In the US, we’ve experienced a number of recent incidences of white policemen shooting black men. What’s going on? Are these more examples of prejudice and discrimination or unprovoked attacks on police? How do we know what really happened? In this episode of The Psych Files we look at how key social psychological theories are on display in these incidences: false memories, attribution biases, blaming the victim and social identity theory.
the criminal justice system that, flawed as it is, still insists that indictments be based on facts instead of emotions, which are fed by long-simmering prejudices and all the cognitive biases and memory distortions that come packaged in the human mind. – Michael Shermer, What Really Happened in Ferguson?
Resources for this Episode
- ‘Ghettoside’ Explores Why Murders Are Invisible In Los Angeles
- What Really Happened in Ferguson? When eyewitness testimony collides with contradictory evidence
- False Memories – How Can Your Memory Be So Bad?
- Flashbulb Memories – Are They As Accurate As We Think?
- Kitty Genovese: What Really Happened?
- Blaming the Victim and other Attribution Biases