Critiquing an Innocent procedure

(1) Provide a thorough summary of an experimental procedure for studying a psychological factor
that contributes to wrongful convictions.
(2) Summarize how the procedure has been applied in five studies.
(3) Provide a critique of the procedure.

What are some experimental procedures that would be suitable for the critique?
You can use any procedure for conducting experiments on a psychological factor that contributes to
wrongful conviction. Here are a few suggestions:
• Eyewitness Identification
• Suggestibility in Investigative Interviews
• The Misinformation Effect
• False Confessions (e.g., the ALT key method)
• Plea Bargaining
• Fingerprint Comparison
• Bitemark Comparison

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Does it have to be an experimental procedure?
Yes. The procedure must be used in experimental research. In an experiment, participants are
randomly assigned to groups under controlled conditions. Correlational or archival studies do not
quality as experiments.

How much detail should I give in the general summary of the procedure?
You should provide enough detail so that the procedure could be implemented by someone who has
never heard of the procedure before.

What details should I report in the five summarized studies?
Summarize the study rationale, make note of any variations from the typical application of the
procedure (if any), and report the study findings.

What should be the focus of my critique?
Highlight the strengths and weaknesses of the procedure. Is the procedure practical to implement? Is
it ecologically valid? Does the procedure have any other limitations? Recall from the previous
assessment that identifying a weakness is not sufficient. You must also explain why it is a weakness.

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