Department of Psychology, St. Petersburg State University,
St. Petersburg, Russia
Background. Researchers have started to demonstrate that verbal cues to deceit can be elicited through specific interview protocols. One that has yielded success is the Model Statement technique, which works as a social comparison and raises interviewees’ expectations about how much information they are required to report. This technique has been developed and tested in the United Kingdom, and is used in the field. A tool used in the field should be thoroughly examined in different settings, including in different cultures.
Objective. We examined the effect of the Model Statement tool on eliciting information and cues to deceit in Russian and South Korean participants.
Design. A total of 160 Russian and South Korean participants were recruited via an advert on the university intranets and advertisement leaflets. The advert explained that the experiment would require participants to tell the truth or lie about a trip away that they may (or may not) have taken within the last year. Truth tellers described a trip they made during the last twelve months, whereas liars made up a story about such a trip. Half of the participants listened to a Model Statement at the beginning of the interview. The dependent variables were “detail”, “complications”, “common knowledge details”, “self-handicapping strategies”, and “ratio of complications”.
Results. The Model Statement elicited more details from both Russian and South Korean participants and strengthened “complications” and “ratio of complications” as cues to deceit in both samples. The effects were the strongest amongst South Korean participants.
Conclusion. The Model Statement technique seems to work across different cultures, but more research is required to determine why it worked better amongst South Korean than Russian participants.
Keywords: Model Statement, cross-cultural comparison, information gathering, deception
Background. The implementation of ethical principles in forensic psychology in Russia is facing serious challenges. Expert’s evaluations have to be managed in accordance with the basic ethical principles of practical psychology in general. At the same time, the specific activities and role of a forensic psychologist differ from the professional activities and roles of a psychiatrist, psychologist-consultant, or psychotherapist.
Objective. This study focused on the identification of the main ethical problems of psychologists, who are obligated to conduct expert evaluations for the court.
Design. This study was conducted according to a qualitative paradigm, using a combination of the methods: content analysis of court materials and written expert opinion; analysis of court cases; interviews with experts; and analysis of international standards and guidelines for the professional activities of forensic experts.
Results. The ethical problems are determined by several factors: 1) the lack of a scientific basis for the regulations; 2) the complexity of the role structure of the expert’s practice; 3) the lack of practically oriented studies devoted to ethics; and 4) the lack of a venue for systematic discussion and supervision. Ethical problems are often solved by specialist exclusively according to their personal attitudes which could be risky in terms of violations of professional ethics.
Conclusion. There is a lack of systematic studies on the ethical problems in forensic practice. The preliminary data show that the rapidly growing field of expert evaluation requires the closest attention in developing ethical standards and understanding of the expert’s activity and role structure.
Keywords: ethical problems; forensic psychological evaluation; expert opinion; professional competence