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Course Description

Balanced scales of justice on a green background

An examination of psychological methods, findings and theories in the study of law. Topics will include the fallibility of the eyewitness; juror decisional processes; credibility of witnesses and attorneys; socialization into legal systems, police behaviour, etc.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course, the learner should be able to:

  1. Demonstrate working knowledge of the key theories, research methods, and issues, in the Psychology and Law field and literature
  2. Compare and contrast the assumptions and methods of psychology with those of law
  3. Explain how research is conducted and disseminated
  4. Use the psychological concepts, language, and theories, to account for human behavior in legal contexts
  5. Use a variety of mediums to communicate in an academically rigorous manner how psychological principles can be used to explain legal issues and inform public policy.
  6. Articulate how psychological principles can be used to explain legal issues and inform public policy.
  7. Seek and evaluate scientific evidence for forensic psychological claims, evaluate the appropriateness of conclusions derived from forensic psychological research, and generalize research conclusions appropriately based on the parameters of particular research.
  8. Describe how psychological explanations are often complex and tentative.

Course Topics

  • Introduction to Forensic Psychology
  • Police psychology and the psychology of police investigations
  • Detecting Deception
  • Eyewitness testimony
  • Juries: Fact Finders
  • The Role of Mental Illness in Court
  • Risk Assessment
  • Psychopathy
  • Sentencing and Parole in Canada
  • Assessment and Treatment of Justice-Involved Youth

Additional Requirements

Pre-requisite(s): 2.50 credits in Psychology or PSYC*2310



Assessment Item Weight Learning Outcomes
Weekly Quizzes (8 @ 1.25% each, best 8/10) 10% 1, 4, 6-9
Case Discussions 20% 1, 2, 4-8
Written Assignment 20% 1, 3-8
Midterm Exam 20% 1-6, 8
Online Final Exam 30% 1-6, 8
Total 100%  


Technical Requirements

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*Course details are subject to change.


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