Assistant Professor of Psychology & Social Behavior, and Criminology, Law & Society
Ph.D. University of Southern California
(949) 824-4046
SBSG 4312



psychology & law; judgment and decision making; violence risk assessment

Nicholas Scurich is an assistant professor with appointments in the Departments of Psychology & Social Behavior, Criminology, Law & Society, and the School of Law. He earned his Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Southern California in 2012, as well as a Ph.D. achievement award -- a university-wide award for the most exceptional doctoral candidate. From 2010-11 he was a Fellow of the Saks Institute at the USC Gould School of Law. In 2013, the Association for Psychological Science (APS) named him a “Rising Star.” His research examines judgment and decision making, especially within legal settings. Professor Scurich has also published several articles on violence risk assessment and risk communication. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in Psychology & Law and Forensic Psychology. 

Selected Publications

Scurich, N. (in press). Criminal justice policy preferences: Blackstone ratios and the veil of ignorance. Stanford Law & Policy Review Online

Scurich, N. (in press). The effect of numeracy and anecdotes on the perceived fallibility of forensic science. Psychiatry, Psychology & Law

Scurich, N. (in press). Structured risk assessment and legal decision making. In M. Miller and B.H. Bornstein (eds.) Advances in psychology and law. American Psychological Association.

Scurich, N., & Shniderman, A. (2014). The selective allure of neuroscientific explanations.  PLoSONE, 9(9), 1-6.

Scurich, N. & Krauss, D.A. (2014). The presumption of dangerousness in sexually violent predator commitment proceedings. Law, Probability, and Risk, 13, 91-104.

Krauss, D.A. & Scurich, N. (2014). The impact of case factors on jurors’ decisions in a sexual violent predator hearing. Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, 20(2), 135-145.

Scurich, N. & John, R.S. (2014). Perceptions of randomized security schedules. Risk Analysis, 34(4), 765-770.

Appelbaum, P.S., & Scurich, N. (2014). Impact of behavioral genetic evidence on the adjudication of criminal behavior. Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry & the Law, 42(1), 91-100.

Scurich, N. & John, R.S. (2013). Mock jurors’ use of error rates in DNA database trawls. Law & Human Behavior, 37(6), 424-431.

Simon, D., & Scurich, N. (2013). The effect of legal expert commentary on lay judgments of judicial decision making. Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, 10(4), 799-816. 

Scurich, N. & Krauss, D.A. (2013). The effect of adjusted actuarial risk assessment on mock-jurors’ decisions in a sexual predator commitment proceeding. Jurimetrics Journal, 53, 395-413.

Krauss, D.A., & Scurich, N. (2013). Risk assessment in the law: Legal admissibility, scientific validity, and some disparities between research and practice. Behavioral Sciences & the Law, 31(2), 215-229.

Simon, D., & Scurich, N. (2013). Judicial overstating. Chicago-Kent Law Review, 88(2), 411-431.

Scurich, N. (2013). Questioning child witnesses. The Jury Expert, 25(1), 12-16.

Lyon, T.D., Scurich, N., Handmaker, S., & Blank, R. (2012). How did you feel? Increasing child sexual abuse witnesses’ production of evaluative information. Law & Human Behavior, 36(5), 448-457.

Scurich, N., Monahan, J., & John, R.S. (2012). Innumeracy and unpacking: Bridging the nomothetic/idiographic divide in violence risk assessment. Law & Human Behavior, 36(6), 548-554. 

Scurich, N., & John, R.S. (2012) A Bayesian approach to the group versus individual prediction controversy in actuarial risk assessment. Law & Human Behavior, 36(3), 237-246. 

Scurich, N. & John, R.S. (2012) Constraints on restraints: A Signal Detection analysis of the use of mechanical restraints on adult psychiatric inpatients. Southern California Review of Law and Social Justice, 21(1), 75-107.

Scurich, N., & John, R.S. (2012) Prescriptive approaches to communicating the risk of violence in actuarial risk assessment. Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, 18(1), 50-78.

Lyon, T.D., Ahern, E.C, & Scurich, N. (2012) Interviewing children vs. tossing coins: Accurately assessing the diagnosticity of children’s disclosures of abuse. Journal of Child Sexual Abuse, 21, 19-44. 

Scurich, N., & John, R.S. (2011) Trawling genetic databases: When a DNA match is just a naked statistic. Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, 8(s1), 49-71. 

Simon, D., & Scurich, N. (2011) Lay judgments of judicial decision-making. Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, 8(4), 709-727.

Scurich, N. & John, R.S. (2011) The effect of framing actuarial risk probabilities on involuntary commitment decisions. Law & Human Behavior, 35(2), 83-91.

Scurich, N., & John, R.S. (2010) The normative threshold for psychiatric civil commitment. Jurimetrics Journal, 50(4), 425-452.