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nal justice system pays too much attention to psychology, it may result in excusing certain forms of criminal behaviour hence impeding the administration of justice. (Vidmar, 1989, p1-8)
In relation to this, there are also certain factors that have to be considered when dealing with particular issues in the justice systems such as expert testimony. Details of psychology in the courtroom and in other aspects of the criminal and civil justice system will be examined in detail below.
There are certain psychological factors that come into play when analysing the criminal and civil justice system. The first one to be considered is communication. Communication is the transmission of information. It can be divided into three main components. These are; verbal communication, vocal communication and non-verbal communication (Berger et al, 1972, p 241-255)
Verbal communication involves the use of written or oral formats to convey specific messages to other parties. Vocal communication involves all the audible aspects of communication such as tone, pitch of voice, rate of speech, intonation and inflexion. In this form of communication, focus is kept on how the message is conveyed rather than the subject matter itself. Lastly, there is non-verbal communication; here, visible elements of communication are considered such as personal appearance, facial behaviours, body orientation, posture, touch, gestures, eye contact and even eye movement. Auditory cues are the main area of emphasis in this case. (Casper & Zeisel, 1992, p135-191)
Psychologists assert that the most influential form of communication in the courtroom is the non-verbal form. Others have argued that in case jurors or judges are faced with situations where the statements presented to them are in contradiction with each other, then chances are that those jurors will rely on non-verbal forms of communication rather than the actual word spoken. Research has shown that many jurors have been convinced by some forms ...
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