Psychology and Law
The Psychology and Law Program emphasizes research training across the breadth of domains in which psychology and law intersect. We prepare students as academicians and applied researchers who can provide professional psychological expertise to and within the criminal and civil justice systems, and offer training in applied work such as evaluation research and policy development. This Program prepares students to develop and conduct independent basic science research related to Psychology and Law. The program includes social, cognitive, developmental, policy and decision sciences orientations and preparation. Scholarly activity by members of the program addresses issues such as: jury decision-making in criminal and civil cases (e.g., impact of pretrial publicity, expert testimony, legal instructions, juror characteristics, evidence presentation styles and technologies); the ability of jurors to understand and use scientific and probabilistic evidence; the plausibility of psychological assumptions built into legal rules of evidence and procedure; group processes in juries; jury selection by attorneys and social scientists; the accuracy of child and adult eyewitness identification and crime reports; adolescent brain development and risk-taking behavior; trauma and witness memory; the development and detection of deception; the impact of investigative procedures on witness memory; assessment of the utility and biases inherent in police procedures; police psychology; attributions of blame in sexual assault; the intersection of psychology, gender, and the law; impact of and responses to injustice; inter-group relations and prejudice; analysis of crime scenes and criminal behavior; and the psychology of confessions, false confessions and alibis.
Director of Psychology & Law Training Area:
Margaret Kovera, PhD