Psychology and the Law
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Level: Graduate
Division: The New School for Social Research
Department: Sociology
Course Number: GSOC 6151
Course Format: Seminar
Location: NYC campus
Permission Required: No
  • Sociology
  • Psychology
  • Law
Course description: Psychology plays a crucial role in our legal system. In this class, we will engage forensic psychological research across disciplines (e.g., social/cognitive, clinical and developmental psychology) and consider how the legal system can be informed by it. Some of the topics we will address include: police investigations, interrogation and confessions; lie detection; lineups and eyewitness identifications; the reliability of adult and child eyewitnesses testimony; the controversies surrounding repressed/recovered memories, false memories and suggestion; the clinical determination of insanity, competence to stand trial, and future dangerousness; juvenile justice; factors that affect jury decision making; race and the legal system; the death penalty; myths associated with “psychological profiling”; ethics and professional issues. In addition to surveying the already existing literature, we will also address current challenges and controversies facing the field, and discuss future directions. Open to: university graduate students; those outside of the major should seek permission from their program and the department of the course.
Course Open to: Degree Students with Restrictions