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University Bulletin
Undergraduate Degree Programs

These course descriptions are not being updated as of August 1, 2016. Current course descriptions are maintained in LionPATH.

Psychology (PSYCH)

PSYCH 445 Forensic Psychology (3) Relations between psychological theory and research and the law, legal processes, and social policy.

PSYCH 445 Forensic Psychology (3)

(BA) This course meets the Bachelor of Arts degree requirements.

This course focuses on the interplay between psychological theory and research and the law, legal processes, and social policy. Students will be exposed to the dilemmas faced in the law and how overlap with the knowledge base and expertise of psychologists. Students will learn about the roles psychologists might play in the court system and the history of their involvement. This will include roles of consultant, policy evaluator, expert witness, assessor, and advocate. Legal issues that emerge in psychological practice will also be covered (e.g., limits to confidentiality, duty to warn, consent issues). Students will gain an understanding of the basic theories of the law and how psychological theories may intersect with these. The emphasis of discussion will be on those affecting children, youth and families. These will include topics such as divorce, child maltreatment, juvenile delinquency, domestic violence, and social welfare. Other topics of the law will also be highlighted (insanity plea, civil commitment). Particular attention will be paid to issues dealing with race, ethnicity, and social class and law and social policy.

This course expands the PSY curriculum at the 400-level to include a popular and socially significant topic, and will fulfill a 400-level PSY requirement for Psychology majors and minors. It addresses in detail legal and social policy implications of topics covered in other psychology courses. Significant background in psychology is assumed; thus PSYCH 270 (Introduction to Abnormal Psychology) is a prerequisite. Students typically will be assessed on the basis of three exams (20% each), a paper (30%), and class participation (10%).

General Education: None
Diversity: None
Bachelor of Arts: Social and Behavioral Science
Effective: Spring 2007
Prerequisite: PSYCH 100;PSYCH 238, PSYCH 243 orPSYCH 270

Note : Class size, frequency of offering, and evaluation methods will vary by location and instructor. For these details check the specific course syllabus.


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