Psychology and the Law Chapter 2: The Legal System
Terms in this set (35)
A system of resolving disputes in which the parties, usually represented by counsel, argue and present evidence to a neutral fact finder, who makes a decision based on the evidence and arguments presented by the parties; as distinguished from an inquisitorial system, in which the fact finder takes an active part in determining what occurred.
A theory in social psychology focusing on people's explanations for the causes of their behavior and the behavior of others.
Basic principles of law generally accepted by courts and embodied in statutes.
Ordinary citizens' basic notions of what is just and fair in contrast to the dictates of formal, statutory law.
Thought processes that involve mental effort, concentration, motivation, and the application of learned rules.
Concerns about what is right or just with respect to the allocation of goods within a society.
The practice of officially stopping or suspending a case prior to court adjudication (without a formal trial) and referring the defendant to a community education, treatment, or work program in lieu of adjudication or incarceration.
The act of killing an individual for reasons that are considered merciful.
Influences that are legally irrelevant in that they cannot serve as evidence in a legal proceeding (e.g., age, race, gender, and socioeconomic status).
The desire to pursue goals that would please and impress others.
Illusion of Control
Attorneys' perceptions that the outcomes of their cases are largely within their control.
The tendency to favor one's own group.
The legal system in which the judge plays a very active role in determining the accuracy of evidence before the court (as contrasted with the adversarial approach, in which the judge is a more passive evaluator of evidence presented in a trial).
The offender's frame of mind in committing a criminal act.
Involves pursuing goals that involve internal or personal desires rather than external incentives.
Incidents of spontaneous mental processing that are often acted on but not given careful thought or effort.
The model holding (in contrast to legal realism) that legal decision makers dispassionately consider the relevant laws, precedents, and constitutional principles, and that personal bias has no part in decision making.
The model holding (in contrast to legal formalism) that judges view the facts of cases in light of their attitudes and values, and make decisions accordingly.
The tendency to hold an unrealis- tically optimistic view of the likelihood of a favorable outcome in litigation. It applies to defendants who believe (incorrectly) that they have a good chance to win at trial, sometimes leading to rejection of reasonable plea offers from prosecutors.
Attorneys' predictions about cases' outcomes, made far in advance of the known outcome and used to decide whether to accept the case.
The consideration of the fairness of the methods for resolving a dispute and allocating resources.
Self-Determination Theory of Optimal Motivation
Theory describing situational and personality factors that cause positive and negative motivation and, eventually, changes in subjective well-being.
An approach to the law emphasizing the favorable mental health impact or otherwise "therapeutic" impact of the legal system upon its participants.
Documents that the lawyers believe the judges need in order to decide the case.
The lawyers' written arguments.
The lawyers' debate about the case.
A specialized kind of court focusing on the underlying behaviors of criminal defendants and seeking to rehabilitate them, thereby addressing the particular problems causing the offending.
Created to deal with offenders whose crimes are related to addiction.
Model Penal Code
A statutory text created by the American Law Institute that sets forth general principles of criminal responsibility and defines specific offenses.
Defendant committed the act in order to bring about the outcome.
Defendant committed the act knowing the outcome was likely.
Defendant consciously disregards substantial risk, involving a deviation from what a law-abiding person would do.
Defendant should have known that the outcome was likely to occur, involving a deviation from what a law-abiding person would do.
Federal Appellate Courts
Reviews only the cases that the justices view as more significant.