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Course Details

Psychology of Legal Decision-Making (Wilkinson-Ryan/Hoffman)

Spring 2023   LAW 905-001  

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Tess Wilkinson-Ryan

Professor of Law and Psychology

David Hoffman

Professor of Law, Deputy Dean

Additional Information
Satisfies Senior Writing Requirement



Class meets in person.

Course Continuity
Students are encouraged to stay home if you are ill or experience flu-like symptoms. If you miss a class for any reason, it is still your responsibility to make up the work missed.

I offer the following to students who miss class due to illness:

- If you are absent, due to illness or some other unavoidable circumstance, email me and I can ask for volunteers among your classmates to share their notes with you.

- I will make PowerPoint slides or other class materials routinely available on the course site to everyone in the class.

- When you are better, please make an appointment to meet with me and I will review/answer questions about what you missed.

Meeting Times/Location
M 12:50PM - 2:50PM
Silverman Hall 245A



This course has two aims, each corresponding to a section of the course. The focus of the first third of the course is on building a foundation in the methods and contributions of experimental psychology to legal scholarship and policymaking. Our goal in this section of the course is to explore the implications and limitations of experimental research for law. The second aim of the course is to bring insights from psychological research to bear on contemporary political and legal debates. To this end, we will read and discuss both existing scholarship and new research, hosting 4-6 outside speakers to workshop their works-in-progress.

GRADES AND ASSIGNMENTS: Students will write short, 2-3 page response papers before each class, for a grade. Each response paper will offer two discussion questions, and briefly explain why the discussion question is interesting or relevant or difficult. The course grade will be based on class participation and response papers.