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Cops & Courts

Philosophy Talk: Your Lying Eyes – Perception, Memory, and Justice

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How should psychological science be used to improve our criminal justice system? 

The criminal justice system often relies on the testimony of eyewitnesses to get convictions. Yet more and more, psychological science demonstrates how unreliable eyewitness reports can be. Moreover, jurors have all kinds of cognitive biases and unconscious influences, and they rely on dubious folk psychological theories when assessing evidence. So is there a way to figure out whether a particular eye witness report is reliable? Or for a truly just system, must we forbid all testimony that depends on the capricious faculty of memory? John and Ken take the stand with Daniel Reisberg from Reed College, author of The Science of Perception and Memory: A Pragmatic Guide for the Justice System. Sunday 9/09 at 11 am and Tuesday 9/11 at 12 noon.