The Psychology of Law: Human Behavior, Legal Institutions, and Law

The Psychology of Law: Human Behavior, Legal Institutions, and Law
Bruce Sales, Daniel A. Krauss
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Despite notable contributions in eyewitness identification and jury selection, most legal research done by psychologists has had a minimal impact upon law and public policy in the United States. In fact, much psycholegal research is marred by systemic flaws. In this carefully-reasoned and compelling text, the authors explain how psychologists have failed to understand the law and the context in which it operates. Even subtle misunderstandings about the nature of courtroom testimony or the application of different legal statutes across different jurisdictions, they argue, can produce research that fails to examine real world phenomena. To combat this, the authors present a roadmap for how criminal justice and forensic researchers can use research to describe, explain, predict, and provide solutions for legal situations that can have a real impact on judges, juries, and the legal profession at large. Throughout, they demonstrate a dedication to the craft of scientific research that is sure to inspire a new and improved psychology of law for the twenty-first century.


Sales, B. D., & Krauss, D. A. (2015). The psychology of law: Human behavior, legal institutions, and law. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. doi:10.1037/14593-000