Wrightsman's Psychology and the Legal System, 8th Edition

  • Edie Greene University of Colorado
  • Kirk Heilbrun Drexel University
  • ISBN-10: 1133956564  |  ISBN-13: 9781133956563
  • 496 Pages
  • Previous Editions: 2011, 2007, 2002
  • © 2014 | Published
  • List Price = $ 296.95
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WRIGHTMAN'S PSYCHOLOGY AND THE LEGAL SYSTEM shows you the critical importance of psychology's concepts and methods to the functioning of many aspects of today's legal system. Featuring topics such as competence to stand trial, the insanity defense, expert forensic testimony, analysis of eye witness identification, criminal profiling, and many others, this best-selling book gives you a comprehensive overview of psychology's contributions to the legal system, and the many roles available to trained psychologists within the system. Available with InfoTrac® Student Collections

Features and Benefits

  • Up-to-date, relevant research keeps the book current and authoritative.
  • Appendices with the Constitutional amendments, the Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct, and the Specialty Guidelines for Forensic Psychologists provide students with a well-rounded look at the psychology of law as well as the consolidation of all the information they need in one text.
  • A chapter on the psychology of corrections (Chapter 15, "Adult and Juvenile Corrections") focuses on post-adjudication issues. It contains separate sections for juveniles and adults, descriptions of interventions in the community that are of particular contemporary interest, and traditional institutional interventions. This chapter also discusses the role of psychologists in jails and prisons and includes a section on psychological consequences of long-term incarceration.
  • The popular "The Case of" feature highlights real cases from recent headlines, making important legal concepts relevant and interesting to today's students.
  • The team of co-authors, including a cognitive psychology and a clinical psychologist, both of whom have years of experience with the legal system, ensures a well developed and balanced approach.
  • This text remains the best seller in this market for its comprehensive coverage, well developed writing style, use of interesting case studies that illustrate core principles, and unwavering attention to relevant legal dilemmas.

Table of Contents

1. Psychology and the Law: Choices and Roles.
2. The Legal System: Issues, Structure, and Players.
3. Psychology of Crime.
4. Psychology of Police.
5. Eyewitnesses to Crimes and Accidents.
6. Victims of Crime, Violence, and Adversity.
7. Evaluating Criminal Suspects.
8. Traditional Prosecutions.
9. Alternatives to Traditional Prosecutions.
10. Assessment in Criminal and Juvenile Cases.
11. Assessment in Civil Cases.
12. Preparing for Trials.
13. Jurors and Juries.
14. Punishment and Sentencing.
15. Adult and Juvenile Corrections.

What's New

  • The authors have added "Critical Thought" questions to "The Case of" boxes to engage students in thinking more deeply about the material.
  • The writing has been honed and simplified throughout to improve readability and students' understanding of the material.
  • This edition places more emphasis on alternatives to traditional case disposition, including diversion, restorative justice processes, problem-solving courts, and an entirely new chapter (Chapter 9) on community-based alternatives to traditional prosecution. It also contains expanded coverage of risk assessment, reforms in eyewitness identification procedures, and offender rehabilitation, and updated literature coverage.
  • Current references to such newsworthy cases as Jared Loughner, Casey Anthony, Conrad Murray, George Zimmerman, DNA exonorees, the Penn State sexual abuse scandal, and minors' free speech rights engage students' attention and showcase the book's real-world relevance.
  • InfoTrac® Student Collections are specialized databases expertly drawn from the Gale Academic One library. Each InfoTrac® Student Collection enhances the student learning experience in the specific course area related to the product. These specialized databases allow access to hundreds of scholarly and popular publications - all reliable sources - including journals, encyclopedias, and academic reports. Learn more and access at:

Alternate Formats

Choose the format that best fits your student's budget and course goals

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  • Cengage Advantage Series

    ISBN-10: 1133951112 | ISBN-13: 9781133951117

    List Price = $151.95  | CengageBrain Price = $151.95


All supplements have been updated in coordination with the main title. Select the main title's "About" tab, then select "What's New" for updates specific to title's edition.

For more information about these supplements, or to obtain them, contact your Learning Consultant.

Instructor Supplements

Online Instructor's Manual with Test Bank and PowerPoint®  (ISBN-10: 1285096053 | ISBN-13: 9781285096056)

Available electronically, the Instructor's Manual with Test Bank helps you prepare for class more quickly and effectively with such resources as questions for class discussions and essay examination (approximately 15 per chapter), suggested activities (including prompts to Measuring Legal Attitudes), multiple-choice questions with text references (at least 50 per chapter), suggested readings, and suggested websites. Microsoft® PowerPoint® lecture slides that outline chapter content are also available.

Meet the Author

Author Bio

Edie Greene

Edie Greene is professor and chair of the Department of Psychology at the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs, where she also serves as Director of the Graduate Concentration in Psychology and Law. Her research applies principles of cognitive and social psychology to the legal system and focuses on decision making by judges, juries, attorneys, and witnesses; public perceptions of laws and laws' impact; and legal issues relevant to older adults. She serves as an expert witness on jury decision making and eyewitness reliability. A former president of the American Psychology-Law Society, she received the Society's 2008 Award for Outstanding Teaching and Mentoring in Psychology and Law.

Kirk Heilbrun

Kirk Heilbrun is currently a professor in the Department of Psychology, Drexel University. His current research focuses on juvenile and adult offenders, legal decision-making, and the evaluation and interventions associated with such decision-making. He is the Co-Director of the Pennsylvania Mental Health and Justice Center of Excellence, having previously served as president of both the American Psychology-Law Psychology/APA Division 41, and the American Board of Forensic Psychology. He received the 2004 Distinguished Contributions to Forensic Psychology award and the 2008 Beth Clark Distinguished Service Contribution Award from the American Academy of Forensic Psychology.