crown courtOn 8th June, the LVI Psychology class set off to Bristol Crown Court for a day of observations and an introduction to the justice system.

It was an incredibly exciting experience for all of us as we’d never been to court before. After passing through security, we chose which of the ten court rooms to visit. Throughout the day, we visited three of the ten court rooms to listen to the cases. We heard two witnesses being questioned by the lawyers and the judge. In addition, we learnt about courtroom etiquette and procedures such as nodding to the judge on our arrival into and departure from the courtroom. We saw a number of defendants and sat alongside the family members of the defendants and it was important to respect everyone’s views and remain silent. The cases ranged from sexual assault to company politics and polices. It was vital that we maintained an objective view of the cases and did not draw judgements in order to respect the defendants and their relatives. It was fascinating to experience a setting where psychology is very relevant and applicable, in particular, how memory can be so unreliable if trying to recall events from a long time ago.

We also completed a naturalistic observation during our lunch break. Our aim of the study was to look at mobile phone use in a busy public environment. We found predominantly that males use their phones for non-calling purposes. We chose to research mobile phone use as it is incredibly topical today due to our increasingly technologically reliant generation. It was evident that a lot of people are now walking around cities on their devices and sometimes putting themselves in danger, such as using a mobile whilst cycling and not paying attention when crossing the road.

By Katharine and Nanami