How our Brains Foster Wrongful Convictions

How our Brains Foster Wrongful Convictions

Wrongfully convicted

Back in college my social psychology professor, Elliot Aaronson Ph.D., told us a story over 3 lectures that had us absolutely riveted. It was about a young man Bradley Nelson Page (not to be confused with Dr. Bradley Nelson), a UC Berkeley student who had been accused of murdering his girlfriend.   Dr. Aaronson led us through all the factors of the interrogation that led Page to a false confession of her murder.

That story left me with a sense of awe about how effective persuasion could be.  But it also left me profoundly disturbed about how it could be used, and the implications it had on our “justice” system.

We heard how the police used various mechanisms we discussed in class to force Page to concoct a story that allowed them to frame him.   As a college student, Page could have never imagined that the police would lie and use such manipulative tactics to force a confession!   He later recanted his confession after he was given enough space and rest to think clearly.

But his recanting wasn’t sufficient.

Please follow and like us:
error
Read More

What To Do When They Won’t Listen

What To Do When They Won’t Listen

She won’t listen!

Christine was in a new business partnership with 2 others in Arizona.  She lived in Portland, and was stressed about this partnership.  Her partner in Arizona took on more much responsibility than she could reasonably do, and important procedures were missed and not attended to.  Christine tried to persuade her that she could do the accounting, and that they needed to have an overarching plan about how to distribute responsibilities.  But her business partner was too mired in what she was doing to listen.    She was stressed and frustrated by the potential consequences of what she foresaw happening with the business.   She needed to be heard and valued, but she was starting to worry that regardless of what she did or said, her partner wouldn’t listen.

We talked about how to get her needs met.

I told her

Please follow and like us:
error
Read More

Why We Lack Control Over Our Thoughts

My friend Jim Kellner performs “mental magic”  to audiences around the country.   Technically, he’s a stage hypnotist and a couple of weeks ago, he did a performance where he hypnotized a few people, including a friend of mine, Brian.     Here’s just a little taste from the show.  (Warning:  you might not want to drink anything while watching.  It could get messy!)

 

I talked to Brian a few days afterwards, and asked him how it was, and he said, “it was the weirdest thing, but I don’t remember anything about it!”.   I just remember waking up and feeling really relaxed!

I confess, as a person that is less susceptible to hypnosis, I marvel that some people can get that deeply hypnotized.   Furthermore, his shows really awaken my curiousity! What is going on in their brains that make them so highly suggestible?

Please follow and like us:
error
Read More
Follow by Email
Facebook
Facebook
Google+
Twitter
YouTube
LinkedIn