LAW 547

Psychology and Criminal Law

Criminal Justice, Law & Philosophy

This seminar will introduce law students to how theories and methodologies from social psychology can be applied to obtain empirical insights into criminal law theory, doctrine, and legal decision-making.  It will explore the ways in which social psychology and the criminal legal system intersect, exploring psychology in the criminal law (as an assessment tool), psychology and the criminal law (analyzing the way social psychology research does or does not influence doctrine and decision-making), and psychology of the criminal law (investigating the assumptions that color many of the rules and systems in place).  The seminar will give students an opportunity to learn about the main ways psychology is used in the criminal legal system, while probing the gaps and mismatches between psychology and the law.  

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