Forensic Psychology Course Couples Psychology with Law

In PSYC 257, students examine topics from polygraph testing to interrogations to determine how the legal system uses or misuses psychological science.

Whether it’s the intriguing class name or the captivating course content, Forensic Psychology proves to be an undoubtedly fascinating class. In PSYC 257, students acquire the knowledge to identify areas of disagreement between psychology and the legal system and contrast legal thinking and methods to that of psychological ones. 

Course Description

Forensic Psychology, appealing to students for more than 20 years, delves into the interaction between psychology and the legal system. Examining topics such as eyewitness testimony, risk assessment/profiling, polygraph testing, interrogations and false confessions, the insanity defense and a number of other related subjects, the course deals with how the legal system uses, or in some case misuses, psychological science.

Through a series of debates on controversial topics, students are able to critically consider and discuss various issues such as the effectiveness of sex offender registries, legalization of prostitution and concerns with the death penalty. 

About the Professor

Arno Kolz, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology, has been teaching at Manhattan since 1993. Kolz has taught a variety of courses in the field of psychology, including Organizational Psychology, Industrial Psychology, Consumer Psychology, Organizational Development and Human Relations.

He received his B.A. from Gordon College, followed by his M.A. and doctorate in industrial/organizational psychology from the University of Akron. Being that his big “life decision” in college was whether to go to law school or become a psychologist, forensic psychology was the ideal choice, blending both of Kolz’s devoted interests.