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69. The Role Of Kinship And Siblings In Young Children’S Placement Preferences., Kelli Dickerson, Thomas D. Lyon, Jodi A. Quas 2019 University of California, Irvine

69. The Role Of Kinship And Siblings In Young Children’S Placement Preferences., Kelli Dickerson, Thomas D. Lyon, Jodi A. Quas

Thomas D. Lyon

Although considerable attention has been directed toward the most appropriate placement for children following removal from home due to maltreatment, very little of this attention has focused on children’s stated preferences, particularly when they are young. Specifically, children under 12 years of age are typically presumed incompetent to form reasoned judgments about their best interests in placement. This assumption, however, has rarely been tested directly. We surveyed 100 4- to 11-year-olds removed from home because of maltreatment about their placement preferences. Children were less likely to indicate they wanted to return home if they were placed with siblings or ...


The Role Of Kinship And Siblings In Young Children's Placement Preferences, Kelli Dickerson, Thomas D. Lyon, Jodi A. Quas 2019 University of California, Irvine

The Role Of Kinship And Siblings In Young Children's Placement Preferences, Kelli Dickerson, Thomas D. Lyon, Jodi A. Quas

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

Although considerable attention has been directed toward the most appropriate placement for children following removal from home due to maltreatment, very little of this attention has focused on children’s stated preferences, particularly when they are young. Specifically, children under 12 years of age are typically presumed incompetent to form reasoned judgments about their best interests in placement. This assumption, however, has rarely been tested directly. We surveyed 100 4- to 11-year-olds removed from home because of maltreatment about their placement preferences. Children were less likely to indicate they wanted to return home if they were placed with siblings or ...


Increasing Maltreated And Nonmaltreated Children's Recall Disclosures Of A Minor Transgression: The Effects Of Back-Channel Utterances, A Promise To Tell The Truth And A Post-Recall Putative Confession, Kelly McWilliams, Stacia N. Stolzenberg, Shanna Williams, Thomas D. Lyon 2019 CUNY John Jay College

Increasing Maltreated And Nonmaltreated Children's Recall Disclosures Of A Minor Transgression: The Effects Of Back-Channel Utterances, A Promise To Tell The Truth And A Post-Recall Putative Confession, Kelly Mcwilliams, Stacia N. Stolzenberg, Shanna Williams, Thomas D. Lyon

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

Background: Children are often hesitant to disclose transgressions, particularly when they feel implicated, and frequently remain reluctant until confronted with direct questions. Given the risks associated with direct questions, an important issue is how interviewers can encourage honesty through recall questions. Objective: The present study examined the use of three truth induction strategies for increasing the accuracy and productivity of children’s reports about a transgression. Participants: A total of 285 4-to-9-year-old maltreated and nonmaltreated children. Methods: Each child took part in a play session with a stranger during which the child appeared to break some toys. A research assistant ...


68. Increasing Maltreated And Nonmaltreated Children’S Recall Disclosures Of A Minor Transgression: The Effects Of Back-Channel Utterances, A Promise To Tell The Truth And A Post-Recall Putative Confession., Kelly McWilliams, Stacia N. Stolzenberg, Shanna Williams, Thomas D. Lyon 2019 CUNY John Jay College

68. Increasing Maltreated And Nonmaltreated Children’S Recall Disclosures Of A Minor Transgression: The Effects Of Back-Channel Utterances, A Promise To Tell The Truth And A Post-Recall Putative Confession., Kelly Mcwilliams, Stacia N. Stolzenberg, Shanna Williams, Thomas D. Lyon

Thomas D. Lyon

Background: Children are often hesitant to disclose transgressions, particularly when they feel implicated, and frequently remain reluctant until confronted with direct questions. Given the risks associated with direct questions, an important issue is how interviewers can encourage honesty through recall questions. Objective: The present study examined the use of three truth induction strategies for increasing the accuracy and productivity of children’s reports about a transgression. Participants: A total of 285 4-to-9-year-old maltreated and nonmaltreated children. Methods: Each child took part in a play session with a stranger during which the child appeared to break some toys. A research assistant ...


68. Increasing Maltreated And Nonmaltreated Children’S Recall Disclosures Of A Minor Transgression: The Effects Of Back-Channel Utterances, A Promise To Tell The Truth And A Post-Recall Putative Confession., Kelly McWilliams, Stacia N. Stolzenberg, Shanna Williams, Thomas D. Lyon 2019 CUNY John Jay College

68. Increasing Maltreated And Nonmaltreated Children’S Recall Disclosures Of A Minor Transgression: The Effects Of Back-Channel Utterances, A Promise To Tell The Truth And A Post-Recall Putative Confession., Kelly Mcwilliams, Stacia N. Stolzenberg, Shanna Williams, Thomas D. Lyon

Thomas D. Lyon

Background: Children are often hesitant to disclose transgressions, particularly when they feel implicated, and frequently remain reluctant until confronted with direct questions. Given the risks associated with direct questions, an important issue is how interviewers can encourage honesty through recall questions. Objective: The present study examined the use of three truth induction strategies for increasing the accuracy and productivity of children’s reports about a transgression. Participants: A total of 285 4-to-9-year-old maltreated and nonmaltreated children. Methods: Each child took part in a play session with a stranger during which the child appeared to break some toys. A research assistant ...


The Neural Correlates Of Third-Party Punishment, Owen D. Jones, Joshua Buckholtz, Christopher L. Asplund, Paul E. Dux, David H. Zald, John C. Gore, Rene Marois 2019 Vanderbilt University

The Neural Correlates Of Third-Party Punishment, Owen D. Jones, Joshua Buckholtz, Christopher L. Asplund, Paul E. Dux, David H. Zald, John C. Gore, Rene Marois

Owen Jones

This article reports the discovery, from the first full-scale law and neuroscience experiment, of the brain activity underlying punishment decisions.

We used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to measure brain activity of subjects as they read hypothetical scenarios about harm-causing protagonists and then decided whether to punish and, if so, how much.

The key variables were: a) presence or absence of excusing, justifying, or otherwise mitigating factors (such as acting under duress); and b) harm severity (which ranged from a stolen CD to a rape/murder/torture combination).

Findings include:

(1) Analytic and emotional brain circuitries are jointly involved, yet ...


Sorting Guilty Minds, Owen D. Jones, Francis X. Shen, Morris B. Hoffman, Joshua D. Greene, Rene Marois 2019 Tulane University

Sorting Guilty Minds, Owen D. Jones, Francis X. Shen, Morris B. Hoffman, Joshua D. Greene, Rene Marois

Owen Jones

Because punishable guilt requires that bad thoughts accompany bad acts, the Model Penal Code (MPC) typically requires that jurors infer the past mental state of a criminal defendant. More specifically, jurors must sort that mental state into one of four specific categories - purposeful, knowing, reckless, or negligent - which in turn defines the nature of the crime and the extent of the punishment. The MPC therefore assumes that ordinary people naturally sort mental states into these four categories with a high degree of accuracy, or at least can reliably do so when properly instructed. It also assumes that ordinary people will ...


Eyewitness Identification: A System Handbook, Gary L. Wells 2019 Iowa State University

Eyewitness Identification: A System Handbook, Gary L. Wells

Gary L. Wells

There is no debate about the fact that eyewitness identifications can be unreliable. False eyewitness identifications resulting in false convictions have been documented by various authors. This book is based primarily on a premise that I proposed in a 1978 article ("Applied Eyewitness Testimony Research: System Variables and Estimator Variables"): a significant proportion of the errors that occur in eyewitness identification can be prevented by the use of proper procedures. There has been an explosion of scientific research in psychology since the mid-1970s on eyewitness testimony and this book is a culmination of that knowledge plus a strong dose of ...


Eyewitness Identification: 'I Noticed You Paused On Number Three.', Bill Nettles, Zoe Sanders, Gary L. Wells 2019 Iowa State University

Eyewitness Identification: 'I Noticed You Paused On Number Three.', Bill Nettles, Zoe Sanders, Gary L. Wells

Gary L. Wells

An eyewitness to a crime is the most damaging evidence the government can present in a criminal trial. The impact on the jury of a witness pointing to the defense table and saying “that is the man right there – I will never forget his face” is overwhelming. The prosecutor can often support the veracity of the identification by providing testimony that the witness previously identified the accused in some sort of a photo spread. If the witness is a victim, police officer or some other witness sympathetic to the government, the testimony usually goes something like this: “The officer showed ...


Decoding Guilty Minds: How Jurors Attribute Knowledge And Guilt, Owen D. Jones, Matthew R. Ginther, Francis X. Shen, Richard J. Bonnie, Morris B. Hoffman, Kenneth W. Simons 2019 Vanderbilt University Law School

Decoding Guilty Minds: How Jurors Attribute Knowledge And Guilt, Owen D. Jones, Matthew R. Ginther, Francis X. Shen, Richard J. Bonnie, Morris B. Hoffman, Kenneth W. Simons

Owen Jones

A central tenet of Anglo-American penal law is that in order for an actor to be found criminally liable, a proscribed act must be accompanied by a guilty mind. While it is easy to understand the importance of this principle in theory, in practice it requires jurors and judges to decide what a person was thinking months or years earlier at the time of the alleged offense, either about the results of his conduct or about some elemental fact (such as whether the briefcase he is carrying contains drugs). Despite the central importance of this task in the administration of ...


Economics, Behavioral Biology, And Law, Owen D. Jones, Erin O'Hara O'Connor, Jeffrey Evans Stake 2019 Vanderbilt University Law School

Economics, Behavioral Biology, And Law, Owen D. Jones, Erin O'Hara O'Connor, Jeffrey Evans Stake

Owen Jones

The article first compares economics and behavioral biology, examining the assumptions, core concepts, methodological tenets, and emphases of the two fields. Building on this, the article then compares the applied interdisciplinary fields of law and economics, on one hand, with law and behavioral biology, on the other - highlighting not only the most important similarities, but also the most important differences.

The article subsequently explores ways that biological perspectives on human behavior may prove useful, by improving economic models and the behavioral insights they generate. The article concludes that although there are important differences between the two fields, the overlaps between ...


Fear-Based Provocation, Michal Buchhandler-Raphael 2019 Washington and Lee University School of Law

Fear-Based Provocation, Michal Buchhandler-Raphael

Michal Buchhandler-Raphael

This Article offers three major contributions to challenge existing view of provocation: first, it considers psychological research that found that fear, similarly to anger, may also significantly interfere with individuals’ decision making processes by disturbing rational judgment, therefore sometimes leading to lethal aggression. Second, drawing on this research, this Article argues that provocation doctrine should be reconstructed to also include a fear-based prong. Third, recognizing fear-based provocation calls for rejecting the loss of control paradigm that currently dominates judges’ and jurors’ perception of the defense. In its place, this Article advocates focusing on the fearful defendant’s fear of violence ...


The Life Of An Unknown Assassin: Leon Czolgosz And The Death Of William Mckinley, Cary Federman 2019 Montclair State University

The Life Of An Unknown Assassin: Leon Czolgosz And The Death Of William Mckinley, Cary Federman

Cary Federman

The purpose of this essay is to examine the discourses that surrounded the life of Leon Czolgosz, the assassin of President William McKinley. The gaps in Czolgosz’s life, his peculiar silences, his poor health and the ambiguity and thinness of his confession, rather than taken as instances of mental and physical distress, have, instead, been understood as signs of a revolutionary anarchistic assassin. Czolgosz is an expression of a cultural tradition in somatic form. I argue that the discursive construction of criminality, already present in the late nineteenth century within the medical and human sciences, is what shaped Czolgosz ...


Habeas Corpus In The Age Of Guantánamo, Cary Federman 2019 Montclair State University

Habeas Corpus In The Age Of Guantánamo, Cary Federman

Cary Federman

The purpose of the article is to examine the meaning of habeas corpus in the age of the war on terror and the detention camps at Guantanamo Bay. Since the war on terror was declared in 2001, the writ has been invoked from quarters not normally considered within the federal courts’ domain. In this article, I set out to do two things: first, I provide an overview of the writ’s history in the United States and explain its connection to federalism and unlawful executive detention. I then set out to bridge the two meanings of habeas corpus. Second, then ...


Child Witnesses, Thomas D. Lyon, Kelly McWilliams, Shanna Williams 2019 University of Southern California

Child Witnesses, Thomas D. Lyon, Kelly Mcwilliams, Shanna Williams

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

In this chapter we provide an overview of psychological issues involving children’s capacities as witnesses. First, we discuss the kinds of cases in which children are usually involved. Across different courts, one most often sees children describing abuse at the hands of familiar adults. Second, we describe the difficulties children encounter in disclosing abuse, particularly when it is perpetrated by adults close to them. These dynamics lead most children to remain silent, and only the most forthcoming children to disclose. Third, we suggest a framework for assessing children’s allegations, in which child-generated and adult-generated information lie on opposite ...


Does Situationism Excuse? The Implications Of Situationism For Moral Responsibility And Criminal Responsibility, Ken Levy 2019 Louisiana State University Law Center

Does Situationism Excuse? The Implications Of Situationism For Moral Responsibility And Criminal Responsibility, Ken Levy

Ken Levy

Criminal responsibility is almost universally thought to require moral responsibility. Using the psychological theory of "situationism,'" however, I will argue that criminal responsibility can survive-and therefore that defendants can be justly punished-without moral responsibility.


The Utility Of Direct Questions In Eliciting Subjective Content From Children Disclosing Sexual Abuse, Stacia N. Stolzenberg, Shanna Williams, Kelly McWilliams, Catherine Liang, Thomas D. Lyon 2019 Arizona State University

The Utility Of Direct Questions In Eliciting Subjective Content From Children Disclosing Sexual Abuse, Stacia N. Stolzenberg, Shanna Williams, Kelly Mcwilliams, Catherine Liang, Thomas D. Lyon

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

Background: Children alleging sexual abuse rarely exhibit emotion when disclosing, but they may be able to describe their subjective reactions to abuse if asked.

Objective: This study examined the extent to which different types of questions in child sexual abuse interviews elicited subjective content, namely emotional reactions, cognitive content, and physical sensations.

Participants and Setting: The study included transcripts of 205 Child Advocacy Center interviews with 4- to 12-year-old children alleging sexual abuse.

Methods: We coded questions for question type, distinguishing among invitations, wh- questions, yes/no and forced-choice questions, and suggestive questions. We coded both questions and answers for ...


Mitigations: The Forgotten Side Of The Proportionality Principle, Paul H. Robinson 2019 University of Pennsylvania Law School

Mitigations: The Forgotten Side Of The Proportionality Principle, Paul H. Robinson

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

In the first change to the Model Penal Code since its promulgation in 1962, the American Law Institute in 2017 set blameworthiness proportionality as the dominant distributive principle for criminal punishment. Empirical studies suggest that this is in fact the principle that ordinary people use in assessing proper punishment. Its adoption as the governing distributive principle makes good sense because it promotes not only the classic desert retributivism of moral philosophers but also crime-control utilitarianism, by enhancing the criminal law’s moral credibility with the community and thereby promoting deference, compliance, acquiescence, and internalization of its norms, rather than suffering ...


Minimizing Error And Bias In Death Investigations, Dan Simon 2019 USC Gould School of Law

Minimizing Error And Bias In Death Investigations, Dan Simon

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

One of the prominent developments in the forensic sciences is the emergence of attention to cognitive aspects of forensic examination. Notable in this regard is the recognition that forensic results can be swayed by the examiner’s exposure to non-scientific background information that should arguably have no bearing on the result. To counter these effects, forensic agencies have introduced context management procedures, which are designed to withhold background information from the examiner during critical parts of the examination. Context management procedures are well suited for some forensic disciplines but apply less obviously to disciplines that entail complex, sprawling, iterative, and ...


67. The Utility Of Direct Questions In Eliciting Subjective Content From Children Disclosing Sexual Abuse., Stacia N. Stolzenberg, Shanna Williams, Kelly McWilliams, Catherine Liang, Thomas D. Lyon 2019 Arizona State University

67. The Utility Of Direct Questions In Eliciting Subjective Content From Children Disclosing Sexual Abuse., Stacia N. Stolzenberg, Shanna Williams, Kelly Mcwilliams, Catherine Liang, Thomas D. Lyon

Thomas D. Lyon

Background: Children alleging sexual abuse rarely exhibit emotion when disclosing, but they may be able to describe their subjective reactions to abuse if asked. Objective: This study examined the extent to which different types of questions in child sexual abuse interviews elicited subjective content, namely emotional reactions, cognitive content, and physical sensations.
Participants and Setting: The study included transcripts of 205 Child Advocacy Center interviews with 4- to 12-year-old children alleging sexual abuse.
Methods: We coded questions for question type, distinguishing among invitations, wh- questions, yes/no and forced-choice questions, and suggestive questions. We coded both questions and answers for ...


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