Psychology and the Law: Jury Compilation
- January 27th, 2020
- in Capstone Commentary
by Emily Kabalin
Law and Psychology are largely intertwined. The purpose of law is to control behavior, and the purpose of psychology is to observe, explain, and predict behavior. Therefore, psychology can help to evaluate the assumptions that law makes about human behavior. Psychologists study laws by focusing on the individual, and how the individual is responsible for his or her own actions. Psychology examines the thoughts and behavior of individuals, which provide reasons for the laws to be established. It is also an important factor within the legal system, as it helps to determine whether a defendant and his lawyer may choose to go to trial or to accept a plea bargain, or whether a juvenile offender may be better off in a residential treatment facility, or whether an ethnic judge or juror will be more sympathetic to a case than a non-ethnic judge or juror. Since the inception of these fields, there has been a constant need to find a balance between the two disciplines. Even with empirical proof, this balance is sometimes difficult to achieve.