Psychology in a Legal Context
University of Otago
Dunedin, New Zealand
Area of Study
Legal Studies, Psychology
Taught In English
PSYC 210 and PSYC 211 and PSYC 212
Course Level Recommendations
ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.
Recommended U.S. Semester Credits3 - 4
Recommended U.S. Quarter Units4 - 6
Hours & Credits
Psychological aspects of crime and the investigative/legal process.
Almost every area of psychology has some relevance to the law. For example, research in psychology has been instrumental in helping us to understand how jurors make their decisions, why eyewitnesses are often mistaken, how people come to confess to crimes they did not commit and why a fingerprint expert might testify that two prints match when they don't. In this paper, we will use psychological science to examine how crimes are perpetuated, witnessed, investigated, tried and punished.
The major topics covered are:
-Witnessing a crime
-Memory decay and distortion
-Visual identification of a perpetrator
-Recovered and false memories
-Offenders and offending
-Interrogations and confessions
-Dealing with the guilty offender
Emphasis will be placed on experimental design issues in forensic psychology, the analysis and interpretation of relevant empirical evidence and the application of psychological knowledge to investigative/legal reform.
A selection of journal articles and other material will be available on Blackboard and through the Central Library
Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.
Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.
Some courses may require additional fees.
Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.
Please reference fall and spring course lists as not all courses are taught during both semesters.
Availability of courses is based on enrollment numbers. All students should seek pre-approval for alternate courses in the event of last minute class cancellations
Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.