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William Douglas Woody

In: 21st Century Psychology: A Reference Handbook

Chapter 97: Psychology and the Law

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Psychology and the Law
Psychology and the law

Psychology and the law is an extremely broad topic area that includes many basic and applied research areas; applied topics in mental health, memory, and jury behavior; and evaluation of laws and legal processes. Due to the diversity of topics within these areas, conclusive definitions that satisfy everyone in the field remain elusive. However, to incorporate this diversity, Ogloff and Finkelman (1999) defined the field as “the scientific study of the effect the law has on people and the effect people have on the law” (p. 3).

This chapter provides a concise presentation of the field, including an overview of human interactions with the law, tensions between psychology and the law, and a brief history of the field. This ...

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