Chapter 1&2 notes.doc

4 Pages

Course Code
PSYCH 3860
Denis Mc Carthy

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Chapter 1: Psych and the Law • Reasons for Law ◦ Human creations ▪ Customs v Law ◦ Conflict avoidance and resolution ▪ Laws against shouting, cursing. Peace keeping, noise ordinances ◦ Protect the public ▪ Limits on smoking and sodas. Changing the drinking age to 21 instead of 18 ◦ The evolution of laws ▪ Cars, internet, DNA, cloning • ScientificApproaches to the Law ◦ Anthropological ▪ Compare societies- gun laws in other countries and the results ◦ Sociological ▪ Study specific society- drinking laws ◦ Philosophical ▪ What is justice? Questions we wont cover here ◦ Psychological ▪ Behavior of individuals involved • Four choices ◦ Individual rights vs common good ▪ Balancing the two • Limits on free speech, right to peace ▪ Marriage Laws ▪ Victimless crimes like drugs, seat-belts, and smoking ▪ Due Process • Emphasizes individual rights (exclusion of improper evidence) ▪ Crime control • Reduction of crime (3 strikes law, Megan's Law- child predators) ◦ Equality vs Discretion ▪ Equality • All are equal before the law th ◦ 14 amendment and equal protection ◦ principle of proportionality ◦ mandatory minimums • Is this true? ◦ Profiling ◦ Top attorneys vs public defender ▪ Discretion • Outcomes based on the facts of each case ◦ Mel Ignatow, Brenda Shaefer, MaryAnn Shore- found video of murder • Is this fair? ◦ Sentencing disparity ▪ Crack v powder cocaine, capital punishment • Replicability (capable of being reproduced) • Control ◦ All extraneous variables should be taken into account ◦ central importance of dependent variable ◦ testing of the hypothesis through manipulation of independent variable • Basic Research ◦ goal is understanding ◦ less or no concern for utility ◦ basic research can be used in court ▪ perceptual or cognitive research may be used to assess witness reliability ▪ stereotyping research (Fiske article) ◦ ethical issues ▪ bound by research ethics • Applied research ◦ goal is application or solving a problem ◦ clinical, counseling, and school mostly ◦ often act as expert witnesses ▪ accuracy of eyewitnesses under certain condition ◦ ethical issues ▪ must report all findings despite who hired them ▪ hard to retain objectivity ▪ psychologists with specific views more likely to be hired by one side • Policy evaluator ◦ Gather information to assess the impact of policy ◦ Examples ▪ DUI laws ▪ DARE ◦ Ethical issues ▪ must report all data ▪ pressure to find certain outcomes (DARE) •
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