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PSYC 3020 (30)
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University of Guelph
PSYC 3020
Dan Yarmey

Chapter 1 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  Also includes 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
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