– Video recording and psychological interpretation – Dagsavisen

– Video recording and psychological interpretation – Dagsavisen
Torgir Helstad Professor of Psychology, UiS

Psychologists Pål Grøndahl and Tim Brennen speak on Rogaland’s Avis on July 5 regarding a video recording of Moxnes in connection with the sunglasses theft. They point out that what one sees in the video provides no basis for any explanation, and thus further evidence as to whether or not Moxnes committed the robbery. They argue professionally that such pure observations of external behavioral sequences have been shown to be completely unreliable when it comes to revealing the motives of the actors, and therefore do not constitute any further evidence in relation to criminal action. I agree with this.

However, in this particular case, there are probably many, when they see this video, who will think and “interpret” that this shows or strongly suggests that we are witnessing a robbery. The two psychologists refer somewhat unscientifically to the “gut feeling” that makes us want to explain certain motives to observations of such purely external behaviour.

However, I would like to point out that the reason why many may interpret other assertions that theft is taking place here based on the video – and this in itself explains certain motives and meanings in such and other notes – is not accidental and has essential traits and conditions of being human and living in context. social.

We humans are primarily intentional and interpretive animals, and interpreting and forming meaning around what we observe is something absolutely fundamental and also has survival value for us. Had we not been equipped with this ability to deliberately interpret social situations and other people in the first place, we would have hardly survived as a species.

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We always think and reflect from a specific interpreted context. We simply do not experience reality as strongly defined and neutral sequences, as this video demonstrates in isolation. We interpret it in a larger context.

It is hard to imagine that an audience who knows about the case and who largely watches the video would be able to assess the actor’s behavior here quite impartially.

In this case, there is also strong contextual evidence for certain interpretations of the sequence of action perceived in the video. The lead actor was caught with the glasses, and after finding out he hadn’t paid for them, kept keeping them, tore off the price tag and put them in his luggage. Moreover, he constantly changed his interpretation after being confronted with new information, in a way that could be interpreted again as if he was trying to get out of the situation.

It is hard to imagine that an audience who knows about the case and who largely watches the video would be able to assess the actor’s behavior here quite impartially. Interpretation constantly creates meaning, even if both psychologists could argue that it might seem “meaningless” as pure evidence in a criminal trial.

However, I completely agree with psychologists that we often misinterpret the “wrong” meaning and attribute it to various observations. Which, of course, means that in the purely legal sense, in the present situation, stricter and more rigorous requirements should be put forward for observation and facts than were the case at the beginning, and generally constitute the basis of human and social life.

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Dalila Awolowo

Dalila Awolowo

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