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Lecture 4

PSYC 248 Lecture 4: CogSci

15 Pages
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Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYC 248
Professor
G Dell

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The scientific study of the effect the law has on people and the effect people have on the law.
Legal Formalism: Dominant in the 19th and early 20th centuries. It advocates mechanical
jurisprudence. (simply apply the rule to the case) This school of thought believes that the law is
self-contained and autonomous, and implies that judges are interchangeable.
(Langdell) law is a science and all the available materials of that science and are contained in
printed books. What qualifies a person to teach law is not experience in dealing with men, or
experience in trial or argument, but the experience of law.
Legal Realism: was a full movement around 1930 . This school of thought that law is the
behavior of all legal actors whose decisions are based and influenced by personal
experiences and biases.
Law is intended to promote social welfare.
To accomplish his goal of social wefare the legal system must examine social reality, you have
to have good knowledge for how society and human behavior function.
Psychology and Law Today:
Successes: expert testimony, Jury and Trial consultants, amicus briefs. Citations of research by
courts and scholars. Testimony before congress.
Research collaborations with judges and courts.
Challenges: Psychology: progress and change. Empirical, demands scientific evidence. Uses
scientific method as its authority. Experimentation; Descriptive (describes the state of the
world) Nomothetic: Probability
Law: precedent. (grounded in) Authoritative; authority from higher courts above up to
constitution being the highest authority. Adversarial process: Prescriptive (what you should do,
tries to create a particular state of the world) Idiographic: Certainty:
The US Govt:
Legislative branch: creates laws
Executive: implements and creates law
Judicial Branch: Interprets and creates law.
Hierarchy of Laws:
US Constitution
Federal Statutes and Treaties (all the laws that congress writes~federal statute)
Federal Administrative Agency Rules
Common Law from Federal Courts
Sate constitutions
State Statutes
find more resources at oneclass.com
find more resources at oneclass.com
State administrative agency rules
Common law from state courts
(states have freedom to make laws as long as it does not interfere w federal laws)
(local city and county level)
City/County Charters
Local Ordinances
Local Agency Rules
Judicial Law
Structure of the Courts
Federal Level
Supreme Court of the US
US Courts of Appeals (the 13 Circuits) ~ 11 circuits by region and then the DC circuit and a
Federal Circuit (IL=7th circuit)
US District Courts (94 Districts) (Illinois has 3)
STATE LEVEL
State supreme court (highest court in each sate)
State appellate courts (IL has 5 appellate courts)
State Trial Courts (IL has 24) (Does factual determination; minutia/details of the case)
***Trial court is district level, appellate court is court of appeals level)
Civil Vs. Criminal Cases
Civil:
-One person sues another for harm.
-Plaintiff and Defendant
-Verdict and Damages
-Preponderance of the Evidence (you have to prove that joe caused the car crash //more
evidence than not//)
-Goal of Compensation
Criminal:
-The government prosecutes a person for a crime
-Prosecutor and Defendant
-Verdict and the Sentence
find more resources at oneclass.com
find more resources at oneclass.com
-Government has the burden to prove that defendant is guilty BEYOND REASONABLE
DOUBT
-Goal of Punishment.
Judges v. Juries
The defendant often (not always) has a right to a jury trial.
In a Jury Trial: the jury is the factfinder, and the Judge rules on the legal and procedural issues.
If there is no right to a jury OR the defendant waives the right, there is a bench trial.
-The Judge is the factfinder
-The Judge rules on the legal and procedural issues.
Plessy V Ferguson
Louisiana statute required railroads to segregate their train cars.
Plessy was black and was ordered to leave the white section of the train.
Holding of the case was the statute does not violate the 14th amendment. Why? The 14th
amendment was made to make races legally equal, and not eliminate social distinctions. Separate
does not mean inferior. And Segratated trains have a reasonable connection to the public well
being.
Empirical Claims in Court Opinions
Empirical Statement: type of claim about the nature of the “real world”
Can be tested scientifically and determined to be true or false (Falsifiable)
(aka positive statement)
Opinion Statement: Also a type of claim about the nature of the “real world”
Cannot be tested as true or false and is a matter of personal opinion or
interpretation. (aka normative statement)
Experimental Design:
1) Manipulate the independent variable.
2) Randomly assign participants to multiple treatment conditions
True experiments are not always possible.
(depending on what you want to study)
some variables just cannot be randomly assigned (i.e. gender/ other pre-existing conditions)
Some variable would be unethical to randomly assign (like a traumatic life event)
There are often practical limitations. (limited access to participants, limited time/money)
find more resources at oneclass.com
find more resources at oneclass.com

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Description
The scientific study of the effect the law has on people and the effect people have on the law. Legal Formalism: Dominant in the 19 and early 20 centuries. It advocates mechanical jurisprudence. (simply apply the rule to the case) This school of thought believes that the law is selfcontained and autonomous, and implies that judges are interchangeable. (Langdell) law is a science and all the available materials of that science and are contained in printed books. What qualifies a person to teach law is not experience in dealing with men, or experience in trial or argument, but the experience of law. Legal Realism: was a full movement around 1930 . This school of thought that law is the behavior of all legal actors whose decisions are based and influenced by personal experiences and biases. Law is intended to promote social welfare. To accomplish his goal of social wefare the legal system must examine social reality, you have to have good knowledge for how society and human behavior function. Psychology and Law Today: Successes: expert testimony, Jury and Trial consultants, amicus briefs. Citations of research by courts and scholars. Testimony before congress. Research collaborations with judges and courts. Challenges: Psychology: progress and change. Empirical, demands scientific evidence. Uses scientific method as its authority. Experimentation; Descriptive (describes the state of the world) Nomothetic: Probability Law: precedent. (grounded in) Authoritative; authority from higher courts above up to constitution being the highest authority. Adversarial process: Prescriptive (what you should do, tries to create a particular state of the world) Idiographic: Certainty: The US Govt: Legislative branch: creates laws Executive: implements and creates law Judicial Branch: Interprets and creates law. Hierarchy of Laws: US Constitution Federal Statutes and Treaties (all the laws that congress writes~federal statute) Federal Administrative Agency Rules Common Law from Federal Courts Sate constitutions State Statutes
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