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Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Law and Psychology at the Movies

APA In his review of the film The Lincoln Lawyer (2011), Jason A. Cantone notes the importance of diversifying psycholegal research, arguing that:

Much psycholegal research presents police officers as the bad guys, with experiments examining forced confessions and biased line-ups. The Lincoln Lawyer bucks this trend, presenting the police and prosecutors as people trying to do the right thing, while [the protagonist's] legal representation poses the larger ethical quandaries. This is not to say that research should stop investigating the negative impact of false confessions, biased line-ups, and the pitfalls of eyewitness and earwitness testimony. For example, Kassin et al. (2010) should be commended for their excellent article on police-induced confessions, which concluded with a recommendation to mandate the recording of all interrogations. Instead, it is a comment on the relative dearth of psycholegal research on attorney misconduct.
As psychologists and legal theorists seek to bridge the gap between research in psychology and law, what research should be done to better understand the role attorney misconduct plays in the judicial process? How can psychology examine the legal and ethical quandaries faced by attorneys? How can psychology be utilized to encourage adequate representation of counsel for all clients?

Read the Review
ReviewUnequal Justice
By Jason A. Cantone
      PsycCRITIQUES, 2011 Vol 56(30)



Mr. Cantone brings up a very good point. I see a lot of research on eyewitness and deception, but rarely anything about the lawyers. What makes them tick? What about the Casey Anthony trial? It might be that Casey is free because the prosecution was awful. I'm sure they're already starting the TV movie on that one!

Cheryl M.

I will be adding this film to my Netflix queue now that it is out on DVD. What other movies address legal psychology issues? Will they be reviewed here as well?

Danny Wedding

We will review those films that address psychological issues and have psychologically relevant themes. We welcome suggestions from readers about films that should be reviewed in PsycCRITIQUES.

Danny Wedding


Hello. Are there any new movie reviews for this site? It's the time of the year when I try to catch up on movies and I've only seen two all fall! I don't get the journal so rely on this blog. Thanx!

Danny Wedding

Julie-Anne, we review a psychologically relevant film each week in PsycCRITIQUES, which requires a subscription (however, it should be easily available through your university or local library). We'll post the reviews of especially important films on this blog.

I'll be posting a probe on the psychological relevance of the winners of this year's Academy Awards.

Thanks for your interest in PsycCRITIQUES.

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Editor of PsycCRITIQUES

Danny Wedding, PhD

Chair of Behavioral Sciences,
College of Medicine,
American University of Antigua

Associate Editors of PsycCRITIQUES

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