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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Nicholas Greco IV, MS, BCETS, CATSM (Columbia College of Missouri)
Description: This book is an extensive exploration into the wide range of interrelated topics that both psychology and the law share such as deception detection, eyewitness identification, interrogation/interviews, and jury selection.
Purpose: The purpose is to illustrate the numerous theoretical advances in experimental psychology and their applicability, highlighting the methodological difficulties applied researchers face, and demonstrate how experimental research, when carefully designed and controlled, can make substantial contributions to the field. This book is full of empirical research which highlights the interplay and effect on the criminal justice system. The book exceeds the author's and contributing authors' objectives.
Audience: Clearly, psychologists, lawyers, and psychiatrists would benefit from this book because it is not a legal text, does not take a clinical-forensic perspective, nor does it discuss offender assessment and management. The book simply examines how psychological science can be applied to the issues and within the criminal justice system. The contributing authors and editors are credible authorities in the field.
Features: There are a number of great chapters in this book and, of course, the chapters on eyewitness recall, eyewitness identification, and false memories (Loftus) are always controversial and make for thoroughly enjoyable reading. Readers will be hard pressed to put down the book when reading the chapter on deception detection. The concluding chapter attempts to address the factors which may stand in the way of collaboration between psychology and the legal system.
Assessment: This is a strong, intermediate level of knowledge book with a well-supported base of empirical research to back up the topics discussed. Well-recommended!