Third Edition   ©2018

Forensic and Legal Psychology

Psychological Science Applied to Law

Mark Costanzo (Claremont McKenna College) , Daniel Krauss (Claremont McKenna College)

  • ISBN-10: 1-319-06031-5; ISBN-13: 978-1-319-06031-2; Format: Cloth Text, 560 pages

  • In addition to core chapters on topics such as eyewitness identification, jury decision making, child custody, and the insanity defense, Forensic and Legal Psychology includes full chapters:
  • The increasingly important area of forensic identification (DNA, fingerprints, and other types of physical trace evidence). Contrary to media depictions, the process of matching trace evidence to a criminal suspect relies heavily on human judgment and is vulnerable to error based on perceptual and cognitive biases.
  • The rapidly evolving area of workplace law – a topic that includes issues such as sexual harassment, prejudice and discrimination, work–family conflicts, and perceptions of fairness in the workplace.
  • The chapter on lie detection explores how interrogators, lawyers, jurors, and judges attempt to detect the lies of suspects, witnesses, and criminals. The chapter also describes the use of technology to reveal deception.
  • The process and accuracy of risk assessment. Predictions of future dangerousness are a key consideration in arrest, sentencing, and parole decisions.
  • Corrections, a topic that includes sentencing decisions, imprisonment, and alternatives to prison. Research on the effectiveness of punishment and rehabilitation is highlighted. Corrections is an expanding area of research and employment for psychologists.
  • The final chapter summarizes research on the death penalty. Topics such as deterrence, racial disparities, and the possibility of error are discussed, as well as how capital jurors decide between life and death.

Pedagogical Features include:

  • Scientific American Spotlight boxes: A unique feature of this text is the use of brief articles and excerpts from the pages of Scientific American Mind, judiciously selected to highlight important new research relevant to the study of psychology and law. These boxes explore the following topics: tough treatment of troubled teens (Chapter 1; new in this edition); the use and misuse of brain scans in the courtroom (Chapter 1); the cognitive burden of lying (Chapter 3); using DNA analysis to create sketches of suspects (Chapter 4); implicit racial bias and police shootings (Chapter 5; new in this edition); predictive policing (Chapter 5); recovered memories, an interview with Elizabeth Loftus (Chapter 6); the long-term effects of recovered memory therapy on mental health (Chapter 6); the trauma of sexual abuse (Chapter 11; new in this edition); posttraumatic growth (Chapter 11; new in this edition); the use of projective tests in child custody cases (Chapter 13); selecting and training police officers (Chapter 14; new in this edition); use of the Implicit Association Test to detect subtle racial and age-related biases (Chapter 14); the use of technology and social media to identify the best employees (Chapter 14); the relationship between mental illness and violence (Chapter 15); and victim–offender mediation (Chapter 16; new in this edition).
  • Legal Spotlight boxes focus on topics related to specific legal issues. Newly featured topics include using social media to select jurors (Chapter 9) and continuing issues with sexually violent predator laws (Chapter 15).
  • Hot Topic boxes discuss issues of special current relevance, with the following newly featured discussions: postconviction polygraphing of sex offenders (Chapter 3), the use of child interviewing props (Chapter 6), juvenile competency to waive Miranda rights (Chapter 8), and plea bargaining (Chapter 9).
  • Consider This boxes, a new box type for special topics that do not fit under the other three box types. Newly featured topics include alternative approaches to interrogation (Chapter 2), juvenile transfer to adult court (Chapter 8), and victim impact statements and execution impact statements (Chapter 17).
  • Focus on Careers boxes contain brief descriptions of possible careers in psychology and law. The psychologists featured describe the characteristics of their jobs, the training that prepared them for their careers, and what they like (and dislike) about their jobs. Highlighted careers include police and forensic psychologist, social science analyst, trial consultant, violence risk expert, and correctional psychologist.
  • End-of-chapter Discussion and Critical Thinking Questions reinforce student learning and encourage students to think more deeply about concepts. Too often, students become fixated on memorizing without understanding. These questions help combat that tendency by encouraging students to think about what they have learned and to go beyond mere memorization by considering the implications of the ideas the chapter presents. The questions also help students make connections between research findings and the functioning of the legal system.
  • Key Terms at the end of each chapter. These lists allow students to immediately test their comprehension and retention of information. For quick reference, all the key terms are compiled and defined in the Glossary at the end of the book. The definitions in the Glossary have been extensively revised for greater clarity and consistency.