Summer 2019 - PSYC 268 C100

Introduction to Law and Psychology (3)

Class Number: 5918

Delivery Method: Distance Education


  • Course Times + Location:

    Distance Education

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Jun 19, 2019
    Wed, 7:00–9:00 p.m.

    Aug 9, 2019
    Fri, 7:00–10:00 p.m.

  • Prerequisites:

    PSYC 102.



An introduction to the area of law and psychology. The role and influence of psychology in the legal system will be discussed. Topics include: social psychology and law, developmental psychology and law, juvenile justice, experimental psychology and law, mental disability and law.


Issues at the intersection of Psychology and Law have been studied for well over 100 years. In 1906 Sigmund Freud stated, in a speech to Austrian judges, that psychology has important applications to the legal system. In 1908, Hugo Munsterberg published On the Witness Stand, a review of issues that psychologists had studied that were relevant to the legal system. Between 1909 and 1918 Guy Whipple published a series of articles in Psychological Bulletin, on observations, memory, and witness testimony. Notwithstanding the contributions of these giants, sustained research in the area of Psychology and Law did not take hold until the mid 1960s. Since then, the discipline has advanced rapidly. Many and varied questions have been researched by psychologists who specialize in the area of forensic psychology and law including eyewitness identification, memory for crime, risk assessment, treatment of offenders, children’s competence as witnesses in court, juveniles in the criminal justice system. The list of topics is long and the research is extensive. We begin with this course, an Introduction to Psychology and Law. The course will introduce you to the varied topics being studied in psychology and law and an overview of the current state of knowledge in each. Topics: History of psychology and law The Canadian legal system Forensic assessment in criminal domains Forensic assessment in civil domains Forensic treatment Correctional psychology Children and the law Juveniles in the legal system Eyewitness identification Police interrogations and false confessions Police psychology Juries and legal decision making


  • Group Discussions, Assignment Submissions, & Peer Reviews 10%
  • Group Discussions 5%
  • Quizzes 10%
  • Mid-term Exam 35%
  • Final Exam 40%



Forensic Psychology and the Law - A Canadian Perspective (2014), Roesch et. al.
ISBN: 9781118161753

Centre for Online and Distance Education Notes:

All CODE Courses are delivered through Canvas unless noted otherwise on the course outline.

Required Readings listed on the course outlines are the responsibility of the student to purchase. Textbooks are available for purchase at the SFU Bookstore on the Burnaby campus or online through the Bookstore's website.

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This course outline was accurate at the time of publication but is subject to change. Please check your course details in your online delivery method, such as Canvas.

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