PSYCHOL 4310 - Human Behaviour & Criminal Justice: Applying Psychology

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2019

Learn how psychological science can be applied to improve criminal justice systems. This course will take real cases from around the world and apply principles and findings from psychology to illustrate how to improve the fairness and efficiency of legal systems. We will explore the factors behind wrongful convictions of the innocent. The course will cover topics including the application of memory research to aiding the decisions of eyewitnesses?, interviewing witnesses, juror decision making and forensic science evidence, and forensic reasoning and bias. Students will develop their skills in applying research findings to real world problems, critical analysis of arguments and data, and communication of psychology to community members and other professions.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code PSYCHOL 4310
    Course Human Behaviour & Criminal Justice: Applying Psychology
    Coordinating Unit Psychology
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to two hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange N
    Incompatible PSYCHOL, 4309, PSYCHOL 4209
    Restrictions Available to students in B.Psych.Sci (Hons) and Honours Degree of B.Psyc (Advanced) and the B.Psyc (Hons)
    Course Description Learn how psychological science can be applied to improve criminal justice systems. This course will take real cases from around the world and apply principles and findings from psychology to illustrate how to improve the fairness and efficiency of legal systems. We will explore the factors behind wrongful convictions of the innocent. The course will cover topics including the application of memory research to aiding the decisions of eyewitnesses?, interviewing witnesses, juror decision making and forensic science evidence, and forensic reasoning and bias. Students will develop their skills in applying research findings to real world problems, critical analysis of arguments and data, and communication of psychology to community members and other professions.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Carolyn Semmler

    Telephone:  831 34628 
    Location: Floor/Room 711,  Hughes Building,   North Terrace
    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

    Full details are located in MyUni.
  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes

    Understand the application of psychological research to legal contexts

    Communicate the value of psychological science to solving problems

    Understand the role of expert psychological evidence in Australian courts

    Tailor scientific information for communication to lay audiences

    Design evidence-based interventions to solve problems in applied contexts

    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    1, 3
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    2
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    4
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    1
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • Able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    4
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
    4
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    There are no required resources for this course. Readings and cases will be made available via MyUni throughout the course.
    Recommended Resources
    Web-links to legal resources and study guides will be provided to students during this course.
    Online Learning

    Material from the seminars offered during the semester will be made available on MyUni.

     

    This course may use MyUni for one or more of the following:

    - Communication with the teaching team via Announcements and Discussion Board

    - Submission of summative assessment

    - Access to additional readings and internet resources

    - Self-directed learning activities

    - Assessment preparation materials
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    Series of interactive face-to-face seminars is supported by online resources in MyUni.
    Workload

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    Full details are available in MyUni.
    Learning Activities Summary
    Full details are available in MyUni.
    Specific Course Requirements
    Not applicable.
    Small Group Discovery Experience
    Not applicable.
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary

     

    Assessment
    Task

      Type of
      Assessment 

     

      Assessment  
      Weighting

     

      Hurdle
      Requirement 

     

      Learning Outcomes  
      being assessed

    Content Quiz x 4 

      Summative

      20%

        No

        1,3

    Take Home Exam  
    (1500 words)

      Summative

      30%

        No

        1,3

    Case Study
    (2000 words)

      Formative and
      Summative

      50%

        No

        2,4, 5

     

     

    Assessment Related Requirements
    Not applicable.
    Assessment Detail

    Content Quiz (SAQ) (Weighting 20%): Students will be required to complete short answer questions applying the psychological theories covered in a module to a particular legal case. For example, they will be asked to consider how misinformation effects may have influenced the legal testimony of witnesses in Australian legal cases where wrongful convictions have occurred (e.g., Queen V. Gibson, 2012).

     

    Take Home Exam (Weighting 30%): Students will be given individual cases where expert psychological testimony could be provided and will be required to research the literature regarding the key pieces of evidence and write up an expert report.

     

    Case Study (Weighting 50%): Students will find and review a case where expert forensic testimony has been provided and assess the scientific basis for that testimony – applying the principles of measurement reliability, validity to the forensic discipline in question. They will propose a method for investigating the basis for individual practitioner error rates using their knowledge of psychological principles.

    Submission
    All assessment tasks will be submitted and marked on-line via MyUni (Turnitin will be used as a plagiarism detection tool), quizzes will provide immediate feedback on the content from the seminars as the course progresses.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M11 (Honours Mark Scheme)
    GradeGrade reflects following criteria for allocation of gradeReported on Official Transcript
    Fail A mark between 1-49 F
    Third Class A mark between 50-59 3
    Second Class Div B A mark between 60-69 2B
    Second Class Div A A mark between 70-79 2A
    First Class A mark between 80-100 1
    Result Pending An interim result RP
    Continuing Continuing CN

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
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