Psychology in the Courts (DOCTORAL LEVEL)

Final Project Guidelines

The Final Project is due by Day 7 of Week 11.

A superior Final Project demonstrates breadth and depth of knowledge and critical thinking appropriate for graduate-level scholarship. The paper portion of this project must follow the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA) guidelines and be free of typographical, spelling, and grammatical errors. The paper should be 10–15 pages, not counting the title page, abstract, or references. Please note that quantity does not always correspond to quality, and a well-written Final Project that includes all of the necessary information can be accomplished in fewer than the maximum number of pages. The Final Project for this course will be evaluated according to all four indicators in the Application Assignment and Final Project Writing Rubric located in the Course Information area.

The Final Project for this course focuses on the roles that a forensic psychology professional might play in relation to the court system. Read the Final Project Case Study and assume that you will be testifying as the forensic psychology professional for the case. Be sure to review the Learning Resources presented throughout the course to aid you in your preparation for testifying on the case. You will be required to video tape your testimony (your responses to the Final Project Case Study Testimony Questions that are provided) and submit it through the Kaltura Video function. You also will be required to submit a paper containing the topics listed below and address each point thoroughly with supported responses.

Video Testimony

Note: Please read the Kaltura Video Instructions for important information regarding the filming and submission of the video portion of this project.

Video/Voice Release Agreement: All parties involved in the video must read and sign this form. Submit the signed form to your Instructor with the video assignment. This form is located in the Course Info area under Course Home.

Preparing for Your Testimony

Review the Case Study for the Final Project.

Case Study: Final Project (SEE ATTACHMENT)

Then review the Case Study Testimony Questions provided below and prepare responses to each question. It may be best to write out your responses to each question to use when rehearsing your testimony prior to filming it.

Case Study Testimony Questions: Final Project (SEE ATTATCHMENT) 

Rehearse your testimony with a partner. (Have your partner play the role of the attorney, asking you each of the Case Study Testimony Questions.)

Note: You may want to review the entire course media Cross-Examination: How to be an Effective and Ethical Expert Witness before completing the final project and videotaping your testimony. You can view the course media in its entirety in the Week 1 Resources area.

Filming Your Testimony

Film your testimony once you feel prepared, and be sure to keep in mind courtroom etiquette, verbal and nonverbal communication, as well as appearance.

Note: When filming your testimony, your partner does not have to be on camera, but he or she must still act as the attorney and read each of the Case Study Testimony Questions.

Paper

The paper portion of the Final Project is to be structured with the headings listed below. Be sure to reference Learning Resources and justify your responses.

Testimony

Explain what you did to prepare for testifying and what specific courtroom etiquette you followed.

Write a set of cross-examination questions you might anticipate being asked, explain what your responses might be, and explain how you would prepare to testify in response to these questions.

Evaluations

Explain the evaluations used in the case study and why they were used.

Select and describe other evaluations that might have been applicable in this case and explain how and why.

Identify with whom you might consult to do these evaluations and why.

Diversity

What would you have to take into account when evaluating a defendant for testimony if he or she was from a different country and culture from the individual in the case study?

What would you have to take into account when evaluating a defendant for testimony if he or she was a different gender from the individual in the case study?

What would you have to take into account when evaluating a defendant for testimony if he or she was from a different religious background than the individual in the case study?

Ethics

Explain the ethical and legal considerations related to the case. Be sure to cite ethical codes and guidelines that apply.

Reflection

What did you learn as a result of completing this Final Project? That is, what insights did you have? What did you find valuable from doing this Final Project and/or the course?