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Psychology and Law: Week 1

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Chris Burris

Week 1: Lecture 2 Monday, September 9 Psychology in the Legal System The Legal system as a social process  We are social creatures; a necessity to live so we form communities o These communities are important o We have the capacity to care but we also have the ability to hurt and harm  Maximize pro-social cooperation and minimize anti-social competition o If there is no rules around this, it becomes war o Bigger groups create more competition within them; guidelines are necessary  TWO SYSTEMS o Rules o Sanctions  Need to understand o How people think, feel, behave o How people relate to each other o **these are both part of the background to the legal system Interdisciplinary Understanding of the Legal System  Psychology only captures a part of the legal system  Many disciplines contribute  Common to many concrete topics; look at it through different lenses  Sub-disciplines with psychology; different lenses or angles in psychology Major Division in Psychology  Roles: understanding and intervention o Understanding: basic research (general behaviour); promote change (apply research) o Intervention: testing and assessment (specific behaviour); change (treatment) Psychological and Legal Perspective  Law
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