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									TROY UNIVERSITY eCampus PSY 3360 Forensic Psychology COURSE SYLLABUS 10/T3

January 4, 2010 – March 7, 2010

INSTRUCTOR INFORMATION: Dr. H. Alan Kesten 865-286-9666 EDUCATION: Dr. Kesten holds the B.S. in Architectural Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin, and the Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin. ELECTRONIC OFFICE HOURS Thursdays from 11:00 am to 12:00 pm Eastern at my AOL instant messenger. For office hours, I
will use the AIM instant message system. My AIM sign-in is DrAKesten. If you are not an AIM member, you can download the free service at:

DISTANCE LEARNING COURSES AT TROY: All Distance Learning courses at TROY utilize Blackboard Learning Management System. To learn how to use and log in to Blackboard, visit the Distance Learning web page at and click on Step #5. In every Distance Learning course, students should read all information presented in the Blackboard course site and should periodically check for updates—at least every 48 hours.

TROY EMAIL Effective May 1, 2005, all Troy students will be required to access and utilize their email account for all communication with the university. All official correspondence (including bills, statements, emails from distance learning instructors through Blackboard, assignments and grades from distance learning instructors, etc.) will be sent only to the address. Your email address is the same as your web express user ID followed by ―‖. You can get to your email account through our web page or you can go to the email link found there and learn how to add this address to your other email services that support POP accounts (i.e. Outlook, Outlook Express, Yahoo, AOL, etc.).

ECAMPUS: The Ecampus Center at Troy University is here to serve you and assist with any questions, problems, or concerns you may have. For assistance go to or send an email to Please do not hesitate to contact the Distance Learning staff if you need administrative assistance for any reason. CATALOG DESCRIPTION: Forensic psychology is the application of the science and profession of psychology to questions and issues relating to law and the legal system. This course will introduce students to the specialty area of forensic psychology. Particular emphasis will be on applied aspects of the field. Prerequisite: Six semester hours of psychology. OVERALL OBJECTIVE: This course is designed as an introduction to the specialty area of forensic psychology. Forensic psychology is defined as the production and application of psychological knowledge to the civil and criminal justice systems. The breadth of the field ranges from child custody decisions, jury selection, competency and insanity evaluations, police officer selection and training, and serving as an expert witness in civil and criminal proceedings. STUDENT OUTCOMES: Upon completion of this course, you should be able to: 1. Identify and describe the specific roles of the forensic psychologist as expert witness, trial consultant and preparer of amicus briefs. 2. Describe psychologists‘ role in police work including selection, training and evaluating for fitness-for-duty. 3. Describe criminal profiling, the needs for profiling and the use of psychological autopsies. 4. Define hypnosis and court decisions regarding its use. Discuss guidelines for proper use of hypnosis and the polygraph. Evaluate the research regarding the validity of the polygraph and describe alternative approaches, such as the cognitive interview. 5. Discuss the role of eyewitness testimony and psychological research on the accuracy of eyewitness testimony. Describe procedures for improving eyewitness testimony. Discuss the role of children as eyewitnesses and court decisions regarding statute of limitations, admissibility of expert testimony and recent Supreme Court decisions regarding expert testimony. 6. Discuss the psychology of false confessions. 7. Describe alternative dispute resolution (ADR), effective negotiation, role of trial consultants

and litigation consultants, change of venue requests and sequestered voir dire. 8. Discuss witness preparation and present how to organize a case. 9. Describe approaches to jury selection, ways to measure juror bias, jury investigation and use of supplemental juror questionnaires. Discuss the ethics of psychologists involved in jury selection. 10. Define the types of competency and insanity. Discuss assessment of criminal responsibility and ultimate issue testimony. Describe techniques used to assess competency including competency to stand trial, competency to plead guilty and the competency of juveniles. 11. Discuss the work of risk assessment including predicting suicide, predicting danger to others and identifying ‗sexual predators.‘ 12. Describe the nature of domestic violence, battered woman syndrome (BWS), the relationship of BWS to post-traumatic stress disorder, defense of battered woman who kill their abusers, and the admissibility of expert testimony regarding BWS. Discuss the validity of BWS. 13. Describe rape trauma syndrome, assessment of rape trauma syndrome, and admissibility of psychological testimony regarding rape trauma syndrome. 14. Discuss issues regarding child sexual abuse. Describe the assessment of children, assessing competency to testify and preparation of c child witness. 15. Discuss assessing allegations of child sexual abuse, children‘s rights and the role of the psychologist as an expert witness. 16. Discuss the role of psychologists in child custody disputes. Present techniques of custody evaluations, the expert witness role and ultimate-opinion testimony and the ethical considerations associated with child custody evaluations. 17. Discuss psychological contributions to court cases involving discrimination. Define discrimination and prejudice and present court decisions related to race and special education classes. 18. Define the types of sexual harassment, analysis of the causes of harassment and intervention approaches in the workplace. 19. Discuss the role of psychologists in death penalty cases. Discuss mitigation assessment, competency evaluations, evaluation of defense arguments and the death penalty. Discuss the ethics of psychologist‘s involvement in death penalty cases. 20. Define and discuss the use of amicus briefs, particularly the involvement of the American psychological Association. Identify individual briefs filed by the APA. Students will demonstrate the above through their performance on the reaction papers, journal article reviews, Discussion Board exercises, midterm exam, and final exam. SITE MAP:

Announcements: used for official Distance Learning Department Announcements--check your course often to make sure you don't miss an announcement, Instructor Messages: used for regular weekly course announcements--you should check several times per week. Course Information: Syllabus posted here for the administrative ease; also used for helpful hints, information on preventing plagiarism using, Site Map, and information on Faculty/Student interaction. Faculty Information: tells you something about me as a real person, not just a virtual professor; also contains contact information, office hours. Course Materials: Your syllabus can be found under this link or the Information link, along with required lectures, supplementary readings, recommended videos, information on discussion board requirements, and other information necessary to complete the course. Assignments: gives you the Course Schedule which outlines the weekly readings, assignment due dates, and exam information. Communication: is your portal to email, the Discussion Board, and the Virtual Classroom (chat), as well as the class roster. External Links: contain valuable library information as well as other interesting links related to the course.

Supplementary Readings: contains a list of the required supplemental readings-read according to course schedule User Tools: contains the Digital Dropbox, Personal Information, Calendar, Check Grade, the Users Manual, Tasks, Electronic Blackboard (a notepad), and your address book. Discussion Board: takes you to the Discussion Board where you will find the weekly topic and the and Discussion Board

Forensic Psychology Fulero, Solomon M. / Wrightsman, Lawrence S. Edition: 3RD 09 ISBN-10: 0-495-50649-4


978-0-495-50649-2 ISBN-13:

Textbook available: at: AND Hare, Robert D. (1993) Without Conscience: The Disturbing World of the Psychopaths among Us. New York: Guilford Press

Required Additional Supplementary Readings: Supplemental Readings #1 Report: 5.6M Have 'Prison Experience' #2 Jail, prison populations rise 2.6 percent #3 Forensic Psychology: The misunderstood beast #4 What is Forensic Psychology? It's Not Silence of the Lambs! #5 Rehabilitate or punish? #6 Psychoactive Substances and Violence. #7 The Criminal Behavior of the Serial Rapist #8 Sexual Villainy: A Sex Offender Profile #9 New Hope for Sex Offender Treatment #10 Psychiatric Medications—an Overview #11 Green River Killer Statement,2933,102282,00.html #12 Criminal Profiling: The Reality Behind the Myth

#13 Patterns of Prison Corruption / The Problem of Prisoner-Staff Fraternization #14 Madness in Maximum Security #15 The Prison Industrial Complex and the Global Economy #16 Exonerated, Florida Death Row Inmate Tells His Tale #17 Psychology and Criminology—A Checklist of Psychopathy Indicators #18 Adult Patterns of Criminal Behavior/and drug abuse #19 The childhood psychopath: bad seed or bad parents #20 Return of the Madhouse #21 Confronting Prison Rape,2933,97392,00.html #22 Inmate suicides linked to solitary #23 Report on State Prisons Cites Inmates' Mental Illness Questions relating to these documents will appear on the Discussion Board, the Midterm Exam, and the Final Exam.

RECOMMENDED SUPPLEMENTAL VIDEOS ***Note: Please be aware that the following films contain violent and potentially offensive content. None of the films are required viewing for the course. Videos #1 To Catch a Killer (1992) Brian Dennehy #2 Dahmer (2002) Jeremy Renner #3 Ted Bundy (2001) Michael Reilly Burke #4 The Woodsman (2004) Kevin Bacon #5 Citizen X (1998) Stephen Rea, Donald Sutherland

RESEARCH COMPONENT: No additional research component required.

ENTRANCE COMPETENCIES: Prerequisite: Six semester hours of psychology.


1. Two Exams There will be two exams. These test will be at mid and end-semester and will cover only the material presented since the last test. Exams will be in essay test format. The two tests together will account for 50% of your final grade.

2. Electronic Journal: You will be required to write at least 5 reaction papers which you will keep in an ‗electronic‘ journal (in a MS Word document, for example) for submission at the end of the term. Whenever you have a strong reaction to something covered in the course (readings, lectures, text, films, discussion questions, etc.) or to some current event related to Forensic Psychology you should write a paper about it that includes your thoughts, feelings, opinions, etc. There is no set format for these papers so you can be as creative as you like. Each paper should be at least one page long. You should keep these papers in an ‗electronic journal‘ which you will submit at the end of the term according to the Course Schedule below. You can write as many as you want, but at least 5 are required. This assignment will be worth 15% of your final grade. 3. Book Report A 3 to 4 page book report/summary of the required reading of: Hare, Robert D. (1999) Without Conscience: The Disturbing World of the Psychopaths among Us. New York: Guilford Press Report should include a summary of the book along with your opinions and impressions of the book. 15% of final grade 4. Discussion Board Questions Discussion Questions must be answered the same week they are assigned. The instructor will post new topics/questions for discussion each Monday morning. This exercise will be completed asynchronously, meaning that you may log on to the Discussion Board at any point during the week and post your responses to both the topics posted by the instructor and to those of your fellow classmates—20% of final grade Message Board Participation:

Note: please post at least one (1) main post per discussion and two (2) substantive responses. **Note: Do not wait until the last day of the week to make your posts. If you do this, you won't really be participating in the discussion because other students will not read and respond to your posts as they will be moving on to the next week's topics. A penalty will be assessed if posts are made only on the last day.
The following guidelines apply to the Message Board: • Students should post messages in the 100-word range for all message board questions. • Students should respond to at least TWO classmate‘s messages in each message board topic.

• Late Message Board postings will not be graded. The purpose of the Message Board is to establish meaningful dialogue and interaction among students and the instructor. We don't return to the Message Board topic to interact for class credit. I will be participating in the discussions and monitoring the board very closely.

METHOD OF EVALUATION: The overall course grade is based upon the student‘s performance on the electronic journal, Discussion Board participation, a midterm exam, and a non-comprehensive final exam, and a book report/analysis. Academic Dishonesty Troy University has contacted with the plagiarism identification service "" I may submit papers to this site as a professor and receive originality reports.

Midterm Exam: 25% of course grade The midterm exam will consist of approximately 10 to 15 essay questions. Final Exam: 25% of course grade The final exam will consist of approximately 10 to 15 essay questions. comprehensive. It will cover the material from weeks five through eight. Electronic Journal—Five required--15% of course grade Participation in Discussion Board Topics—20% of course grade See Guidelines above. The topic/questions for the weekly discussions will be posted on Monday morning of each week. Book Report—15% of course grade APA format required

It will NOT be

METHOD OF INSTRUCTION Self-study of textbook material, lectures, supplementary readings, viewing of optional videos, participation in Blackboard discussion topics, 2 exams, an Electronic Journal, and one book report—all to be done according to course schedule below.


Crime News-Courts and Law News from Criminal Justice Ethics:—The Source for Law Enforcement:—The One Complete Resource for Law Enforcement

SUBMITTING ASSIGNMENTS: When you are ready to send your assignments to the instructor, including exams, Ejournal, and book report, please send it via Blackboard‘s ―Digital Drop Box‖ (see ―Using the Digital Drop Box‖ in the course site Information File).

NOTE: The instructor will reply to all student emails within a 48-hour period and will grade all assignments and exams within a week of submission.

ASSIGNMENT OF GRADES: Grades will be assigned according to the following scale: A 90 - 100 B 80 - 89 C 70 – 79 D 60 – 69 F 59 and below ATTENDANCE POLICY: Although physical class meetings are not part of this course, participation in all interactive, learning activities is required. Student assignments and student/instructor communications will be conducted via Blackboard, although students will be allowed access to the instructor via telephone, mail, or fax if necessary. INCOMPLETE GRADE POLICY: A grade of ―I‖ is not automatically assigned, but rather must be requested by the student by submitting to the instructor the Petition for and Work to Remove an Incomplete Grade form. An ―I‖ can never be used in lieu of an ―F‖ nor can an ―I‖ be assigned because of excessive absences.

MAKE-UP WORK POLICY: Missing any part of this schedule may prevent completion of the course. If it becomes necessary to take an ―I‖ or incomplete for the course, the student should complete a request for an incomplete grade. This is the responsibility of the student and is not automatic. There must be a valid reason for such a request. If you foresee difficulty of any type (i.e., an illness, an employment change, etc.) which may prevent completion of this course; notify the instructor as soon as possible. Failure to do so could result in a failing grade.

HOW TO LEARN ONLINE: Troy University Distance Learning is designed to serve any student, anywhere in the world, who has access to the Internet. All Distance Learning courses are delivered through the Blackboard Learning System. Blackboard helps to better simulate the traditional classroom experience with features such as Virtual Chat, Discussion Boards, and other presentation and organizational forums. In order to be successful, you should be organized and well motivated. You should make sure you log in to our course on Blackboard several times each week. Check all ―announcements‖ that have been posted. Start early in the week to complete the weekly assignment. You should also go to the Discussion Board early in the week and view the topic and question/s for the group discussion exercise. Make your ―initial‖ posting and participate in the discussion. Begin reviewing for the exams early in the term. Do not wait until the last minute and ―cram‖ for these exams. You should review the material frequently, so you will be prepared to take the exam/s. For help with writing, please contact the writing center at: Writing Center:

TECHNOLOGY REQUIREMENTS: 1. Students must have Email capability. 2. Students must also have Internet access through one of the following browsers: Netscape Navigator 4.0 or later, Netscape Communicator 4.0 or later or Internet Explorer 4.0 or later. 3. Students must have either Microsoft WORD. 4. Students must have virus protection software, installed and active, to prevent the spread of viruses via the Internet and email. TECHNICAL SUPPORT INFORMATION:
Blackboard Support Center

Blackboard Online Support Center for Troy University provides Customer Care Technicians who are available to support you 24 hours a day/7 days a week.

Call 1-888-414-5756 for live assistance
If you are experiencing technical difficulties with your coursework or with features in Blackboard that are generating errors, please click the link below. Blackboard Support Center web site:

Course Schedule Late work policy: No late work will be accepted unless arrangements are made in advance. Note: Computer crashing in not a valid excuse for late work. NOTE: Each ‘course week’ begins on Monday and ends on Sunday. Work is due by midnight (12am EST) on Sundays according to course schedule below. Module/Weekly Assignments: One 1. Read Chapters 1, 2, 3 2. Supplemental Readings 1, 2, 3, 4 3. Post responses to week 1 Discussion Topics and Bio

Week 1 ends on Jan. 10

Two 1. Read Chapters 4, 5, 6 2. Post responses to week 2 Discussion Topics 3. Supplemental Readings 5, 6, 7, 8 4. Begin Novel: Without Conscience

Week 2 ends on Jan. 17

Three 1. Read Chapters 7, 8, 9 2. Supplemental Readings 9, 10, 11, 12 3. Post responses to week 3 Discussion Topics

Week 3 ends on Jan. 24 ______________________________________________________ Four 1. Read Chapters 10, 11 2. Supplemental Readings 13, 14, 15 3. Turn in Exam 1 –Due Jan. 31 (Saturday by 10pm EST)

Week 4 ends Jan. 31 ______________________________________________________ Five 1. Read Chapters 12, 13, 14 2. Post response to week 5 Discussion Topics 3. Supplemental Readings 16, 17, 18

Week 5 ends on Feb. 7 ______________________________________________________ Six 1. Read Chapters 15, 16 2. Supplemental Readings 19, 20, 21 3. Post responses to week 6 Discussion Topics

4. Turn in Book Report—due Feb. 11 (Thursday by end of the day) Week 6 ends Feb. 14 _____________________________________________________ Seven 1. Post responses to week 7 Discussion Topics 2. Supplemental Readings 22, 23 3. Turn in Electronic Journal—due Feb. 18 (Thursday by end of the day) Week 7 ends Feb. 21 ______________________________________________________ Eight 1. Turn in Exam 2—due Feb. 28 (Saturday by 10pm EST) Course ends Feb. 28

AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT (ADA): Any student whose disabilities fall within ADA must inform the instructor at the beginning of the term of any special needs or equipment necessary to accomplish the requirements for this course. Students must also provide written proof of their disability to the instructor. The Director of Adaptive Needs Program can be reached by writing to: 215 Adams Center, Troy University, Troy, Alabama 36082 or by calling 334-670-3220.  ADA Policy Statement:
HONESTY STATEMENT: In accordance with the Standards of Conduct in the Troy University Bulletin, a student or organization may be disciplined, up to and including expulsion, if deemed in violation of the STANDARDS OF CONDUCT for the commission of or the attempt to commit this offense: Dishonesty, such as cheating, plagiarism, or knowingly furnishing false information to the university, faculty, or other officers or employees of the university. STANDARDS OF CONDUCT:

The commission of or the attempt to commit any cheating and/or plagiarism are in violation of the Standard of Conduct stated in the Troy University – Florida Region Student Handbook, and

may be disciplined up to and including suspension and expulsion.
Plagiarism is the passing off of the thoughts or works of another as one‘s own. Plagiarism involves giving the impression that a person has thought, written, or produced something that has, in fact, been borrowed from another. Plagiarism may result from poor technique of citation or more serious cases as: copying the work of another person; submitting the work of another person; or closely paraphrasing a piece of work without due acknowledgement. ALLEGATIONS OF PLAGIARISM: Depending on the circumstances, the penalty imposed for plagiarism may include warning, resubmission, loss of points, failure on a particular assignment or the course, or a charge of misconduct to be dealt with by Troy University.

Library Support:
[The Libraries of Troy University provide access to materials and services that support the academic programs. The address of the University College Library web site, which is for all University College and eCampus students, is This site provides access to the Library’s Catalog and Databases, as well as to links to all Campus libraries and to online or telephone assistance by Troy Library staff. Additionally, the Library can also be accessed by choosing the “Library” link from the University’s home page,]

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