Psychology and Law: A Critical Introduction

Psychology and Law: A Critical Introduction

Psychology and Law: A Critical Introduction

Psychology and Law: A Critical Introduction


This book provides a comprehensive, up-to-date discussion of contemporary debates at the interface between psychology and criminal law. The topics surveyed include critiques of eyewitness testimony; the jury; sentencing as a human process; the psychologist as expert witness; persuasion in the courtroom; detecting deception; and psychology and the police. Kapardis draws on sources from Europe, North America and Australia to provide an expert investigation of the subjectivity and human fallibility inherent in our system of justice. He also provides suggestions for minimising undesirable influences on crucial judicial decision-making. International in its scope and broad-ranging in its research, this book is the authoritative work on psycho-legal enquiry for students and professionals in psychology, law, criminology, social work and law enforcement.


It is a great pleasure to welcome this second edition of Andreas Kapardis’ textbook, Psychology and Law. The first edition rapidly became recognised as a classic and has been widely used in undergraduate and postgraduate courses in legal and forensic psychology. My own students have found it incredibly useful and informative.

This second edition is even better. Although it follows the successful organisation of the first edition, this book has been completely revised and updated, especially the chapters on children as witnesses and on the psychologist as an expert witness. Novel features include margin notes, case studies and revision questions. Like the first edition, this book is scholarly, detailed, wide-ranging and up-to-date, but nevertheless very readable. There is no comparable modern textbook with such an international coverage of research on psychology and law.

The international coverage reflects the fact that Andreas Kapardis is a very international person. He completed Masters and PhD theses under my supervision at Cambridge University about 20 years ago and then taught and carried out research for a long time in Australia. Now he is pioneering research and teaching in legal and forensic psychology in Cyprus. Dr Kapardis is exceptionally knowledgeable about psychology and law throughout the world, as readers of this book will soon discover.

Forensic psychology is expanding very quickly in many different countries and there is an increasing need for trained scholars and practitioners. The value of applying the theories and methods of psychology to key issues arising in law and legal processes is now widely accepted. This book will be extremely valuable in training, as a source of the latest information about such important topics as eyewitness testimony, children as witnesses, jury decisionmaking, detecting deception and psychology as applied to law enforcement (to mention only a few of the issues covered). I am delighted to welcome Andreas Kapardis’ book as an important contribution to knowledge. It should be essential reading for all legal and forensic psychologists.

David P. Farrington Professor of Psychological Criminology University of Cambridge . . .

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