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Crime and minds public lecture is sold-out success

Crimes and Minds: Psychology and the law poster

Fascinating insights into the ways in which human psychology influences the criminal justice system were put in the spotlight at a sold-out public lecture hosted by the University of West London (UWL).

‘Crimes and Minds: Psychology and the law’ took place at the William Barry Theatre and featured presentations by 11 experts from a number of institutions, including members of UWL’s academic team. 

Topics included the surprisingly high prevalence of psychopathy among the general population, the unreliability of human memory and how this is a problem for courts which rely heavily on eyewitness testimony, how police officers’ unconscious biases can distort investigations and the psychology which drives offenders to commit particular crimes.

A packed audience also learnt about ways of identifying offenders, the latest theory and practice on looking after prison staff and the best ways to conduct interviews. 

Dr Anthony Murphy spoke on the psychology of sexual violence

The event was part of UWL’s public lecture series; a collection of in-depth presentations by experts in their fields on a rich variety of subjects, which are open to members of the public. 

Dr Liam Satchell, of the School of Law and Criminology, organised Crimes and Minds and delivered the opening presentation about psychopathy. Dr Satchell is a personality psychologist whose work focuses upon identifying antisocial and psychopathic individuals using behavioural, body language and social assessments. 

He said: ‘If there is one thing that psychology has shown over the years, it’s that people are wonderfully complex but are also prone to errors in thought. People can very often be wrong in what they believe to be true and the thing is that the criminal justice system is full of people! This was a fascinating public lecture based upon decades of psychological research. I certainly learnt a lot and it seemed everyone enjoyed it too.’

A public lecture about the history of British kitchens and diets from the Romans to the Victorians also took place this week. 

Attendees enjoyed the public lecture staged by UWL

Find out more about the School of Law and Criminology. Check out the School on Twitter: @UWL_SLC