JCU Logo

JOHN CABOT UNIVERSITY

COURSE CODE: "PS/LAW 338-1"
COURSE NAME: "Psychology and Law"
SEMESTER & YEAR: Spring 2019
SYLLABUS

INSTRUCTOR: Paola Castelli
EMAIL: [email protected]
HOURS: MW 3:00-4:15 PM
TOTAL NO. OF CONTACT HOURS: 45
CREDITS: 3
PREREQUISITES: Prerequisite: PS 101 or permission of the instructor
OFFICE HOURS:

COURSE DESCRIPTION:
The course focuses on applications of concepts and theories from cognitive, social, developmental and clinical psychology, to the administration of justice. Topics include the psychological processes involved
in jury selection, jury deliberation and decision making, police interrogation, false confessions, eyewitness testimony, memory for traumatic events, child witnesses, juvenile offenders, and the role of psychologists as trial consultant and expert witnesses.
SUMMARY OF COURSE CONTENT:

A number of controversial issues will be addressed, including the psychological processes involved in jury selection, jury deliberation and decision making, police interrogation, false confessions, lie detection, eyewitness testimony and eyewitness identification, repressed and recovered memories, child witnesses, the death penalty, the insanity defense, juvenile offenders, and the role of psychologists as trial consultant and expert witnesses.

LEARNING OUTCOMES:

Student will learn how the law’s implicit assumptions about human behavior can be informed by psychological research and theories.

TEXTBOOK:
Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberComments
Wrightsman's Psychology & the Legal SystemGreene E. & Heilbrun K.Cengage9781337570879  
REQUIRED RESERVED READING:
NONE

RECOMMENDED RESERVED READING:
NONE
GRADING POLICY
-ASSESSMENT METHODS:
AssignmentGuidelinesWeight
ExamsThere will be THREE midterms during the course of the semester, plus a final exam. The midterms will be non-cumulative exams (each covering approximately 1/3 of the course material). However, the concepts will build on one another during the course of the quarter, so to do well on midterm 2, you may need to keep yourself refreshed on topics covered in midterm 1. The final will be cumulative, that is, it will cover anything that has been discussed throughout the course. Of the 4 exams, only your THREE highest scores will count towards your final grade. Your lowest (out of four) exam score will be dropped. You have to take at least 3 exams. Failure to do so will result in an F. The extra exam allows those who have to miss a test (i.e., excused absence) during the semester to be able to make-up for it. This means THERE WILL BE NO MAKE-UP TESTS. If you miss any test, that will be your dropped score. No other arrangement will be made. For ANY reason. 100

-ASSESSMENT CRITERIA:
AWork of this quality directly addresses the question or problem raised and provides a coherent argument displaying an extensive knowledge of relevant information or content. This type of work demonstrates the ability to critically evaluate concepts and theory and has an element of novelty and originality. There is clear evidence of a significant amount of reading beyond that required for the course
BThis is highly competent level of performance and directly addresses the question or problem raised.There is a demonstration of some ability to critically evaluatetheory and concepts and relate them to practice. Discussions reflect the student’s own arguments and are not simply a repetition of standard lecture andreference material. The work does not suffer from any major errors or omissions and provides evidence of reading beyond the required assignments.
CThis is an acceptable level of performance and provides answers that are clear but limited, reflecting the information offered in the lectures and reference readings.
DThis level of performances demonstrates that the student lacks a coherent grasp of the material.Important information is omitted and irrelevant points included.In effect, the student has barely done enough to persuade the instructor that s/he should not fail.
FThis work fails to show any knowledge or understanding of the issues raised in the question. Most of the material in the answer is irrelevant.

-ATTENDANCE REQUIREMENTS:

Attendance is not mandatory, but it is strongly encouraged. If you miss a lecture, you miss almost 20% of the material that will be covered on the next exam (so you can expect to get at least one grade lower than if you had come to class!). Moreover, some material - such as videos, in-depth description of studies, and examples – will only be presented in class. Please do not arrive late and/or plan to leave early. It will be disruptive to everyone. In addition, you’ll be missing important information that is usually given in the first and last minutes of lecture.
The use of laptop in class is only allowed to take notes. If you are found to use it for other purposes, you will lose this privilege.

ACADEMIC HONESTY
As stated in the university catalog, any student who commits an act of academic dishonesty will receive a failing grade on the work in which the dishonesty occurred. In addition, acts of academic dishonesty, irrespective of the weight of the assignment, may result in the student receiving a failing grade in the course. Instances of academic dishonesty will be reported to the Dean of Academic Affairs. A student who is reported twice for academic dishonesty is subject to summary dismissal from the University. In such a case, the Academic Council will then make a recommendation to the President, who will make the final decision.
STUDENTS WITH LEARNING OR OTHER DISABILITIES
John Cabot University does not discriminate on the basis of disability or handicap. Students with approved accommodations must inform their professors at the beginning of the term. Please see the website for the complete policy.

SCHEDULE

week 1

Introduction: Importance of Law

Chapter 1

 

The psychologists' role in the law

 

week 2

The legal system

Chapter 2

 

Theories of crime

Chapter 3

week 3

Eyewitness testimony

Chapter 5

 

 

 

week 4

Children as witness

Chapter 5

 

Repressed and recovered memories

 

week 5

EXAM 1

 

Profiling suspects

Chapter 6

week 6

Lie to me: Detecting deception

 

 

False confessions

 

week 7

Plea bargain

Chapter 7

 

Effects of pretrial publicity

 

week 8

Forensic assessment: criminal

Chapter 8

 

Insanity defense

 

week 9

Juvenile competence

 

 

Forensic assessment: civil

Chapter 9

Week 10

EXAM 2

 

 

 Child custody disputes

 

Week 11

Trial process: Jury selection

Chapter 10-11

 

Jury decision making

Chapter 12

week 12

 

 

 

Victimization

Chapter 13

week 13

Punishment and sentencing

Chapter 14

 

Assessing risks: adults and juveniles

Chapter 15

week 14

Conclusions & Review

 

 

EXAM 3