Research Topic

Social Psychological Process And Effects On The Law

About this Research Topic

The study of social psychological processes entails examining how people perceive, interact in and react to social contexts. Particularly, social psychology relies on disentangling how people’s beliefs and behaviors are influenced by other people. In recent years, this framework has been applied to studying the law, and there has been a growing body of research on ways in which social contexts intersect with legal institutions, legal interactions, and decision-making. Indeed, insights into social psychology in legal contexts not only tell us how social contexts can impact the law, legal institutions, and legal actors, but also how the law can learn from society, its norms, and the perceptions of its members. Thus, the interactive relationship between law and social psychology can be thought of as a “two-way street.”


Although research at the intersection of social psychology and law has begun to grow in recent years, empirical and theoretical work in this area is still under-studied. This Research Topic not only hopes to provide a platform for general research in this area, but also will represent a space for work on issues across different areas of law, ranging from law enforcement interactions to examinations of decision-making in courts to studies of how the law should and does work in different communities, across many countries and jurisdictions. Indeed, this Research Topic hopes to provide an expansive and comprehensive account of the widespread ways in which law and social psychology interact across the globe.


We welcome empirical, review and theoretical submissions across disciplines, including but not limited to psychology, sociology, criminology, anthropology, and law, from any country or jurisdiction. Empirical work can use either qualitative or quantitative methods. Submissions (including Original Research, Systematic Reviews, Brief Research Reports, and Case Reports) may address any topic that furthers understandings of relationships between social psychology and law, broadly defined. Examples of topics might include:

·     Effects of different social contexts on legal decision-making;

·     The role of discrimination and bias in criminal and civil law;

·     How different social psychological processes influence views on punishment and various legal practices;

·     Issues with eyewitness identification related to race, gender, or other social characteristics;

·     The role of social psychology in designing and evaluating legal rules.


Keywords: social psychology, human behavior, law, legal institutions, criminal justice, decision-making


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

The study of social psychological processes entails examining how people perceive, interact in and react to social contexts. Particularly, social psychology relies on disentangling how people’s beliefs and behaviors are influenced by other people. In recent years, this framework has been applied to studying the law, and there has been a growing body of research on ways in which social contexts intersect with legal institutions, legal interactions, and decision-making. Indeed, insights into social psychology in legal contexts not only tell us how social contexts can impact the law, legal institutions, and legal actors, but also how the law can learn from society, its norms, and the perceptions of its members. Thus, the interactive relationship between law and social psychology can be thought of as a “two-way street.”


Although research at the intersection of social psychology and law has begun to grow in recent years, empirical and theoretical work in this area is still under-studied. This Research Topic not only hopes to provide a platform for general research in this area, but also will represent a space for work on issues across different areas of law, ranging from law enforcement interactions to examinations of decision-making in courts to studies of how the law should and does work in different communities, across many countries and jurisdictions. Indeed, this Research Topic hopes to provide an expansive and comprehensive account of the widespread ways in which law and social psychology interact across the globe.


We welcome empirical, review and theoretical submissions across disciplines, including but not limited to psychology, sociology, criminology, anthropology, and law, from any country or jurisdiction. Empirical work can use either qualitative or quantitative methods. Submissions (including Original Research, Systematic Reviews, Brief Research Reports, and Case Reports) may address any topic that furthers understandings of relationships between social psychology and law, broadly defined. Examples of topics might include:

·     Effects of different social contexts on legal decision-making;

·     The role of discrimination and bias in criminal and civil law;

·     How different social psychological processes influence views on punishment and various legal practices;

·     Issues with eyewitness identification related to race, gender, or other social characteristics;

·     The role of social psychology in designing and evaluating legal rules.


Keywords: social psychology, human behavior, law, legal institutions, criminal justice, decision-making


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

31 May 2021 Abstract
30 September 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

31 May 2021 Abstract
30 September 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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