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The Popular Policeman and Other Cases

Psychological Perspectives on Legal Evidence

Willem Albert Wagenaar Hans Crombag

288 pages
Amsterdam University Press
In this compelling title, two distinguished scholars share their experiences as expert witnesses in cases ranging from eyewitness testimony, person identification and recovered memories, to false confessions, collaborative storytelling and causal attribution, in the context of various interrogation techniques and their ability to deliver reliable results. Each chapter describes in lucid, entertaining prose a representative case in the context of scholarly literature to date, showing how psychological expertise has been (and can be) used in a legal setting.
The cases include petty and serious crime, from illegal gambling, infringed trademarks and risqué courtship behaviour, to honour killing and death on the climbing wall. The authors’ findings and recommendations apply to legal systems worldwide. There is no other English-language textbook covering a similarly wide range of offences, and this volume will fill a gap in the existing literature and demonstrate how psychological expertise can be used in a much larger area than is often realised.

‘This book is a most welcome addition to the literature on law and psychology. The work of two distinguished psychologists, it is authoritative, insightful,concrete, and eminently readable.’
William Twining, Professor of Jurisprudence, University College, London

‘The Popular Policeman and Other Cases is a rare find: a book that is both good science and a good read.’
John Monahan, Professor of Law, University of Virginia

‘Wagenaar and Crombag display eloquence as writers, and their flair for narrative combined with faithfulness to science makes this book a remarkable work on psychology and law.’
Elizabeth Loftus, Past President, American Psychological Society
Author Bio
Willem Albert Wagenaar is professor of psychology and former Rector Magnificus of Leiden University, who specialises in witness reliability, and was a court expert in the Jerusalem trial of John Demjanjuk. Hans Crombag is professor of the psychology of law at the universities of Maastricht and Antwerp.