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2010/1 Module Catalogue
 Module Code: PSY3058 Module Title: PSYCHOLOGY AND THE LAW
Module Provider: Psychology Short Name: PSY3058
Level: HE3 Module Co-ordinator: NASH RA Dr (Psychology)
Number of credits: 10 Number of ECTS credits: 5
Module Availability
Final year Psychology and APS students.
Assessment Pattern
(1) One 2000 word essay  [25%]
(2) One 90 minute exam: two essays to be completed from a choice of six questions [75%]
Module Overview
All Level 2 Psychology or APS modules.
Module Aims
This module aims to introduce students to some ways in which research from applied cognitive and social psychology can inform, and has informed, the legal system. The module focuses on the processes of collecting and evaluating testimonial evidence from witnesses, victims and suspects. As such, students will gain knowledge of current applied research on memory, decision-making and social cognition.
Learning Outcomes
By the end of the module, students will be familiar with a variety of ways in which psychology has been applied to legal processes and issues. Students will be able to critically discuss and evaluate specific studies and general methodologies and will be aware of the current state of the research in this field. Students will understand the potential real-world applications of psychology-law research as well as its basis in the development of cognitive - and social-psychological theory.
Module Content

Wrongful convictions and the misinformation effect
Eyewitness memory and memory conformity
Identifying suspects from lineups
Interviewing witnesses/victims
Interviewing suspects and obtaining confessions
Evaluating alibis and evidence
Juror and jury behaviour
Expert evidence and beliefs about memory
Repression and false autobiographical memories

Methods of Teaching/Learning

Lectures, group/class discussions and classroom exercises.

A list of the recommeded readings will be provided for each lecture. Students are also expected to read beyond these sources.

Selected Texts/Journals

Brewer, N., & Williams, K.D. (2005) Psychology and law: an empirical persepctive. New York: Guilford Press.
Bull, R., Valentine, T., & Williamson, T. (2009). Handbook of psychology of investigative interviewing: Current developments and future directions. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell.
Feigenson, H., & Spiesel, C. (2009). Law on dsiplay: The digital transformation of legal persuasion and judgement. New York: NYU Press.
Gudjonsson, G.H. (2003) The Psychology of interrogations and confessions. West Sussex, England. Wiley.
Loftus, E.F. (1996). Eyewitness testimony. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Loftus, E.F., & Ketcham, K. (1991). Witness for the defense: The accused, the eyewitness and the expert who puts memory on trial. New york: St Martin's Press.
Memon, A., Vrij, A. & Bull, R. (2003). Psychology and law: Truthfulness, accuracy and credibility (2nd Edn). Chichester: Wiley.
Schwartz, B.L. (2010) Memory: Foundations and applications. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Applied Cognitive Psychology
Law & Human Behavior
Legal and Criminological Psychology
Psychology, Crime & Law

Last Updated
Nov 2010