JUNE 24 - 26, 2021 / WORLDWIDE
Scientific reasoning and forensic psychotherapy
Scientific reasoning also affects everyday life; for example, in the field of forensic work: here it is necessary to determine whether the dangerousness of a criminal has changed. Deductive nomological methods are one way of finding this out. These have problems; for example, when working with offence hypotheses, it is often not clear whether a feature falsification is an indication of a change in dangerousness or of a false basic hypothesis. It therefore seems attractive to think further about scientific reasoning within forensics - quite in the sense of basic research. Charles Sanders Peirce's three-stage logic of reasoning lends itself to this: It is shown how common problems of inference can be avoided by using an interplay of abduction, deduction and induction. And how this opens up a way of working that, among other things, realises an abduction-deduction-induction procedure, which looks like this in detail:
- In a first step, based on the initial analysis of a person x, which focuses not only on the main offence and previous offences, but on a chain of biographical events, a presumed, vague assignment of this comprehensive "narrative data package" to a specific risk group could be determined abductively; i.e. the person x would first be assigned - with these group names being understood as placeholders - to the group "offenders with malignant narcissism", whereby such a group is always specified by clear "risk characteristic trends".
- In a second step, it would then be deductively derived which risk characteristics person x would still have to exhibit if the group attribution is correct.
- Finally, in a third step, it would be checked inductively whether the deductively deduced characteristics can actually be found with a view to already known or newly added narratives. Which then confirms the group membership or makes it increasingly questionable. Which then makes a new abductive conclusion necessary.
- On this basis, it could be clearly argued - if a solid group membership is achieved - that changes in characteristics that can be observed then are actually changes in dangerousness and not falsifications of the offence hypothesis. How with this solid affiliation to groups that are determined by trends, probabilities would then also come into play that have an actual significance with regard to recidivism.
Such an approach can be excellently linked to the schematherapeutic model, since schemas or modes can also be re-interpreted as signs, which are at the heart of Peirce's thinking:
With the help of the basic schematherapeutic model, the aforementioned narratives can be formulated much more precisely, which increases the quality of the inference as well as the results.
Given the complexity of the topic, a length of 60 minutes seems reasonable; 40 minutes lecture, 20 minutes discussion.
As in the previous year, the lecture will be recorded, as this increases security and also allows visualisation. The discussion, on the other hand, will be live.
Since I travel a lot in prisons due to my forensic work, I would welcome appointments on 26 June.
About the Presenter
•Training in "Infant Child Observation" at the "Psycho analytische Akademie Wien" (Psycho analytical Academy Vienna),
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