Vol. 6, Issue 1, January 2014

Documents

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Satisfaction of Social and Legal Sciences teachers with the introduction of the European Higher Educ Satisfaction of Social and Legal Sciences teachers with the introduction of the European Higher Educ

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Tania Ariza, Raúl Quevedo-Blasco and Gualberto Buela-Casal

Abstract

University teachers are one of the main figures in the European convergence process, but their attitude towards the reform of Spanish university studies is unknown. Therefore, the objective of this study is to evaluate the satisfaction of Social and Legal Sciences teachers towards the introduction of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA). The sample was made up of 3,068 teachers from Spanish public universities, who teach in the said field. An online questionnaire was created for this purpose, with questions relating to the EHEA, teacher tasks and training, as well as aspects related to methodology and the teaching and learning process, amongst others. Cronbach´s alpha coefficient was .81. It is a population-based, descriptive study using a cross-sectional survey with a probability sample. In the results it can be observed that only 9.3 % of teachers are satisfied with the adaptation of higher education to the EHEA. Finally, the limitations faced by teaching staff in consolidating this process will be discussed.

Keywords: European Higher Education Area; education policy; satisfaction; university teaching staff; quality.

Effects of different types of forensic information on eyewitness’ memory and confidence accuracy Effects of different types of forensic information on eyewitness’ memory and confidence accuracy

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Farhan Sarwar; Carl Martin Allwood; and Åse Innes-Ker

Abstract

This study investigated eyewitnesses’ memory and confidence accuracy for action information (what happened at the crime scene), and detail information (descriptions of persons, objects, time and place). In Experiment 1, 89 participants watched a film and participated in one of four conditions: Laboratory discussion, Family discussion, Retell and Control, the first three with five meetings each. Three weeks later all participants open free recalled the events, and confidence judged their answers. The participants showed better free recall and confidence accuracy for action than for detail information. Participants in the two discussion conditions and in the Retell condition recalled more items and those in the Lab-discussion and Retell conditions more correct items for action information, than those in Control group. However, the four conditions did not differ for proportion correct of all action items recalled and confidence accuracy for action items. In brief, Experiment 1 showed that witness discussions and retellings of the experienced event with others improved recall for action information but had had no, or small, effects on confidence accuracy. Experiment 2 investigated recall and confidence accuracy performance for action and detail information using focused questions. Seventy-seven participants watched a film, answered and confidence judged 63 questions about action and detail information about the events. Again, participants showed better memory and confidence accuracy for action information. Overall, the results indicate that, for both free recall and focused questions, witnesses’ recall and confidence accuracy is better for action information than for detail information, thus extra precaution is needed in the forensic system when detail information from witnesses is considered.

Keywords: eyewitnesses; confidence accuracy; action information; free recall; focused questions.

The Intimate Partner Violence Responsibility Attribution Scale (IPVRAS) The Intimate Partner Violence Responsibility Attribution Scale (IPVRAS)

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Marisol Lila, Amparo Oliver, Alba Catalá-Miñana, Laura Galiana, and Enrique Gracia

Abstract

The aim of this study is to present a psychometrically sound instrument to assess intimate partner violence offenders’ responsibility attributions: the Intimate Partner Violence Responsibility Attribution Scale. The scale was administrated to 423 adult male intimate partner violence offenders court-mandated to community-based intervention program. Three theorized factors (responsibility attribution to the legal system, responsibility attribution to the victim, and responsibility attribution to the offender personal context) were supported using confirmatory factor analysis. Reliability of the scales in this study was estimated using Cronbach’s alpha, ρ and greatest lower bound. The Intimate Partner Violence Responsibility Attribution Scale correlated in theoretically expected ways with variables used to assess construct validity (system blaming, problems with partner, and responsibility assumption) and with variables used to assess criterion-related validity (satisfaction with legal system, victim-blaming attitudes, alcohol consumption, hostile sexism, stressful life events, social desirability, impulsivity and household income). Results offer support for the validity and reliability of the Intimate Partner Violence Responsibility Attribution Scale.

Keywords: attribution of responsibility; batterer intervention programs; intimate partner violence; offenders; responsibility attribution scale; structural equation modeling.

‘I know how they must feel’: Empathy and judging defendants ‘I know how they must feel’: Empathy and judging defendants

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Jane L Wood, Mark James and Caoilte Ó Ciardha

Abstract

The current study investigated the effects of state and trait empathy in legal judgments and tested the relationship between trait and state emotion in one hundred and fifty eight students aged 18-59. Assessments were taken of participants’ trait empathy and then state empathy was induced in half the sample. Following this all participants read a trial transcript and made judgments regarding: the verdict decision; the defendant’s responsibility for the offense; what would be an appropriate punishment; the likelihood that the offender would offend in the future; and whether the defendant felt remorse for committing the offense. Findings showed that both trait and state empathy predicted attributions of offender remorse. State empathy also predicted judgments of offender responsibility and agreement with verdict decisions in a lenient direction. Findings also showed that state and trait empathy did not interact. The results indicate that trait and state empathy work independently to influence legal judgments and that inducing empathy in decision-makers can impact on trial outcomes above and beyond the facts of the case.

Keywords: empathy; state; trait; remorse; judgments.

Perceived Risk and Safety-related Behaviors after Leaving a Violent Relationship Perceived Risk and Safety-related Behaviors after Leaving a Violent Relationship

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Rosaura Gonzalez-Mendez and Juana D. Santana-Hernandez

Abstract

Given that victim’ risk perception could improve risk assessment in cases of intimate partner violence research is paying attention to it. However, it is not clear whether perceived risk relates to safety-related behaviors. This study is aimed to analyze how perceived risk by women who have left a violent partner relates to their safety-related behaviors and post-separation violence. Participants were 249 women (from protection services and the community) who had concluded a violent relationship. A structural equation model describes the relationships between three groups of factors: (1) women’s risk perception; (2) three types of conditions that increase the opportunity for victim/abuser contact: (a) women’s actions that make them easier to track, (b) women’s reasons for not protecting themselves, and (c) batterers’ strategies to gain access to their former intimate partners; and (3) post-separation violence. Results indicate that psychological violence is positively related to perceived risk and helplessness. Moreover, while women’s risk perception predicts less contact and self-deception, male strategies predict greater contact and routines. In turn, contact predicts intimacy, whose absence fully accounts for 93.3% of the prediction of no re-abuse, six months later. The results’ implications for intervention are discussed.

Keywords: intimate partner violence; risk perception; safety-related behaviors; separation; batterers; risk assessment.