mid-Term Assignment
Penny S. Weaver
Kaplan University

Mid-Term Assignment 1. What are the methods of inquiry & how are they used in criminal investigation?
After researching through the chapters that we have been reading, I believe that the methods of inquiry is basically finding out and utilizing the concepts of the five W’s. I do believe after all of the reading that they are the: who, what, when, where, why, and also how a crime was committed. You basically using what I call the five methods to reconstructing a crime that has been committed. As an investigator, it would be my responsibility to use the five methods to the fullest of my potential along with gut instinct and plain common sense. Of course using your gut instinct and common sense will get to certain places, you always have go with the evidence that you have because that is what a case is mainly about. Evidence, such as DNA, is rock solid along with fingerprints. I believe that when you are using the methods of inquiry that you are really gathering facts and evidence for a case that you are investigating. Using the methods of inquiry is how I believe that an investigator would use to gather all of the information that is needed to find out what type of crime was committed, who committed the crime, when did the crime take place, where did the crime take place, why did this crime happened and also how did the crime happen. You are reconstructing a crime, so you have to have all of the facts to do that properly. Everyone is a suspect until you utilize the methods of inquiry to reconstruct the crime and get to the truth and nothing but the truth.

Mid-Term Assignment 2. What is the optimal mindset of an investigator & how are the concepts associated with optimal mindset of an investigator manifest?
The optimal mindset of an investigator is the ability to distinguish the difference between fact and fiction. You have to be mentally prepared for what you are going to be seeing and facing with all of the different crimes that you will possibly be facing. There are so many different divisions that an investigator could work in from sex crime, homicide, child abuse to cold cases and each department has the same goal which is to reconstruct the crime an solve the case. It does take time to do this but if you keep yourself in the right mindset, then one is capable of achieving goal that you want. I believe that you have to be honest, uphold the law to the fullest extent, uphold your oath, you have to be patient no matter what because some evidence takes longer than others, dedication was a word I saw a lot of while researching and I believe that to be true, and you have to stay focused on the task at hand.
You have to try really hard to make sure your personal feelings do not get in the way of you doing your job to best of your ability and that requires dedication but also you have to be somewhat empathic and to some degree you have to show symphony, but not to the point that it blinds you of the evidence at hand. The evidence is crucial when reconstructing a crime and finding the truth. I am learning that being an investigator is not for the weak at heart or stomach for that matter.

Mid-Term Assignment 3. What is the scientific method & how is it applied to criminal investigation by criminal investigators?
The scientific method is a way of observing, thinking about, and solving problems objectively and systematically. As the prestigious nineteenth-century student of science Thomas Huxley emphasized, its use is not limited to scientists. A lesson Huxley learned early was “to make things clear,” and his easy, plain-talking style in the opening paragraphs of this piece serves well as an introduction to the scientific method (chap. 13, pg. 283). Scientific method in criminal investigation by criminal investigators is learning about: induction, deduction, classification, synthesis, analysis, hypothesis, theory, a priori, and a posteriori (chap. 13, pg. 284). Basically, you are going to use induction to process the reasoning based on a set of experiences or observations (particulars) from which a conclusion or generalization is drawn. But also remembering that induction can lead to probabilities, not certainties and when used throughout lifetime, however, inductive experience is an important component of the so-called common sense that supposedly governs human behavior (chap. 13, 284). Then you will be using deduction to begin the process of reasoning with a generalization to move to a specific or particular conclusion (fact). In criminal investigation, the generalization cannot be so precisely formulated as to always be relied upon as valid and that is because of the illogical, often perverse quality of human behavior, deduction does not necessarily lead to certainty (chap. 13, pg. 284).
Mid-Term Assignment Classification is the systematic arrangement of objects into categories (groups or classes) based on shared traits or characteristics. This were you begin looking at evidence that has been collected, eyewitnesses you have talked to etc., you putting all of the information that you have gathered into sections, if you will, to start more of the elimination process of suspects can begin even more. Examples would be such as fingerprints, bullets, DNA, a wide range of typefaces, and automobile paint, fibers, hair samples and possibly even skin cells (chap. 13, pg. 285). Synthesis is the combining of separate parts or elements. For purposes of criminal investigation, those elements are, when combined, can provide a coherent view of the crime and its solution, and are: the evidence provided by witnesses, forensic examinations, and the facts disclosed by records (chap. 13, pg. 285). Analysis is basically when an investigator is assigned to investigate a crime, the investigator will seek relevant information from three separate sources – people, records, and the physical evidence found at the crime scene (chap. 13, pg. 285). Hypothesis is a conjecture that provisionally accounts for a set of facts. Since it is subject of a guess, more evidence is required of the investigator. When an investigator is finding more and more solid evidence and leads, the hypothesis will change and have to be adjusted throughout the investigation. As the investigation moves forward, after collecting data and doing analysis, the hypothesis moves toward the next phase of proof, which is a theory (chap. 13, pg. 285). A theory is kind of like a verified hypothesis, a set of ideas and thoughts that assume the chosen set of knowledge. Once a theory becomes more solidly based and evidence accumulates, it will evolve into a methodical organization of knowledge applicable to any sets of situations. In criminal investigation, a less decisive “somewhat verified hypothesis” is the best that can be expected at the present time. In science, the ultimate is often achieved. But not in criminal investigation (chap. 13, pg. 285). D’ priori (Latin for “from the previous cause”) is defined as from a known or assumed cause to a necessarily related effect; from a general law to a particular instance; valid independently of observation. So it is deductive and theoretical rather than based on experiment or experience (chap. 13, pg. 285). A’ priori is a term denoting reasoning from empirical facts or particulars (acquired through experience or experiment) to general principles or from cause and effect. It is inductive (chap. 13, pg. 285). As an example of the scientific method I am going to use the following situation, based on actual case. After being caught twice with a “baggie” of marijuana, 23-year old Rachel Hoffman was reportedly told by police in Tallahassee, Florida that she would go to prison for four years unless she became an undercover informant. The young woman, are recent graduate of Florida State University, was murdered during a botched sting operation two months ago. Her case will be profiled on Friday on 20/20. “The idea of waging a war on drugs is to protect people and here it seems like we’re putting people in harm’s way,” said Lance Block, a lawyer hired by Rachel’s parents. The Florida Attorney General’s office says it is reviewing the procedures and protocol of the Tallahassee police. Rachel’s case has raised new questions about state and federal laws related to marijuana possession. “I’m calling her a criminal,” Tallahassee police chief Dennis Jones told 20/20, who maintains that both drug dealers and drug users are considered criminals to his department. Under Florida law, possession of more than twenty grams of marijuana is a felony. Rachel was also found in possession of two ecstasy pills, a felony under Florida law no matter the quantity because it “has a high potential for abuse and has no currently accepted medical used in treatment in the United States.” The Tallahassee police chief says Rachel was suspected of selling drugs and she was rightly treated as a criminal. “That’s my job as a police chief to find these criminals in our community and take them off the streets, to make the proper arrest,” Jones told 20/20. Rachel’s case also is raising questions about how police recruit and use informants in undercover operations. “There need to be some safeguards here,” said Block, the Hoffman family lawyers. The young woman received no training before being sent to an undercover meeting to buy a large amount of drugs and a handgun from two suspects. Police says Rachel was killed by the very handgun she was supposed to buy. “I don’t think she understood the risk or the danger that she was in,” said Block. Rachel was in a drug court diversion program when she became an informant (www.kucourses.com). I believe that if more of the scientific method had been used here then some of these issues could have been avoided. 4. Discuss the (3) primary sources of information for criminal investigators & provide detailed practical examples of each source listed.
After reading I have discovered that the (3) primary sources are people, record, and physical evidence. As for people, the careful investigator identifies and exploits all potential sources. Some people will talk willingly; some will be reluctant to disclose what they know. Investigators must learn how to overcome resistance and retrieve facts that might have been overlooked, forgotten, or thought not important enough to mention. Investigators must guard themselves against attempts of being misled and stay focused. Talking with people can be tricky, especially depending on the person, so a good investigator needs to know how to talk to all types of people because of all the different diversity. Records are a form of physical evidence. They receive separate treatment because they are widely scattered, voluminous, and have specialists devoting time to their storage and retrieval. Modern society now a days rely both on both paper and electronically stored records by amassing the information collected day in and day out. All of this can later be used in criminal investigation. For example, if you need phone records, you’re going to talk with the phone company that handles the account of the records that you need. You can use this method when you are trying to establish a conversation between two people that might try and say they do not ever speak or even know each other. Records do not have to be printed or handwritten, they can be in digital form or on film or on tape (chap. 13, pg. 289). When it comes to physical evidence any material nature is potential physical evidence. The two specific of physical evidence are forensic medicine and criminalistics. Another part of the five W’s. They are now especially looking for the who, what, when, where, why and also how. They have to find out if they can reconstruct what happened (especially when witnesses give conflicting stories). The ultimate decision is based to a large extent on this kind of evidence; indeed, it is the way many day-to-day decisions are made (chap. 13, pg. 289). Records are a form of physical evidence. They receive separate treatment in this text, however, because they are widely scattered, voluminous, and have specialists devoting full time to their storage and retrieval. Nowadays, modern society relies on both paper and electronically stored records by amassing the information collected day in and day out.

References
Criminal Investigation: A Method for Reconstructing the Past, chap. 1 pg. 1 http://kucourses.com/re/DotNextLaunch.asp?courseid=9528541&userid=17108379 Criminal Investigation: A Method for Reconstructing the Past, chap. 13 pgs. 284-289
http://online.vitalsource.com/books/97814377789…...

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