Psychology & The Law

It  examines various aspects of the legal process from an experimental psychological perspective. The primary focus is on the impact that these processes have on trial participants specifically, and society generally. Many sub-disciplines of experimental psychology are represented in this course, including memory, perception, psycholinguistics, social psychology, developmental psychology, and personality. This is not a class on criminology or the “criminal mind.” Thus, we will not examine “profiling” or criminal psychopathology. This is also not a course on the law or the impact of clinical psychology on the field of law. We will note instances in which empirical psychology has made an impact. We may, however, cover some aspects of the insanity plea because such pleas, and the basis upon which they are made, affect the perceptions of judges and juries, their decision-making, and verdicts.

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