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1 Intro to forensic psychology.docx
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Department
Psychology
Course
PSYC 2400
Professor
Jenelle Power
Semester
Fall

Description
Intro to forensic psychology ch.1 What is forensic psychology? - Field of psychology that deals with all aspects of human behavior related to the law or legal system • Research and practice • Anything throughout the criminal justice system - From Latin word “forensis” • Meaning “of the forum” • Forums were early versions of courts now • Where the law courts of ancient Rome were held - Professional practice of clinical psychology focusing on assessment and treatment of individuals within a legal context AND • Clinical psychologist= basically a therapist. They have patients. Talk and cognitive therapies - Experimental- research that examines aspects of human behavior directly related to the legal process Clinical forensic psychologist - Mental health issues pertaining to legal system • Assessment and treatment - In Ontario: • Ph.D in Clinical Psychology • Registered with College of Psychologists of Ontario - Varies by province - Ph.D. programs in clinical psychology are hard to get in to, they’re very competitive Forensic psychiatrist - Medical doctor - Can prescribe medication - Use physical/medical model of disease - This is a medical model - Forensic psychiatrists do do some research Experimental forensic psychologists - Research related to legal system - Graduate degree with research focused on a forensic psychological issue Legal scholar - Focus on mental health law, policy analysis, legislative consultations - Graduate degree with research focused on a forensic-legal issue - Very rare profession Other forensic disciplines - Examine bones of deceased victims to determine key facts about them • Ex: Kathy Reichs (inspiration for Bones) • Forensic anthropologist - Examine the spoken or written word (ex: analysis of a suicide note to determine authenticity) • Forensic linguist - Study dental aspects such as bite marks or use dental records to identify victims • Forensic dentist/ ondontologist - Studies how insects can assist in crime scene investigations • Dr. GailAnderson at SFU • Forensic entomologist - Performs autopsies to determine cause of death in sudden or unexpected death • Ex: Dr. G show • Forensic pathologist • Carries a lot of weight in court (very important) - Analyzes hair samples, paint chips, blood stains, and other materials • Forensic chemist Legitimate field - Forensic psychology textbooks - Scientific journals - Professional associations • American Psychology-Law Association (1968) • Criminal Justice Division- CPA (1985) - University programs • 1974 first joint Law/Psychology Forensic psychology comes of age - Phenomenal growth since 1980’s • 1970 – 1980: PsycInfo  62 hits for Forensic Psychology • 1980 - 1990 PsycInfo  448 hits for Forensic Psychology • 1990 - 2000 PsycInfo  778 hits for Forensic Psychology • 2000 – 2009 PsycInfo  1,929 hits for Forensic Psychology Historical highlights: North America - 1895- Cattell • He found humans are bad at retaining common information • The human brain is palleable • Confidence and accuracy are not related - First experiments in “psychology of testimony” - Asked students about things they have witnessed in their everyday life - CONFIDENCEANDACCURACYARE NOT RELATED!!! - How confident are you? • 1= not at all • 2= somewhat • 3= I am right Early research- Europe - Binet (1900) • Suggestibility in children • Hired to develop an IG test to figure out what kids were mentally deficient • Made the first usable IQ test that is still widely used today (Stanford-Binet IQ Test) • Found that responses are affected by the way you ask questions • Children are easily influenced Memory errors (Binet) - Logical errors • Ex: it was sewn on to the box with a thread - Errors of imagination • Ex: there was a diamond in the center of the button Early research- Europe - 1901 Stern • Research on testimony • “reality experiment” • In his study he had two confederates arguing in a lecture and one pulled out a gun • He found that heightened arousal decreases accuracy in remembering things - 1908 Hugo Munsterberg • Father of forensic psychology • “On the Witness Stand” • Says psychologists should be expert witnesses - 1909 Wigmore- critique of Munsterberg • Said that Munsterberg was crazy, he made up a fake law suit for libel against him Expert witness - Expert witness: Provides the court with information that assists them in understanding an issue in a case - Provides an opinion - How is this different than other witnesses? - Factual evidence is based on research, experience, etc, but experts can give their own opinions - Other witnesses are personally involved in the case and can’t give opinions - Expert witnesses should be there to educate the judge/jury, not advocate for the defence/prosecution Requirements for expert witness - Regina v. Mohan (1994) • Supreme court rules on admissibility of expert evidence  relevant  beyond common knowledge  not violate any rules of exclusion (ex: not to prejudice the jury)  qualified expert (person with reasonable education and experience) -
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