narrow definition: of forensic psychology would focus on certain aspects of the field while
ignoring other, potentially important, aspects.
Only include individuals engaged in clinical practice (i.e., assessing, treating, or
consulting) within the legal system.
broad definition: is "(a) the research endeavour that examines aspects of human behaviour
directly related to the legal process ... and (b) the professional practice of psychology within, or
in consultation with, a legal system that embraces both civil and criminal law"
Clinical forensic psychologists: are broadly concerned with mental health issues as they
pertain to the legal system- assessment and treatment
Divorce and child custody mediation
Personnel selection (e.g., for law enforcement agencies)
Conducting critical incident stress debriefings with police officers
Forensic psychiatry: A field of medicine that deals with all aspects of human behaviour as it
relates to the law or legal system
both are trained to assess and treat individuals experiencing mental health problems who
come into contact with the law
both engage in similar sorts of research
Experimental forensic psychologists: Psychologists who are broadly concerned with the
study of human behaviour as it relates to the law or legal system and includes
Determining what factors influence jury decision-making
Developing and testing better ways to conduct eyewitness lineups
Evaluating offender and victim treatment programs
Studying the impact of questioning style on eyewitness memory
Psychology and the law: Use of psychology to examine the operation of the legal system
Psychology in the law: Use of psychology in the legal system as that system operates
Psychology of the law: Use of psychology to examine the law itself
THE HISTORY OF FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGY
In the late nineteenth century, research in forensic psychology was taking place in both
North America and Europe, but wasn't called forensic psychology then
James McKeen Cattell conducted some of the first North American experiments looking at
what would later be called the psychology of eyewitness testimony
Alfred Binet conducted studies that showed that the testimony provided by children was
highly susceptible to suggestive questioning techniques.
found that asking children to report everything they saw resulted in the most accurate
answers and that highly misleading questions resulted in the least accurate answers.
Stem found that eyewitness testimony can often be incorrect, and he was perhaps the first
researcher to demonstrate that a person's level of emotional arousal can have an impact
on the accuracy of that person's testimony.
psychologists in Europe also started to appear as expert witnesses in court- much of the
testimony were about the accuracy of eyewitness testimony.
retroactive memory falsification: referred to a process whereby witnesses confuse
actual memories of events with the events described by the media.
Munsterberg is considered by many to be the father of forensic psychology.
Forensic psychology now appears to have many of the markings of an established discipline.
1.a growing number of high-quality textbooks in the area provide the opportunity to teach students about forensic psychology.
2.a large number of academic journals are now dedicated to various aspects of the field,
and more mainstream psychology journals are beginning to publish research from the
forensic domain at a regular rate.
3.a number of professional associations have now been developed to represent the
interests of forensic psychologists and to promote research and practice in the area.
The largest is the American Psychology-Law Society