PSY328H5 Lecture Notes - Precedent, Nomothetic, Criminal Negligence

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Published on 19 Nov 2012
-trying to figure out why people do the things they do
Differences between law (left) and psychology (right)
1. Legal precedent stare decisis doing what is done before or using what was done before to
decide what should be done now ie fairness
-if someone charged for manslaughter and get 5 years…then a year later a
similar case (same background, same crime, etc) says they should get the same
sentencing…wouldn’t be fair if they got 20 years…unless there was a certain situation which
made it worse and says they should get more time
-psychology is based on creativity innovation, something novel that was created on something
that was done before but it is the next step we don’t copy the old stuff but put a bit of a twist
on it
2. Lower courts are bound by higher courts hierarchical provincial court of ontario puts down
ruling….so all courts underneath them have to follow those rules but the supreme court of
canada doesn’t have to follow them because they are at a higher level separate for each
province…a lower court in B.C. doesn’t have to follow rules of supreme court of ontario
-use consistent and supporting data to confirm validity and reliability of our findings through
well controlled studies empirical
-come up with supportable theories rather than laws
3. Sometimes the “truth” isn’t actually what truly happened (sometimes subjective), some able to
argue better than others adversarial
-psychology is trying to look at an objective point of view “this is what actually happened”,
trying to reduce any biases, errors or distortions experimental
4. Here is the law do this, do that telling people how to behave “don’t jaywalk” “don’t kill
people” – prescriptive
-trying to describe the situation and how people will behave based on prediction - descriptive
5. Looks on case-by-case basis and decides based on facts for that specific case every case is
different idiographic
-based on averages, general principles nomothetic
6. Based on all or nothing verdict system guilty or innocent certainty
-not all or nothing can have percentages probalistic
7. Changes based on an event that has happened (ex: security was increased dramatically after
9/11) reactive
-figure out stuff before it happens “what will happen if this law were to go through” – proactive
-could this stuff happen in the future?
8. Applied in real-world problems operational
-in psychology it doesn’t necessarily have to (ex: how to people react to other people with tails)
you can get the data and reactions from people but you can’t really test it - academic
-no experiments done….research is done and already being used – used as a tool
-ex: implicit attitude test for screening jurors for bias
-the research/results that goes into it
-test some variable/theory
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