Forensic Psychology Syllabus Fall 2012

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Psychology 480
Forensic Psychology
Fall 2012
Tuesdays and Thursdays 3:00-5:30PM
Center for English as a Second Language
Room 103
________________________________________________________________________
Instructor:
Judith V. Becker, Ph.D.
Office:
523 Psychology
Phone:
621-7455
Email:
[email protected] (please contact through UA email NOT d2l email)
Office hours: 12:45-2:45 on Mondays
TA:
Email:
Office:
Office Hours:
Andrew Perkins
[email protected] (please contact through UA email NOT d2l email)
527 Psychology
Wednesday 12:30-2:30
TA:
Email:
Office:
Office Hours:
Emily Mackelprang
[email protected] (please contact through UA email NOT d2l email)
527
TBD
________________________________________________________________________
Course Description
The major goal of this course is to provide a broad overview of the field of forensic psychology
and the numerous ways that psychology interacts with the law.
The discipline of forensic psychology has become extremely popular for students over the past
two decades, in part because of numerous TV programs addressing the topic such as: Law &
Order, CSI, Criminal Minds, to name a few. Forensic psychology courses are being taught in
numerous universities and there are now over 20 graduate programs in the United States offering
doctorates in either forensic psychology or psychology and law. A good understanding of
forensic psychology will benefit students entering into a number of professions including:
corrections, child protective services, probation, mental health, forensic sciences, the law, etc.
Forensic psychology addresses the application of psychological research, methods, and expertise
to issues that come before the legal system. Some topics include, insanity, competency, juryselection, expert-testimony, decision making, child custody, dangerousness, and interrogations
Textbook
Costanzo, M. & Krauss, D. (2010). Legal and Forensic Psychology. New York: Worth
Publishers.
Any other assigned readings will be posted on D2L.
Contacting Instructor and TAs
TAs and your instructor will check for emails periodically, however please be aware that it can
take up to 24 hours to respond to emails. Additionally, emails will not be responded to after
5PM on weekdays or during the weekend. Please be sure to identify the course you are in when
emailing (since the instructor and TAs have other courses they are responsible for); preferably in
the subject line. Please do your best to maintain professional decorum when writing and
responding to emails and your instructor and TAs will do the same.
Evaluation
There will be four multiple choice exams. Each exam will be worth 25 points. The lowest exam
will be dropped, however YOU MUST TAKE THE FINAL EXAM. THE FINAL EXAM
WILL NOT BE DROPPED.
Exam 1:
25 points
Exam 2:
25 points
Exam 3:
25 points
Exam 4:
25 points
Drop the lowest exam score
Total possible: 75 points
To calculate your final grade you will need to add-up the three highest exam points and divide
that number by 75. That is your percentage in the class. We will round up at .5. Please refer to
the table below for what letter grade you would receive. For example, if you took all exams and
the scores are 20, 25, 15, and 18, the three highest scores are 20, 25, and 18. Added together
these give you 63, which is then divided by the total possible points, 75. This gives percentage
of 84. The final grade is a B.
In order to do well on the tests, you should keep current on the readings and attend class. It is all
too easy to fall behind on the assigned readings. Please make every effort to complete the
readings before the class period for which they are assigned. This will enable you to ask and
respond to questions during class discussions.
Your letter grade will be determined in the following way. All students will receive a letter grade
depending on the percentage of total points accumulated over the course of the class. The
following scale will be applied:
90% and above = A
80% - 89%
=B
70% - 79%
=C
60% - 69%
=D
Below 60%
=E
Once the exam is distributed, no one will be allowed to leave the exam room for 20 minutes.
After 20 minutes, students who have completed the exam will be allowed to turn in their exam
and leave. NO STUDENTS WILL BE PERMITTED TO ENTER THE EXAM ROOM
AFTER 20 MINUTES.
THERE WILL BE NO MAKE-UP EXAMS OFFERED. So, if you are ill, and do not come to
take the exam, that exam will count as a zero, and assuming it is your lowest exam score, will be
dropped. If you have a family emergency who is ill or you go out of town and do not take the
exam, that exam will count as a zero, and assuming it is your lowest exam score, will be
dropped. There will be no make-up exams.
To question or review your score and test answers, it must be done within ONE WEEK
after the particular exam. No exceptions will be made.
Absences:
All holidays and special events observed by organized religions will be honored for those
students who show affiliation with that particular religion. Absences pre-approved by the UA
Dean of Students (or Dean’s designee) will be honored. In the unfortunate event you should miss
a class; you will have to borrow notes from another class member. You will also be held
responsible for any changes or additions to the syllabus announced in class.
Accommodations:
Students who are registered with the Disability Resource Center are asked to submit appropriate
documentation to a teaching assistant as soon as possible if you are requesting reasonable
accommodations. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact a TA or the instructor.
If you anticipate barriers related to the format or requirements of this course, please meet with
me so that we can discuss ways to ensure your full participation in the course. If you determine
that disability-related accommodations are necessary, please register with Disability Resources
(621-3268; drc.arizona.edu) and notify me of your eligibility for reasonable accommodations.
We can then plan how best to coordinate your accommodations.
Extra Credit
Extra credit opportunities will be periodically announced in class. You will have one week from
the date they are announced to complete the assignment. Opportunities to earn extra credit will
only be announced in class (i.e., not by e-mail), thus it is important to attend class to find out
about them. There will be a total of two. Each opportunity will be worth one percentage points
for successful completion. They will be turned in on D2L and more specific directions will be
announced during class. There will be no other extra credit opportunities available.
Academic Integrity:
Any violation of the University’s Code of Academic Integrity, found at
http://web.arizona.edu/~studpubs/policies/cacaint.htm, including cheating and plagiarism, will
lead to a faculty-student conference and possible sanctions. Plagiarism and/or cheating will
result in an automatic ‘0’ on the assignment at hand and if it occurs a second time an ‘F’ in the
course. Be sure to read this Code.
Classroom Behavior:
The university seeks to promote a teaching and learning environment free from material and
substantial classroom disruptions. Consequently, it is expected that all pagers and cell phones
will be turned off during class, that there will be no extraneous talking during lecture, and that
students will arrive at class on time. If there is the TA will ask you for your name and ask request
that you leave. Additionally, the University prohibits any threatening behavior, defined as “any
statement, communication, conduct, or gesture, including those in written form, directed toward
any member of the University community that causes a reasonable apprehension of physical
harm to a person or property.” The University’s policy regarding threatening behavior can be
found at http://web.arizona.edu/~policy/threaten.shtml.
Date
Schedule of Topics and Readings
Readings
Topic
M 8/20

Introduction and review of Syllabus
Read Syllabus

Psychology & Law: A Cautious
Chapter 1
Alliance

Interrogations and Confessions

Lie Detection
M 9/3

No Class
M

The Psychology of Forensic
M 8/27
9/10
Chapter 2 & 3
Chapter 4 & 5
Identification

Criminal Profiling and
Psychological Autopsies
M
M
09/17
09/24

Exam 1

Film

Jury Selection

Eyewitness Identification and
Chapter 6 & 7
Testimony

Competency to Stand Trial

Speaker
M 10/08

Insanity Defense
M 10/15

Exam 2

Film
M 10/01
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
M
10/22

Battered Women Syndrome, Rape
Chapter 10 & 11
Trauma Syndrome, and
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

Speaker

Interviewing Children and
Memories of Sexual Abuse
M 10/29

Child Custody Disputes & Parental
Chapter 12 & 13
Competence
M
11/5

Juries & Judges as Decision-Makers

Predicting Violent Behavior: The
Chapter 14 & 15
Psychology of Risk Assessment

Workplace Law: Harassment,
Discrimination, & Fairness
M 11/12

No Class
M

Exam 3

Film

Corrections: Sentencing,
11/19
M 11/26
Chapter 16
Imprisonment, and Alternatives

Speaker

The Death Penalty

Speaker

Review
Wednesday

Final Exam
December

The final exam is in the same
M
12/3
12th at
1:00PM3:00PM
classroom as the course,

CESL 103
Chapter 17
IMPORTANT NOTICE ABOUT THE FINAL EXAM:
The final exam for this class is scheduled for Wednesday, December 12th at 1:00PM. Once the
exam is distributed, no one will be allowed to leave the exam room for 20 minutes (i.e., until
1:20 PM). At 1:20 PM, students who have completed the exam will be allowed to turn in their
exam and leave. Please leave quietly. NO STUDENTS WILL BE PERMITTED TO ENTER
THE EXAM ROOM AFTER 1:20 PM. No one will be permitted to take the exam early.
Information appearing on the syllabus, other than grade and absence policies may be subject to
change with advanced notice as deemed appropriate by the instructor.
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