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Psychological Science and the Law
Neil Brewer and Amy Bradfield Douglass (Eds)
Guilford Press / Hardcover / 2019-04-01 / 1462538304
reg price: $63.95 our price: $ 54.36
444 pages
In Stock (Ships within one business day)

Psychological research can provide constructive explanations of key problems in the criminal justice system—and can help generate solutions. This state-of-the-art text dissects the psychological processes associated with fundamental legal questions: Is a suspect lying? Will an incarcerated individual be dangerous in the future? Is an eyewitness accurate? How can false memories be implanted? How do juries, experts, forensic examiners, and judges make decisions, and how can racial and other forms of bias be minimized? Chapters offer up-to-date reviews of relevant theory, experimental methods, and empirical findings. Specific recommendations are made for improving the quality of evidence and preserving the integrity of investigative and legal proceedings.


“If you have ever been curious about the deep connection between psychology and law, this is the book for you. Two eminent researchers have assembled a stellar group of scientists and scholars to fill readers in on the latest on eyewitness memory, judicial decision making, expert testimony, and a host of other topics. I felt immense pride when reading of the myriad ways psychology has contributed to solving some of the most vexing problems in our system of justice. You can see that for yourself, whether you’re learning about it for the first time or have been following the literature for years.”

—Elizabeth F. Loftus, PhD, Distinguished Professor of Social Ecology, and Professor of Law, and Cognitive Science, University of California, Irvine

“This beautifully crafted text provides a comprehensive, up-to-date discussion of contemporary debates and issues at the interface of psychology and criminal law. Readers learn how social, cognitive, clinical and forensic psychology inform a broad range of processes within criminal justice systems. Each chapter is written by one or more experts at the cutting edge of their respective fields who understand the benefits and challenges of translating science into practice. This is a worthy successor to Brewer and Williams's 2005 Psychology and Law, which has informed my teaching and research for over a decade. It will doubtless be regarded as the authoritative work on psychological science and the law for students, researchers, practitioners, and policymakers.”

—Kimberley A. Wade, PhD, Department of Psychology, University of Warwick, United Kingdom

“Prominent scholars provide thorough summaries of the literature in each of the major domains of scholarship in psychology and law. Accessible, critical, and engaging, this text will be of great value to students, practitioners, and researchers—it fills a gap in the field.”

—Michael E. Lamb, PhD, Department of Psychology, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom; Editor, Psychology, Public Policy, and Law

“Brewer and Douglass have really hit the mark with this excellent, up-to-date work. A wide array of topics are covered, from traditional social and cognitive research related to eyewitness memory to more clinically based areas such as forensic interviewing and the assessment of competence. The book tackles emerging areas of research and practice that are not included in other texts, such as issues related to plea bargaining, cognitive bias in forensic decision making, and the pseudoscience of criminal profiling. Highly readable, this is an outstanding text for upper-level courses in psychology and law; it will also be useful for professionals in the criminal justice system.”

—Mitchell Eisen, PhD, Professor and Director, Forensic Psychology Graduate Program, California State University, Los Angeles

About the Editors:

Neil Brewer, PhD, is Matthew Flinders Distinguished Professor of Psychology at Flinders University, South Australia. He is a Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science and of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia. His research addresses eyewitness identification and recall, juror judgments and, recently, interactions between individuals with autism spectrum disorder and the justice system. He has served as Editor of Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied and as an editorial board member for all the major psychology–law journals.

Amy Bradfield Douglass, PhD, is Professor of Psychology and Department Chair at Bates College. She teaches statistics and upper-level courses on psychology and law and psychology of religion. Her research focuses on how eyewitnesses make decisions, how eyewitness errors can be prevented, how social interactions with lineup administrators affect retrospective witness judgments, and how people perceive and evaluate eyewitnesses. She is an editorial board member and former Associate Editor of Law and Human Behavior.

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