Assessing Psycholegal Issues
LES 443 Handout
1. What is the societal problem the legal issue relates to?
Applicable to legislation, judicial rulings, administrative
e.g, what is the statute designed to accomplish?
Who gains and who loses from the way the problem is defined?
2. What empirical assumptions are present?
What is the basis for these assumptions?
What additional facts would you like to know?
What undesirable consequences (might) occur?
3. How would a social scientist find answers to the empirical questions?
4. What broader value issues does the legal issue raise?
- Value dilemmas?
- Value conflicts?
- Other aspects of the use of discretion?
5. What alternatives are there?
6. What would be of interest especially to lawyers?
e.g., precedent; constitutionality; adequacy of legal reasoning
7. What would be of interest especially to psychologists?
e.g., empirical assumptions; appropriateness of different roles
8. How would you resolve this issue? Why?
To what extent is your decision based on empirical data? on