SIGNUP FOR eNEWS
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Understanding and Managing Unknowns
Dealing with the unknown is just as important as making maximum use of available knowledge. The aim of this project is undertake sub-projects, where possible in collaboration with other policing and security researchers and practitioners to:
- enhance the ability of those researchers and practitioners to better understand, manage and communicate about unknowns;
- provide new insights into various aspects of policing and security through a more sophisticated approach to unknowns;
- elaborate conceptual frameworks about unknowns by integrating diverse discipline and practice perspectives relevant to various policing and security topics; and
- strengthen methods for managing unknowns in various aspects of policing and security.
Dr Damon Muller and Professor Gabriele Bammer undertook a major project reviewing the literature on confirmation bias and debiasing strategies, relating this to miscarriages of justice in police investigations, which is a growing concern in western countries. Confirmation bias is an unconscious process involving one or both of (a) seeking out only information that supports existing beliefs, ignoring that which could refute them and (b) interpreting information in a way that supports pre-existing beliefs, disregarding other interpretations.
Dr Damon Muller’s paper on criminal profiling presented at the Criminal Investigation Workshop in 2009 has been accepted for publication in a special issue of Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice.
Professor Michael Smithson and Dr Damon Muller collaborated with Professor Rod Broadhurst and his team in developing a project proposal to study effective investigations.
In March, Dr Damon Muller was an invited co-chair for a session on typologies of bushfire arson offenders at a symposium ‘Advancing Bushfire Arson Prevention in Australia’ organised by the Australian Bushfire Arson Prevention Initiative a collaboration of the Monash Sustainability Institute, the Monash Centre for Forensic Behavioural Science and Bond University in partnership with the Australian Institute of Criminology.
In October, Professor Michael Smithson accepted an invitation to establish a blog on ignorance and uncertainty with BestThinking.com: http://www.bestthinking.com/thinkers/science/social_sciences/psychology/michael-smithson.
Professor Gabriele Bammer (Chief Investigator)
Dr Damon Muller (Post-Doctoral Fellow)
Professor Michael Smithson (Associate Investigator)