Meet Prof. Kimberly Burton: forensic psychology expert

Rudy MoleyCourse, Programs, Study

[stylebox type=”info”]With a doctorate in Psychology from McGill University, Kimberly Burton has been teaching at Marianopolis for almost a decade. She teaches Forensic Psychology, Human Behaviour, Research Methods and Quantitative Methods, among other courses. Here’s what she has to say about her always-popular Forensic Psychology class and about Marianopolis in general.[/stylebox]

Many people do not realize that psychology is intricately involved in the criminal justice system. In Forensic Psychology we examine many of the psychological processes surrounding crime. We explore topics like eyewitness memory and its accuracy, interrogation techniques and their relationship to false confessions, criminal profiling, how to detect deception in people and jury decision-making. We also cover mental health issues within the justice system in Canada, the characteristics of a psychopath and the problem of domestic violence.

Throughout the course we try to examine some real-life cases that relate to the class material we cover. We watch documentaries, have discussions and do jury simulations. Students do a project in which they select a news article about a real criminal case and then, using course material, they analyze the case. The results of their analyses are usually very interesting and informative.

The Forensic Psychology course is for any student with an interest in the field, whether or not they plan to pursue psychology. Many students have gone on to pursue further studies in psychology, in general; a few are pursuing their university education in Forensic Psychology and Forensic Sciences. Others leave the course with an appreciation for the role of psychology and psychological research in the criminal justice system, but pursue their studies in different areas.

In this class and everywhere else at the College, we have wonderful young people and time with them in the classroom is great. I also enjoy helping students to develop their critical thinking skills and I like seeing students use what they’ve learned in class to understand the world around them.

Marianopolis faculty are available to students. We think this is very important. Students can visit their instructors during their office hours, they can reach them by email and MIO, and they can simply drop by the instructor’s office.

What I’d recommend to high school students is to keep an open mind. Use your time in college as an opportunity to explore your interests. You may be surprised by what intrigues you the most.