Saul Kassin

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Saul Kassin is a Distinguished Professor of Psychology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City.[1] and Massachusetts Professor of Psychology at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts.


Saul Kassin is an American psychologist, born and raised in New York City. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa as an undergraduate from Brooklyn College in New York City. and then received his Ph.D. in personality and social psychology from the University of Connecticut in Storrs, Connecticut. With his doctoral degree he went on to begin his psychology and law research career working with Lawrence Wrightsman at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas, for one year and then taught at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, for two years.

In 1984, he was awarded the U.S. Supreme Court Judicial Fellowship and worked at the Federal Judicial Center in Washington, DC. In 1985, worked as a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University in their Psychology and Law Program. Kassin went on to author several textbooks: Psychology, Essentials of Psychology, Developmental Social Psychology, The Psychology of Evidence and Trial Procedure (with Lawrence S. Wrightsman) , and The American jury on trial : psychological perspectives. He co-authored the textbook Social Psychology with Steven Fein and Hazel Rose Markus.[2]

Kassin is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association (APA), the Association for Psychological Science (APS), and the American Psychology-Law Society (AP-LS). In 2007, he received a Presidential Award from the APA for his groundbreaking work on false confessions. In 2011, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Investigative Interviewing Research Group (iiiRG). In 2014, he received an Award for Distinguished Contribution from AP-LS. He was the president of Division 41 of APA, a.k.a. AP-LS. He continues to teach, research, write, and lecture to judges, lawyers, police groups, psychologists, psychiatrists, and other high interest groups in the area of social psychology and the law. He also appears as a guest analyst on major TV networks and syndicated news shows. He also appears in the 2012 documentary by Ken and Sarah Burns, The Central Park Five.

A staunch critic of the Reid technique of interrogation,[3] and a vocal advocate for the requirement that all interrogations be videotaped, Kassin is best known for starting the scientific study of false confessions. In 1985, he and Lawrence Wrightsman wrote that there are three types of false confessions (voluntary, coerced-compliant, coerced-internalized).[4] These classifications are used all over the world. He also created the first laboratory research methods (the most notable being the computer crash experiment,[5] used in forensic psychology to study the problems with certain types of police interrogation techniques and why innocent people confess. With other experts in the field, he wrote a 2010 White Paper called "Police-Induced Confessions: Risk Factors and Recommendations."[6] He has published many other articles on the subject, introduced such terms as guilt-presumptive interrogation,the phenomenology of innocence, and the forensic confirmation bias. His work is cited all over the world, including by the U.S. Supreme Court and the Supreme Court of Canada. He has worked on many high-profile cases, has worked with the Innocence Project, all to use psychology to help prevent and correct wrongful convictions. He has testified as an expert witness in state, federal, and military courts.


  1. ^ "Biography". Williams College. Retrieved 2009-07-24. 
  2. ^ Kassin, S., Fein, S., & Markus, H. (2016). Social psychology (10th edition). Belmont, CA: Cengage Learning.
  3. ^ Starr, D. (2013). The Interview. The New Yorker, December 9, 2013.
  4. ^ Kassin, S. & Wrightsman, L. (1985). Confession evidence. In Kassin & Wrightsman (Eds.), The psychology of evidence and trial procedure. Beverly Hills: Sage.
  5. ^ Kassin, S., & Kiechel, K.(1996). The social psychology of false confessions: Compliance, internalization, and confabulation. Psychological Science, 7, 125-128)
  6. ^ 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.

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