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What is Psychology and Law? Division 41: American Psychology- Law Society.

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1 What is Psychology and Law? Division 41: American Psychology- Law Society

2 History of Psychology and Law Hugo Munsterbergs (1908) On the Witness Stand Early court cases Brown v. Board of Education (1954) Jenkins v. United States (1962) Establishment of specialized professional journals Law and Human Behavior, Criminal Justice and Behavior, Behavioral Sciences and the Law, and Psychology, Public Policy and the Law Creation of professional organizations American Psychology-Law Society, International Association for Correctional and Forensic Psychology, American Board of Forensic Psychologists

3 What is Psychology and Law? Anything within the intersection of the law and psychology Clinical aspects of psychology and law e.g., violence risk assessment, competency, insanity, public policy Experimental aspects of psychology and law Subspecialties of developmental, social, cognitive, community psychology and neuropsychology e.g., jury decision making, eyewitness testimony, and the impact of expert testimony

4 Experimental Areas of Psychology and Law Jury Decision Making Methodologies Uses archival methods to examine actual verdicts Uses actual jurors to examine potential verdicts Uses mock jurors to represent functioning of actual jurors may be college students or members of the general public exposed to facts of the case in the form of a brief scenario or vignette, lengthy trial transcript, or videotape reenactment of a real trial may make individual decisions as jurors or deliberate as juries before rendering a verdict

5 Predictors of Juror and jury decision making Individual Differences Demographics (e.g., gender, age, income, education, religion, or race) Personality (belief in a just world, locus of control, socialization, or authoritarianism) Attitudinal variables related to specific types of cases (sexual assaults or death penalty) or specific topics (homosexuality) Such findings are applicable to jury selection

6 Predictors of Juror and Jury Decision making Courtroom and case factors Composition of jury Jury size Comprehension of judicial instructions Case type Extra-legal factors Pretrial publicity Emotion Juror note taking and questioning of witnesses

7 Impact of Evidentiary Psycholegal Research Eyewitnesses Expert witnesses Coerced or involuntary confessions Hearsay evidence Statistical or probability evidence (e.g., DNA cases) Elaborate displays of evidence ( e.g., computer animated displays, photographs)

8 Clinical Areas of Psychology and Law Treatment of Forensic and Correctional Offenders Forensic offenders institutionalized in mental health treatment centers and Correctional offenders institutionalized in jails and prisons Treatment focus Mental health e.g., Treatment for depression Specific psycholegal issue e.g., restore to competency

9 Forensic Assessment Consists of a psychologist evaluating an individual for a matter important to a criminal or civil court Competency to Stand Trial Criminal Responsibility or Insanity Risk Assessment Personal Injury Claims Child Custody and Parental Fitness Family Violence Juvenile Transfer and Treatment Amenability Malingering

10 Current Issues Communication of psychological research to the legal arena Application of risk assessment to individual cases Ecological validity of mock juror research Recruitment of diverse group of scholars Examination of neglected areas such as the civil law

11 Careers and Training Employment Opportunities Research (colleges and universities, government, and private agencies) Clinical practice Consultation with courts and lawyers Graduate Study in Psychology and Law Masters Degree or Doctoral Degree Ph.D or Psy.D. Joint degree programs (e.g., PHD/JD), specialized programs, or general programs

12 Resources ap-ls.org/ aplsstudentsection.com/ Encyclopedia of Psychology and Law


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