Psychology of Law: 3 Critical Empirical Legal Problems (Presentation Slides)
Corresponding slides to CSLS Socio-Legal Seminar Series for students as Nicholas deB Katzenbach Fellow, New Directions in Socio-Legal Studies, University of Oxford.
38 Pages Posted: 15 Apr 2019 Last revised: 19 Aug 2020
Date Written: March 18, 2019
This tutorial explicates three critical examples of how psychology informs legal professionals of the problems that human behaviour brings to law and its practice. Starting with an introduction to what psychology is, and what it is not, the tutorial moves to discuss and critically analyse key studies in psychological research demonstrating: the fallibility of forensic profiling, the malleability of human memory relevant to false memory syndrome, and finally the vulnerability of juries to prejudicial evidence. These key studies demonstrate how forensic profiling may sometimes mislead police investigations, how false memories can be planted in the mind of witnesses, and how prejudicing evidence, such as prior convictions, can bias trials in which very little other corroboration is evident. These thought provoking findings are presented in the context of core landmark findings within the psychology of law literatures, and will provide the reader with much to appraise complementary literatures within law, such as a critique of the rules of evidence and procedure. Finally, a select reading list is provided to aid the reader for future reference.
Keywords: Psychology of Law, Evidence and Procedure, Criminal Justice
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