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Law & Social Psychology

B744 is taught by Quintanilla

The course will begin with an introduction that compares and contrasts the divergent epistemologies of law versus social psychology and introduces students to research methods common in social psychology. Afterward, we will proceed to the substantive portion of the course by covering the following themes: (1) social cognition: how people select, interpret, remember, and use social information to make judgments and decisions; (2) social perception: how we form impressions of and make inferences about other people; (3) self concepts: research on self construals, and differences between the interdependent and interdependent self construal and its legal implications for judgments of intent and punishment; (4) cognitive dissonance: discomfort caused by holding two or more inconsistent cognitions or caused by performing an action that is discrepant from one s customary, and typically positive, self conception; (5) attitudes and persuasion: explicit or implicit evaluations of people, objects and ideas cognitively, affectively, and/or behaviorally based, and differences between the peripheral and central routes to persuasion important for legal rhetoric; (6) conformity: behavioral change caused by the real or imagined influence of other people and its implications for designing effective legal rules; (7) group processes: social facilitation, social loafing, deindividuation, group polarization, groupthink and their implications for judging and jury decision-making; (8) pro-social behavior and aggression: acts performed either to help or to harm others; (9) prejudice and stereotyping: research on implicit bias, and the affective, cognitive, and behavioral underpinnings of prejudice, which will offer a bases to evaluate discrimination law.