SOC 321K • Social Psychology and the Law
8:00 AM-9:30 AM
Crimes, trials, evidence, juries, sentences, accidents, lawsuits you hear a lot about issues with which the legal system concerns itself. But how do you begin to understand precisely how legal decisions get made and the implications for how our legal system is designed? This course will look at courts, legal actors, and legal policies through the lens of social science, especially social psychology. The goal of the course will be to learn about existing research on law-related topics. A sample of areas to be covered include: predicting dangerousness, eyewitness testimony, mental health issues in the law (such as competence to stand trial and the insanity defense), children in the law, and jury decision-making on verdicts in criminal and civil cases.