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 associate professor with a joint appointment in the Department of Psychology & Social Behavior, and the Department Criminology, Law & Society. He earned his Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Southern California in 2012, and was tenured 4 years later. Professor Scurich has published over 40 peer-review journal articles, book chapters, and law review articles on a variety of topics related to judgment and decision making in the law and violence risk assessment. His research has been funded by state and federal agencies, and has been recognized by awards from scholarly societies, including the Saleem Shah award for early career excellence from the American Psychological Association (Division 41) and the American Academy of Forensic Psychology, and the distinction of a “Rising Star” by the Association for Psychological Science (APS).  Professor Scurich teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in Psychology & Law, Forensic Psychology, and Advanced Research Methods.

Selected Publications

Scurich, N., & Appelbaum, P.S., (in press). The blunt-edged sword: Genetic explanations of misbehavior neither mitigate nor aggravate punishment. Journal of Law and the Biosciences

Scurich, N., Hoang, K.,* & John, R.S. (in press). Quantifying the presumption of innocence. Law, Probability, and Risk

Scurich, N., & Monahan, J. (in press). Evidence-based sentencing: Public openness and opposition to using gender, age, and race as risk factors for recidivism. Law & Human Behavior

Scurich, N. (in press). The assessment of violence risk. In J.P. Singh, S. Bjorkly, & S. Fazel, (eds.) International perspectives on violence risk assessment. New York: Oxford University Press.

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. (2015). The effect of numeracy and anecdotes on the perceived fallibility of forensic science. Psychiatry, Psychology & Law, 22(4), 616-623.

Scurich, N., Krauss, D.A., Reiser, L.*, Garcia, R.* & Deer, L.* (2015). Venire jurors’ perceptions of adversarial allegiance. Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, 21(2), 161-168.

Hilton, N.Z., Scurich, N., & Helmus, L.M.* (2015). Communicating the risk of violent and offending behavior: Review and introduction to this special issue. Behavioral Sciences & the Law, 33(1), 1-18.

Appelbaum, P.S., Scurich, N., & Radd, R. (2015). Effects of behavioral genetic evidence on perceptions of criminal responsibility and appropriate punishment. Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, 21(2), 134-144.

Scurich, N. (2015). Criminal justice policy preferences: Blackstone ratios and the veil of ignorance. Stanford Law & Policy Review (Online), 26, 23-35.

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. 

Last updated: Thursday, July 28, 2016 - 9:52am