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Saul Kassin is an American psychologist, a Distinguished Professor of Psychology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York.[1]

Biography Edit

He was born and raised in New York City


He graduated Phi Beta Kappa as an undergrad from Brooklyn College in NYC. He then went on to receive his Ph.D. in personality and social psychology from the University of Connecticut in Storrs, CT.


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, KS for one year and then taught at Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN for two years. , he went on to create insightful developments among research involving social perception and influence, and their applications to police interrogations and confessions, lie detection, eyewitness testimony, jury decision-making, and other aspects of law.

Dr. 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).[2] These classifications are used all over the world. He also created the first laboratory research methods 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.”[3] He has published many other articles on the subject, has worked on many high profile cases, has worked with the Innocence Project ( which primarily exonerates people for whom DNA evidence is available to be tested or retested) all to use psychology to help prevent and correct wrongful convictions. He has testified as an expert witness in state, federal, and military courts. His writings are cited all over the world.

In 1984, Kassin 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 used at colleges and universities today such as Psychology, Essentials of Psychology, Developmental Social Psychology, The Psychology of Evidence and Trial Procedure, and The American Jury on Trial. He co-author the textbook Social Psychology with Dr. Steven Fein and Dr. Hazel Rose Markus.[4]

Today, he is a Distinguished Professor of Psychology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City and Massachusetts Professor of Psychology at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts.

Dr. Kassin is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, the Association for Psychological Science, and the American Psychology-Law Society.


In 2007, he received a Presidential Award from the American Psychological Association for his groundbreaking work on false confessions. He was the president of Division 41 of APA, a.k.a. the American Psychology-Law Society. 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.

References Edit

  1. Biography. Williams College. URL accessed on 2009-07-24.
  2. Kassin, S. & Wrightsman, L. (1985). Confession evidence. In Kassin & Wrightsman (Eds.), The psychology of evidence and trial procedure. Beverly Hills: Sage Books.
  3. 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.
  4. Kassin, S., Fein, S., & Markus, H. (2011). Social Psychology (8th edition). Belmont, CA: Cengage Learning.

External linksEdit

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