Saul Kassin is a Distinguished Professor of Psychology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York and Massachusetts Professor Emeritus at Williams College, in Williamstown, MA.
He received his Ph.D. at the University of Connecticut. He later served as a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Kansas; taught at Purdue University; served as a U. S. Supreme Court Judicial Fellow, working at the Federal Judicial Center; and was a postdoctoral research fellow and visiting professor at Stanford University.
Dr. Kassin is author of Psychology (Prentice Hall, 4th edition) and Psychology in Modules (Pearson Custom Publishing). Along with Steven Fein and Hazel Markus, he is also lead author of Social Psychology (10th edition), published by Cengage Learning. He has published numerous research articles and book chapters and has co-authored or edited various 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.
In the 1980’s, Kassin pioneered the scientific study of false confessions by introducing a taxonomy that distinguished between three types of false confessions (voluntary, compliant, and internalized) that is universally accepted today and by devising laboratory paradigms that enable tests of why innocent people are targeted for interrogation and why they confess. Also interested in the consequences of confession, Kassin has recently studied “forensic confirmation biases” and the impact that confessions have on judges, juries, lay witnesses, forensic science examiners, and the plea bargaining process. Interested in matters of policy and reform, some of his current research is funded by the National Science foundation.
Dr. Kassin is past president of Division 41 of APA (aka the American Psychology-Law Society, or AP-LS). He has received a Presidential Citation Award from APA for his work on false confessions (2007), the International Investigative Interviewing Research Group (iiiRG) Lifetime Achievement Award (2011), and the AP-LS Award for Distinguished Contribution (2014). He is also the lead author on the Official APA White Paper on false confessions. His work is cited all over the world—including by the U.S. Supreme Court and the Supreme Court of Canada—and is currently funded by the National Science Foundation. He has appeared as an analyst on CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, and various syndicated news shows, and in documentaries--most notably, Ken Burns’ 2012 film, The Central Park Five. He has also consulted in numerous high-profile cases.
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