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Saul Kassin

Saul Kassin

Saul Kassin is Distinguished Professor of Psychology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, in New York City. He received his Ph.D. at the University of Connecticut after which he spent most of his career at Williams College. At various times, he was a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Kansas; a U.S. Supreme Court Judicial Fellow at the Federal Judicial Center; and a postdoctoral fellow and visiting professor in the Psychology and Law Program at Stanford University.

Dr. Kassin is author with Steven Fein and Hazel Markus of the textbook Social Psychology (9th edition), published by Cengage Learning. He has also authored an introductory psychology textbook and written or edited several scholarly books, including: Confessions in the Courtroom, The Psychology of Evidence and Trial Procedure, The American Jury on Trial: Psychological Perspectives, and Developmental Social Psychology.

Dr. Kassin is interested in the identification and prevention of wrongful convictions. Starting in the 1980’s, he pioneered the scientific study of false confessions by introducing a three-part taxonomy that is universally accepted today. He also developed laboratory paradigms that are widely used to examine why people are targeted for interrogation, why they waive their rights, why they confess, the corruptive effects of confessions on other evidence, the consequences of confessions in court, and the use of video recording to alleviate these problems. He has published numerous scientific articles and book chapters on the subject and was awarded an APA presidential citation for his research on false confessions. His work is cited all over the world—including by the U.S. Supreme Court in Salinas v. Texas (2013). For research on the video recording of interrogations, he is currently funded by the National Science Foundation.

Dr. Kassin is Past President of the American Psychology-Law Society (AP-LS) He has served as a consultant in a number of high profile cases and has testified in several state, federal, and military courts. He is senior author of the 2010 AP-LS White Paper entitled “Police-Induced Confessions: Risk Factors and Recommendations.” He lectures frequently to psychologists, judges, lawyers, law enforcement groups, and state criminal justice commissions and task forces; and he has appeared as a media consultant and guest for all major news networks and in a number of documentaries--including Ken Burns' 2012 film, The Central Park Five.

Primary Interests:

  • Causal Attribution
  • Law and Public Policy
  • Person Perception
  • Persuasion, Social Influence
  • Social Cognition

Research Group or Laboratory:

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Journal Articles:

  • Appleby, S., Hasel, L., & Kassin, S. (2013). Police-induced confessions: An empirical analysis of their content and impact. Psychology, Crime and Law.
  • Hasel, L., & Kassin, S. (2009). On the presumption of evidentiary independence: Can confessions corrupt eyewitness identifications? Psychological Science, 20, 122-126.
  • Kassin, S. (2012). Paradigm shift in the study of human lie-detection: Bridging the gap between science and practice. Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition.
  • Kassin, S. (2012). Why confessions trump innocence. American Psychologist.
  • Kassin, S. (2008). Confession evidence: Commonsense myths and misconceptions. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 35, 1309-1322.
  • Kassin, S. (2008). False confessions: Causes, consequences, and implications for reform. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 17, 249-253.
  • Kassin, S. (2008). The psychology of confessions. Annual Review of Law and Social Science, 4, 193-217.
  • Kassin, S. (2005). On the psychology of confessions: Does innocence put innocents at risk? American Psychologist, 60, 215-228.
  • Kassin, S. (1997). The psychology of confession evidence. American Psychologist, 52, 221-233.
  • Kassin, S., Appleby, S., & Perillo, J. (2010). Interviewing suspects: Practice, science, and future directions. Legal and Criminological Psychology, 15, 39-55.
  • Kassin, S., Bogart, D., & Kerner, J. (2012). Confessions that corrupt: Evidence from the DNA exoneration case files. Psychological Science, 23, 41-45.
  • Kassin, S., Drizin, S., Grisso, T., Gudjonsson, G., Leo, R., & Redlich, A. (2010). Police-induced confessions: Risk factors and recommendations. Law and Human Behavior, 34, 3-38. [Official White Paper of the American Psychology-Law Society]
  • Kassin, S., Dror, I., & Kukucka, J. (2013). The forensic confirmation bias: The forensic confirmation bias: Problems, perspectives, and proposed solutions. Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition.
  • Kassin, S., & Dunn, M. (1997). Computer-animated displays and the jury: Facilitative and prejudicial effects. Law and Human Behavior, 21, 269-281.
  • Kassin, S., & Fong, C. (1999). "I'm Innocent!": Effects of training on judgments of truth and deception in the interrogation Room. Law and Human Behavior, 23, 499-516.
  • Kassin, S., Goldstein, C., & Savitsky, K. (2003). Behavioral confirmation in the interrogation room: On the dangers of presuming guilt. Law and Human Behavior, 27, 187-203.
  • Kassin, S., & Gudjonsson, G. (2005). True crimes, false confessions: Why do innocent people confess to crimes they did not commit? Scientific American Mind, June, 24-31.
  • Kassin, S., & Gudjonsson, G. (2004). The psychology of confession evidence: A review of the literature and issues. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 5, Whole No. 2.
  • Kassin, S., & Kiechel, K. (1996). The social psychology of false confessions: Compliance, internalization, and confabulation. Psychological Science, 7, 125-128.
  • Kassin, S., Leo, R., Meissner, C., Richman, K., Colwell, L., Leach, A-M., & LaFon, D. (2007). Police interviewing and interrogation: A self-report survey of police practices and beliefs. Law and Human Behavior, 31, 381-400.
  • Kassin, S., Meissner, C., & Norwick, R. (2005). “I’d know a false confession if I saw one”: A comparative study of college students and police investigators. Law and Human Behavior, 29, 211-227.
  • Kassin, S., & Neumann, K. (1997). On the power of confession evidence: An experimental test of the "fundamental difference" hypothesis. Law and Human Behavior, 21, 469-484.
  • Kassin, S., & Norwick, R. (2004). Why people waive their Miranda rights: The power of innocence. Law and Human Behavior, 28, 211-221.
  • Kassin, S., & Sommers, S. (1997). Inadmissible testimony, instructions to disregard, and the jury: Substantive versus procedural considerations. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 23, 1046-1054.
  • Kassin, S., & Sukel, H. (1997). Coerced confessions and the jury: An experimental test of the "harmless error" rule. Law and Human Behavior, 21, 27-46.
  • Kassin, S., Tubb, V., Hosch, H., & Memon, A. (2001). On the "general acceptance" of eyewitness testimony research: A new survey of experts. American Psychologist, 56, 405-416.
  • Meissner, C., & Kassin, S.(2002). “He’s guilty!”: Investigator bias in judgments of truth and deception. Law and Human Behavior. 26, 469-480.
  • Perillo, J. & Kassin, S. (2011). Inside interrogation: The lie, the bluff, and false confessions. Law and Human Behavior, 35, 327-337.
  • Russano, M., Meissner, C., Narchet, F., & Kassin, S. (2005). Investigating true and false confessions in a novel experimental paradigm. Psychological Science, 16, 481-486.
  • Wallace, D., & Kassin S. (2012). Harmless error analysis: How do judges respond to confession errors? Law and Human Behavior, 36, 151-157.

Other Publications:

  • Kassin, S. (2011). The “messenger effect” in persuasion. In R. Arkin (Ed.), Most underappreciated: 50 prominent social psychologists talk about hidden gems. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Kassin, S. (2007). Expert testimony on the psychology of confessions: A pyramidal model of the relevant science. In E. Borgida & S. T. Fiske (Eds.), Psychological Science in Court: Beyond Common Knowledge. Oxford, England: Blackwell Publishing.
  • Kassin, S. (2007). Forensic psychology. In R.F. Baumeister & K.D. Vohs (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Social Psychology. Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications.
  • Kassin, S. (2007). Internalized false confessions. In M. Toglia, J. Read, D. Ross, & R. Lindsay (Eds.), Handbook of eyewitness psychology: Volume 1, Memory for Events (pp. 175-192). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
  • Kassin, S. (2002, November 1). False confessions and the jogger case. New York Times. [Op-Ed]

Courses Taught:

Saul Kassin
Department of Psychology
John Jay College of Criminal Justice
445 West 59 Street
New York, New York 10019
United States

  • Phone: (646) 557-4505

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