Feb
5
Tue
Torture – Does it work and can it ever be justified? (w/ Jo Kenrick)
Feb 5 @ 6:10 pm – 7:10 pm

What if there was a dirty bomb hidden somewhere in the UK and you had to get a suspect to tell you where it was and how to disable it, what lengths would you go to? Recent revelations in the media about the UK government’s role in cooperating with the CIA torture programme have re-opened the debate on what is and is not acceptable when innocent lives are at stake. The President of the United States has declared that torture ‘absolutely works’ but the CIA’s own reports state that torture techniques “do not produce intelligence” and “will probably result in false answers”. This talk examines the ethical arguments for and against torture and reviews the science behind what techniques do and don’t work in eliciting information in high-pressure situations.

Jo Kenrick is a member of the Forensic Psychology Unit and an Associate Lecturer at Goldsmiths where she is researching the development of deceptive skill for her PhD. She has a wide range of research interests as you can see by her previous dissertation topics  –“Let the traffic policeman wear black cotton gloves”: Why traditional rituals of death matter to modern people (BA, Religious Studies), One born every minute: A target selection hypothesis of deception abilities in Machiavellian personalities (BSc, Psychology) and The influence of information channels on attributions for Domestic Violence against Women in Sweden, Bulgaria and the UK (MSc, Research Methods).

This event is jointly hosted with Goldsmiths’ Forensic Psychology Unit.

All APRU talks are open to staff, students and members of the public. Attendance is free and there is no need to book in advance. You are strongly recommended to register (at no cost) with the APRU’s “Psychology of the Paranormal” email list to ensure that you are informed of any future changes to the programme as well as news of related events. You can also follow @chriscfrench on Twitter for announcements (including news of last-minute cancellations, changes of venue, etc.). Visit: http://www.gold.ac.uk/apru/email-network/

Mar
5
Tue
“I see what the killer sees”: An examination of Psychic Criminology (w/ Ciaran O’Keeffe @ciaranokeeffe)
Mar 5 @ 6:10 pm – 7:10 pm

There is a disconnect between the proliferation of psychic detectives throughout media who claim successful involvement in criminal investigations and the experimental work on psychic detection that consistently finds little evidence that would warrant their involvement. There is, however, a paucity of scientific work in this domain, with the main sceptical rebuttals being confined to arguments around cold (or hot) readings or florid exaggeration of the claims. Critical evaluation of psychic detection, then, must come from detailed post-hoc investigations and in recognising how different police forces respond to volunteered information from a psychic. This talk encapsulates all of the above points, highlighting key famous cases in the domain, and bringing together two normally disparate sub-disciplines of Psychology: Investigative Psychology and Parapsychology.

Dr O’Keeffe is Associate Head of School at Bucks New University where he is responsible for Psychology, Sports Science, Social Sciences, Education and Sports Therapy. He is also programme leader for two crime degrees, BSc. (Hons) Criminological Psychology and BSc. (Hons) Psychology & Criminology, which build upon his professional and research experience in Forensic Psychology (risk assessment of violent young offenders; Investigative Psychology consultancy; anti-FGM campaigner, RJ advocate). His parapsychology research, however, has focused on testing mediums and psychics in the lab and also fieldwork examining ghostly experiences. Additional research has included psychic criminology, UFOs, Alien Abduction and ‘Christian’ parapsychology (i.e. exorcism, miracles & stigmata). It has been reported in The Psychologist, The Times, The Independent, in addition to various TV documentaries, and docutainment programmes, on a number of channels (BBC, ITV, C4, C5, Living TV, Yesterday, Travel Channel, Discovery etc.). He has also provided accounts of his daily activities in order to inform the lead (Andrew Lincoln, now on AMC’s “The Walking Dead”) in a popular ITV paranormal drama, Afterlife. Ciaran also provides a sceptical voice to various paranormal shows (e.g. Living’s Most Haunted, and Jane Goldman Investigates) in addition to providing expert input on Applied Psychology. He has been involved in many unusual projects: physiological effects of infrasound (Royal Festival Hall); ghost investigation of Hampton Court Palace; an exorcism ‘training day’; and lie detecting for the film Spy Game.

All APRU talks are open to staff, students and members of the public. Attendance is free and there is no need to book in advance. You are strongly recommended to register (at no cost) with the APRU’s “Psychology of the Paranormal” email list to ensure that you are informed of any future changes to the programme as well as news of related events. You can also follow @chriscfrench on Twitter for announcements (including news of last-minute cancellations, changes of venue, etc.). Visit: http://www.gold.ac.uk/apru/email-network/