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Psychology and the Law (350-0-20)


Sara Cantonia Broaders
Swift 243, 2029 Sheridan Road
Sara Broaders is a Professor of Instruction in the Department of Psychology at Northwestern. She received her PhD in Developmental Psychology and Mental Health Research from the University of Chicago. Her interests within psychology are diverse and she teaches a wide range of courses including Introduction to Psychology, Developmental Psych, Cognitive Psych, Psychopathology, and seminar classes on topics such as Psych of Food, Psych and Law, and Psychology and “Weird” Beliefs.

Meeting Info

Swift Hall 210: Thurs 3:30PM - 6:20PM

Overview of class

This course will examine the complex issues involved in applying the science of psychology to the field of law. Among the topics we will cover:
• How psychological research can apply to policies and practices in the legal system
• Expert testimony
• Methods, uses, and limitations of forensic assessment
• Determination of legal competence
• The insanity defense
• Syndromes (Battered Women's Syndrome/Rape Trauma Syndrome) in the legal arena
• Criminal profiling types, methods, and limitations
• Eyewitness testimony and other memory issues
• Interrogation and confessions
• Jury selection and decision making
• Prisons and death penalty

Also taught as Psych 340.

Registration Requirements

Psychology 110

Teaching Method

Primarily discussion supplemented with videos/documentaries and some brief lectures. This is a reading-intensive course.

Evaluation Method

Quizzes; Weekly critical thought papers; A final project/paper; Class participation

Class Materials (Required)

1. Costanzo, M., & Krauss, D. (2021). Forensic and legal psychology: Psychological science applied to law, 4th edition. New York: Worth Publishers. ISBN: 9781319244880. (The third edition of the textbook is also acceptable.)
2. Ewing, C.P., & McCann, J.T. (2006). Minds on trial: Great cases in law and psychology. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN: 9780195181760
3. The class will also use a variety of reading materials from other sources, which will be available on the Canvas course management system.

Class Attributes

Social & Behavioral Sciences Distro Area

Enrollment Requirements

Enrollment Requirements: Pre-requisite: Students must have taken Psych 110-0.