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The Psychology of Criminal Justice

Learn how behavioural science can improve our criminal justice system.

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142,684 already enrolled! After a course session ends, it will be archived.
Starts Nov 29
Starts Jan 11, 2022
Estimated 8 weeks
1–2 hours per week
Self-paced
Progress at your own speed
Free
Optional upgrade available

About this course

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This course systematically explores the effectiveness of the law and justice system from a psychological perspective. By experiencing a fictional case first hand, you will learn about the psychology of law and some of the misconceptions commonly held about criminal justice.

Awards

edX Prize 2018 Winner

At a glance

  • Institution: UQx
  • Subject: Humanities
  • Level: Introductory
  • Prerequisites:

    None

  • Language: English
  • Video Transcript: English

What you'll learn

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  • How to identify some of the myths about how the criminal justice system works from a psychological perspective
  • The empirical evidence that can inform our understanding of criminal justice
  • How to improve how justice is administered

EPISODE 1: INVESTIGATING THE CRIME SCENE
A murder has been committed. In this episode, find out about criminal profiling and how this might be used in investigating the crime. EPISODE 2:

INTERVIEWING THE WITNESSES
How reliable are eyewitnesses, and how can their memory of the crime be distorted? Learn about the encoding, storage and retrieval of eyewitness memories and ways these can be improved.

EPISODE 3: IDENTIFYING THE SUSPECT
Photofits and line-ups are commonly used during crime investigations, and in this episode you will learn about how biases related to these can be recognized and reduced.

EPISODE 4: QUESTIONING THE SUSPECT
How reliable are confessions? Can you identify when someone is lying? In this episode the investigators question the suspect and try to work out who is the guilty party.

EPISODE 5: GETTING READY FOR TRIAL
The investigators think they have identified the murderer. Who decides whether someone is found guilty or not guilty? Does jury selection work? What part might media coverage play in how the case trial progresses?

EPISODE 6: THE TRIAL (PART 1)
The jury has been selected and the trial commences. In this episode the evidence is presented and we hear about expert evidence and its reliability.

EPISODE 7: THE TRIAL (PART 2)
The jury need to make a decision on the case. You will learn about judicial instructions and how juries deliberate.

EPISODE 8: EPILOGUE
Did the investigators get the right person? Find out how it all ends in this final episode.

Learner testimonials

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"This course was informative, interactive and fun. A great way to learn. The is an eye opener into the psychology of criminal justice and the way the system can go wrong." -- Previous Learner

About the instructors

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