Psychology of the Courtroom

Course Number:

Credit Hours:
3 Credit Hours

Prerequisites: RCC*. The objective of this course is to examine social science research about the legal system and to identify ways in which lawyers can benefit from social science insights about the adjudicatory system. The five major topics of classroom focus will be: (1) a general discussion of strategies and techniques for achieving the goals of adjudication; (2) an exploration of the ways we go about selecting and preparing fact finders (most particularly the jury); (3) the ways the legal system attempts to inform fact finders (and whether these are a success or failure--with a particular focus on eyewitness testimony, attorney behavior and expert testimony); (4) the methods our system uses to control fact finders (the effectiveness of rules controlling judicial conduct, the admissibility of evidence, and legal instructions); and (5) the nature of jury deliberation and decision making.

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