Forensic Personality and Social Psychology

Saul Kassin and Margaret Bull Kovera

in The Oxford Handbook of Personality and Social Psychology

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780195398991
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

Forensic Personality and Social Psychology


Forensic psychology is a term used to describe a broad range of research topics and applications that address human behavior in the legal system. Personality and social psychologists are among those who have contributed to our understanding of individual differences in performance (e.g., among liars and lie detectors, crime suspects, witnesses, and jurors) and situational influences (e.g., effects of training on lie detection, the false evidence ploy on false confessions, police feedback on eyewitnesses, and inadmissible testimony on jurors) as well as the role that psychologists have played within the legal system. In this chapter, we discuss how individual difference and situational variables contribute to the reliability of different types of evidence (e.g., confessions, eyewitnesses, alibis) introduced in court as well as how jurors make decisions about the evidence presented at trial.

Keywords: deception detection; confessions; eyewitnesses; juries; forensic psychology

Article.  22713 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Social Psychology

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