J is for… Justice

The Psychologist A to Z continues.

Suggested by Michelle Jamieson

‘Now more than ever the field of psychology has a big part to play in supporting and helping people towards justice. I also think it applies to the part the field had to play in earlier days of mental health treatment and, indeed, mistreatment. Perhaps we’re coming to terms with this… the openness from professionals in the field regarding their own mental health journeys is also part of that acceptance.’

Social justice has been a prominent concern of the last two Presidents of the British Psychological Society: see ‘Twelve ways to make an impact’, and ‘Our turbulent minds’ on our website.

Why might innocents make false confessions, leading to miscarriages of justice? Kim Drake outlined the research in her October 2011 article.

A 2011 study suggesting hungry judges dispense harsher sentences has been widely shared, but a blog from Daniel Lakens this year concludes the finding is ‘impossible’.
According to Norman Feather in his June 2012 article, ‘Deservingness along with entitlement are central justice-related variables that feature in all walks of life… achievement outcomes in schools and organisations, interpersonal relationships and political life…’
A new study led by Ceyhun Elgin, covered on our Digest, suggested the religious take a pragmatic approach towards the needy that expresses their compassion while remaining consistent with their beliefs about a ‘just world’.

Tweet your suggestions for any letter to @psychmag using the hashtag #PsychAtoZ or email the editor on [email protected]

Entries so far are collated at https://thepsychologist.bps.org.uk/psychology-z

Image by Karla Novak

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