Law 207.4 – law and Psychology (Fall 2010)

Professor Robert MacCoun

Phone: 642-7518, Email: maccoun@berkeley.edu

Professor’s web page: http://conium.org/~maccoun/

Meeting time: Tues and thurs, 8:35-9:50am (Room 107)

Course Control Number (Non-1Ls): 49489

Office hours:  Right after class, or TBA (tentative plan is for Wednesdays 11-noon) (488 Simon Hall)

 

This course will examine the implications of psychological theory and research for normative legal theory and for contemporary legal policies, procedures, and practices. The course will draw on contemporary cognitive, social, and clinical psychology to address the concepts of intent, responsibility, deterrence, retribution, morality, and procedural and distributive justice. We will examine evidence law (e.g. eyewitness testimony, polygraphy, expert testimony, psychiatric diagnosis and prediction), procedure (e.g., trial conduct, jury selection, settlement negotiations, alternative dispute resolution), and various topics in criminal law, tort law, family law, and other areas. We will compare "rational actor" and psychological perspectives on decision making by juries, judges, attorneys, and litigants.  4 Units

 

A note about this syllabus:  If you are reading a hard copy of this syllabus, please note that the most current version in on line at http://conium.org/~maccoun/lawpsych_fall2010.html.  The readings and dates may be revised during the term; any revisions will be announced in class and immediately posted to the web page.  Also, I will try to keep the links working, but if a link to a reading does not work, then (a) email me to tell me, but also (b) search for another copy of the reading on the web (that's where I found them all!) (Hints: Use Google Scholar, and use a campus internet address so you can take advantage of the university site licenses.)

 

REQUIREMENTS

  • Participation (40% of grade):  This includes attendance, participation in the class sessions, and demonstrating that you are keeping up with the readings.  I will also expect you to turn in six 2-page memos with your thoughts and questions about six of the readings that most interest you.  (These are pass-fail and you are encouraged to take risks by proposing bold new hypotheses.)
  • Paper (60% of grade):  This is due on December 16th, the last official day of the semester.  The assignment is to write a law-review style paper (around 20-25 pages) that shows how psychological theory or research can illuminate a legal debate in an area of your choosing.  I encourage you to "explore and expand the frontier" by identifying an issue that has not yet received a lot of attention in the law-and-psychology literature, even if this means that you have to offer hypotheses rather than definitive conclusions.  You should submit a 1-page proposal by email before Thanksgiving so we can agree on your topic.

We have 26 separate 75-minute sessions.  Each session will have one required reading (or two very short pieces), and one recommended reading.  As the name implies, I expect you to have read the required readings and to come to class prepared to discuss them. The recommended readings are chosen to provide further background, and I hope you will find them interesting and useful. 

 

SCHEDULE

Tue Aug 17

Legal vs. social science standards of evidence

Thu Aug 19

Eyewitness accuracy and lineups

Tue Aug 24

What makes witnesses persuasive?

Thu Aug 26

Clinical vs. statistical judgment

Tue Aug 31

Forensic evidence and expert testimony

Thu Sep 2

Jury selection

Tue Sep 7

Juror comprehension of the law

Thu Sep 9

Pretrial publicity and inadmissible evidence

Tue Sep 14

Racism, sexism, and other extralegal biases in legal decisions

Thu Sep 16

Jury deliberation

Tue Sep 21

LAW SCHOOL BREAK

Thu Sep 22

LAW SCHOOL BREAK

Tue Sep 28

The psychology of the bench: Judges vs. juries

Thu Sep 30

Moral reasoning: Rationalist view

Tue Oct 5

Moral reasoning: Intuitionist view

Thu Oct 7

Legal vs. scientific views of causation and responsibility

Tue Oct 12

Lay notions of responsibility

Thu Oct 14

Psychiatric diagnosis and mental illness

Tue Oct 19

Children and adolescents

Thu Oct 21

How do people judge the fairness of procedures?

Tue Oct 26

How do people judge the fairness of outcomes?

Thu Oct 28

Compensatory and punitive damages

Tue Nov 2

Anger, catharsis, and the desire for retribution

Thu Nov 4

Death qualification in capital trials

Tue Nov 9

Cognition, emotion, and risk regulation

Thu Nov 11

VETERAN'S DAY

Tue Nov 16

Deterrence

Thu Nov 18

Does money buy happiness?  How punishing is punishment?

Tue Nov 23

Paternalism, psychology, and law

Thu Nov 25

THANKSGIVING

Tue Nov 30

Does neuroscience have radical implications for law?

 

 

Legal vs. social science standards of evidence

REQUIRED:  Faigman, D. L., & Monahan, J. (2005).  Psychological evidence at the dawn of the law’s scientific age.  Annual Review of Psychology, 56, 631-659.  http://conium.org/~maccoun/LP_FaigmanMonahan2005.pdf

RECOMMEND:  MacCoun, R. J. (1998).  Biases in the interpretation and use of research results.  Annual Review of Psychology, 49, 259-287.   http://conium.org/~maccoun/MacCoun_AnnualReview98.pdf

 

Clinical vs. statistical judgment

REQUIRED:  Dawes, R.M., Faust, D., & Meehl, P. E. (1989).  Clinical versus actuarial judgment.  Science, 243, 1668-1674.  http://conium.org/~maccoun/LP_DawesFaustMeehl1989.pdf

RECOMMENDED:  MacCoun, R. J. (1998).  Biases in the interpretation and use of research results.  Annu. Rev. Psychol, 49: 259-287.   http://conium.org/~maccoun/MacCoun_AnnualReview98.pdf

 

Forensic evidence and expert testimony

REQUIRED:  Hans, V. P. (2007-2008).  Judges, juries, and scientific evidence.  16 J.L. & Pol'y 19 (2007-2008). http://heinonline.org/HOL/Page?handle=hein.journals/jlawp16&div=6&g_sent=1&collection=journals

 

RECOMMENDED:  Diamond, S. S. (2007-2008).  How jurors deal with expert testimony and how judges can help, 16 J.L. & Pol'y 47-68. http://conium.org/~maccoun/ LP_Diamond_jurors expert testimony.pdf

 

 

Eyewitness accuracy and lineups

REQUIRED:  Wells, G. L., et al. (2000).  From the lab to the police station: A successful application of eyewitness research.  American Psychologist, 55, 581-598.  http://conium.org/~maccoun/LP_Wells2000.pdf

 

What makes witnesses persuasive?

REQUIRED:  Spellman, B. A., & Tenney, E. R. (2010). Credible testimony in and out of court.  Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, 17, 168-173.  http://pbr.psychonomic-journals.org/content/17/2/168.full.pdf+html

 

RECOMMENDED:  Tenney, E. R., Spellman, B. A., & MacCoun, R. J. (2008).  The benefits of knowing what you know (and what you don’t): Fact-finders rely on others who are well calibrated.  Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.  http://conium.org/~maccoun/TenneySpellmanMacCoun_JESP_inpress.pdf

 

 

Jury selection

REQUIRED:  Diamond, S. S. (1990).  Scientific jury selection: What social scientists do and do not know.  Judicature, 73, 178-183.  http://www.law.northwestern.edu/faculty/fulltime/diamond/papers/scientificJurySelection.pdf

 

RECOMMENDED:  Hastie, R. (1991).  Is attorney-conducted voir dire an effective procedure for the selection of impartial juries?  40 Am. Univ. L. Rev. 703.  http://conium.org/~maccoun/LP_Hastie.htm

RECOMMENDED:  Seltzer, R.  (2006).  Scientific jury selection: Does it work?  Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 36, 2417-2435.  http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/fulltext/118619957/PDFSTART

 

 

Are jurors meter readers or story tellers?

REQUIRED:  Pennington, N., & Hastie, R. (1992).  Explaining the evidence: Tests of the story model for juror decision making.  Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 62, 189-206.  http://conium.org/~maccoun/LP_PenningtonHastie1992.pdf

RECOMMENDED:  MacCoun, R. J. (1989). Experimental research on jury decision making. Science, 244, 1046-1050.  http://conium.org/~maccoun/MacCoun_Science_1989.pdf

 

Pretrial publicity and inadmissible evidence

REQUIRED:  Lieberman, J. D., & Arndt, J. (2000).  Understanding the limits of limiting instructions: Social psychological explanations for the failures of instructions to disregard pretrial publicity and other inadmissible evidence.  Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, 6, 677-711.  http://conium.org/~maccoun/LP_LiebermanArndt.pdf

 

Racism, sexism, and other extralegal biases in legal decisions

REQUIRED:  Sommers, S. R., & Ellsworth, P. E. (2003).  How much do we really know about race and juries?  Chicago Kent Law Review, 78, 997-1031.  http://ase.tufts.edu/psychology/documents/pubsSommersHowMuch.pdf

 

 

Jury deliberation

REQUIRED:  Kerr, N. L., Niedermeier, K. E., & Kaplan, M. F. (1999).  Bias in jurors vs bias in juries: New evidence from the SDS perspective.  Organizational BehaviorHuman Decision Processes, 80, 70-86.   http://conium.org/~maccoun/LP_KerrNiedermeierKaplan1999.pdf

 

 

The psychology of the bench: Judges vs. juries

REQUIRED:  Guthrie, C., Rachlinski, J.J., & Wistrich, A.J. (2001).  Inside the judicial mind (summary version from Dispute Resolution Alert; full article appeared in the May 2001 Cornell Law Review).  http://conium.org/~maccoun/LP_GuthrieRachlinskiWistrich2001.pdf

RECOMMENDED:  Robbennolt, J. K. (2002).  Punitive damage decision making: the decisions of citizens and trial court judges.  Law and Human Behavior, 26, 315-41.  http://conium.org/~maccoun/LP_Robbennolt2002.pdf

 

Moral reasoning: Rationalist view

REQUIRED:  Mikhail, J. (2007),  Universal moral grammar: Theory, evidence, and the future.  Trends in Cognitive Science, 11, 143-152.  [Warning: This is highly technical, but worth struggling with.]  http://conium.org/~maccoun/ LP_Mikhail2007_UniversalMoralGrammar.pdf

 

 

Moral reasoning: Intuitionist view

REQUIRED:  Haidt, Jonathan. (2001). The emotional dog and its rational tail: A social intuitionist approach to moral judgment. Psychological Review. 108, 814-834.  http://conium.org/~maccoun/LP_Haidt.pdf

 

Legal vs. scientific views of causation and responsibility

REQUIRED:  Bargh, J. A., & Morsella, E. (2008).  The unconscious mind.  Perspectives in Psychological Science, 3, 73-79.  http://conium.org/~maccoun/LP_Bargh and Morsella.pdf

 

REQUIRED:  Wilson, T. D., & Bar-Anan (2008).  The unseen mind.  Science, 321, 1046-1047.  http://www.cs.cornell.edu/courses/cs5846/2008fa/sciencemagarticle.pdf

 

RECOMMENDED:  Wegner, D. M. (2003). The mind's best trick: How we experience conscious will.  Trends in Cognitive Science, 7, 65-69.http://conium.org /~maccoun/LP_Wegner2003.pdf

 

 

Lay notions of responsibility

REQUIRED: Hamilton, V. L. (1980).  Intuitive psychologist or intuitive lawyer? Alternative models of the attribution process.  Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 39, 767-772.  http://conium.org/~maccoun/LP_Hamilton 1980.pdf

 

RECOMMENDED:  Tetlock, P. E. (2003).  Thinking the unthinkable: sacred values and taboo cognitions.  Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 7, 320-324.  http://cogsci.bme.hu/~ivady/bscs/read/taboos.pdf

 

 

Psychiatric diagnosis and mental illness

REQUIRED:  Swets, J. A., Dawes, R. M., & Monahan, J. (2000). Better decisions through science.  Scientific American, 283, 82-88. http://conium.org/~maccoun/LP_SwetsDawesMonahan2000.pdf

RECOMMENDED:  Borum, R., & Fulero, S. M. (1999).  Empirical research on the insanity defense and attempted reforms: Evidence toward informed policy.  Law & Human Behavior, 23, 117-135.  http://conium.org/~maccoun/LP_BorumFulero1999.pdf

 

Children and adolescents

REQUIRED:  Steinberg, L., et al. (2009).  Are adolescents less mature than adults? Minors’ access to abortion, the juvenile death penalty, and the alleged APA “flip-flop”.  American Psychologist, 64, 583-594.  http://conium.org/~maccoun/LP_Steinberg Scott.pdf

 

REQUIRED:  Kurt W. Fischer, Zachary Stein, and Katie Heikkinen (2009).   Narrow Assessments Misrepresent Development and Misguide Policy: Comment on Steinberg, Cauffman, Woolard, Graham, and Banich (2009).  American Psychologist, 64, 595-600. http://conium.org/~maccoun/LP_Fischer_AmPsy2009.pdf

 

 

How do people judge the fairness of procedures?

REQUIRED:  MacCoun, R. J. (2005).  Voice, control, and belonging: The double-edged sword of procedural fairness.  Annual Review of Law and Social Science, 1, 171-201.   http://conium.org/~maccoun/MacCoun_ARLSS2005.pdf

Note: There is now a vast literature on the psychology of procedural justice, much of it due to the work of Tom Tyler.  I highly recommend you search for his work, and pick out a piece on your particular interests – he's written about three strikes, racial profiling, counterterrorism, community policing, water conservation, Supreme Court opinions, and many other topics.

 

 

How do people judge the fairness of outcomes?

REQUIRED:  Ellman, I. M., Braver, S., & MacCoun, R.J. (2009).  Intuitive lawmaking: The example of child support.    Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, 6, 69-109.  http://conium.org/~maccoun/EllmanBraverMacCounJELS2009.pdf

RECOMMENDED:  Mitchell, Gregory; Tetlock, Philip E.; Newman, Daniel G.; & Lerner, Jennifer S. (2003).  Behind the veil: Structural influences on judgments of social justice.  Political Psychology, 24, 519-538.  http://conium.org/~maccoun/LP_MitchellTetlockNewmanLerner2003.pdf

 

Compensatory and punitive damages

REQUIRED:  Greene, E., & Loftus, E. (1998).  Psycholegal research on jury damage awards.  Current Directions in Psychological Science, 7, 50-54.  http://conium.org/~maccoun/LP_GreeneLoftus1998.pdf

RECOMMENDED:  MacCoun, R. J. (1996). Differential treatment of corporate defendants by juries: An examination of the 'deep pockets' hypothesis. Law and Society Review, 30, 121-161.

 

RECOMMENDED:  MacCoun, R. J. (2006).  Media reporting of jury verdicts: Is the tail (of the distribution) wagging the dog?, Clifford Symposium on Tort Law, DePaul University Law Review, 55, 539-562.

 

 

Anger, catharsis, and the desire for retribution

REQUIRED:  Carlsmith, K., Wilson, T. D., & Gilbert, D. T. (2008).  The paradoxical consequences of revenge.  Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 95, 1316-1324.  http://conium.org/~maccoun/LP_carlsmith et al2008.pdf

 

RECOMMEND:  PE Tetlock, PS Visser, et al. (2007). People as intuitive prosecutors: The impact of social-control goals on attributions of responsibility.  Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 43, 195-209. http://faculty.haas.berkeley.edu/tetlock/pdfsnewones/2006%20JESPintprosecutor.pdf

 

RECOMMENDED:  Carlsmith, K. (2006).  The roles of retribution and utility in determining punishments.  Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 42, 437-451. http://conium.org/~maccoun/LP_Carlsmith.pdf

 

 

Death qualification in capital trials

REQUIRED:  Bersoff, D. N., & Ogden, D. W. (1987).  In the Supreme Court of the United States Lockhart v. McCree: Amicus curiae brief for the APA American Psychological Association.  American Psychologist, 42, 59-68.  http://conium.org/~maccoun/LP_AmicusBrief_LockhartvMcCree.pdf

RECOMMENDED:  Gross, S. R.,, & Ellsworth, P. C. (2003).  Second thoughts: Americans' views on the death penalty at the turn of the century.  In S. P. Garvey (ed.), Beyond  repair?: America's death penalty (pp. 7-57). Durham, N.C.: Duke Univ. Press.  http://conium.org/~maccoun/LP_Gross Ellsworth2003.pdf

 

 

Cognition, emotion, and risk regulation

REQUIRED:  Kahan, D. (2010).  Fixing the communications failure.  Nature, 4630, 296-297.  http://conium.org/~maccoun/LP_Kahan2010.pdf

REQUIRED:  Slovic, P. (1987).  Perception of risk.  Science, 236, 280-285.   http://conium.org/~maccoun/LP_Slovic1987.pdf

RECOMMENDED:   MacCoun, R. (1998). Toward a psychology of harm reduction. American Psychologist, 53, 1199-1208.  http://conium.org/~maccoun/AmPsych1998.pdf

RECOMMENDED:  Sinaceur, M., Heath, C., & Cole, S.. (2005). Emotional and deliberative reactions to a public crisis: Mad cow disease in France.  Psychological Science, 16, 247-254. http://conium.org/~maccoun/LP_Mad cow disease.pdf

 

Deterrence

REQUIRED:  MacCoun, R. J. (1993). Drugs and the law: A psychological analysis of drug prohibition. Psychological Bulletin, 113, 497-512. 

 

RECOMMENDED:  MacCoun, R., Pacula, R. L., Reuter, P., Chriqui, J., Harris, K. (2009).  Do citizens know whether they live in a decriminalization state?  State marijuana laws and perceptionsReview of Law & Economics, 5(1, 347-371.

 

 

Does money buy happiness?  How punishing is punishment?

REQUIRED:  Kahneman, D., et al. (2006).  Would you be happier if you were richer?  A focusing illusion.  Science, 312, 1908-1910.  http://conium.org/~maccoun/LP_Kahneman et al2006.pdf

 

RECOMMENDED:  Bronsteen, J., Buccafusco, C., & Masur, J. (2009).  Happiness and punishment.  The University of Chicago Law Review, 76, 1037-1081.  http://www.law.uchicago.edu/files/files/230-424.pdf

 

 

Paternalism, psychology, and law

REQUIRED:  Camerer, C., Issacharoff, S., Loewenstein, G., O'Donoghue, T.,  & Rabin, M. (2003). Regulation for conservatives: Behavioral economics and the case for "asymmetric paternalism." University of Pennsylvania Law Review, 151, 1211-1254.  http://conium.org/~maccoun/LP_Camerer.pdf

 

Does neuroscience have radical implications for law?

REQUIRED:  Greene, J., & Cohen, J. (2004).  For the law, neuroscience changes nothing and everything. Phil Trans. R. Soc. Lond. B., 359, 1775-1785.  http://conium.org/~maccoun/LP_Greene Cohen_neurosci.pdf

 

RECOMMENDED:  Morse, S. J. (2005).  Brain overclaim syndrome and criminal responsibility: A diagnostic note.  Ohio St. Crim. L., 3, 397-412.  http://conium.org/~maccoun/LP_Morse2005.pdf

 

Revised: 16 Aug 2010