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Chapter 1

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PSYC 2400
Jenelle Power

Chapter 1An Introduction to Forensic PsychologyForensic Psychology a field of psychology that deals with all aspects of human behaviour as it relates to the law or legal systemMedia often portrays forensic psychology profiling serial killers selecting jury duty or determining someones sanity but is usually incorrectWhat is Forensic PsychologyNo generally accepted definition of the fieldForensic psychology is often also referred to as legal psychology or criminological psychologyA narrow definition of forensic psychology would focus on certain aspects of the field and ignore experimental research that many psychologists doNarrowly is the preferred definition of most psychologistsAccording to this definition the only forensic psychologists are those who do clinical practice assessing treating and consulting within the legal systemPsychologists who conduct forensicrelated research studying memory of eyewitnesses examining the decision making process of jurors or evaluate the effectiveness of offender treatment programs would not be considered forensic psychologists Broad definitions of forensic psychology are less restrictive Bartol and Bartol define the discipline as a process and b the professional practice of psychology within or in consultation with a legal system that embraces both civil and criminal lawThis definition does not restrict forensic psychology to applied issue It also focuses on the research that is required to inform applied practice The Roles of a Forensic PsychologistForensic Psychology is the intersection between law and psychologyCan be clinician or researcher but these roles are not mutually exclusive and one can take on more than one roleThe Forensic Psychologist as ClinicianClinical forensic Psychologists Psychologists who are broadly concerned with the assessment and treatment of mental health issues as they pertain to the law or legal systemThis can include research and practice in settings such as schools prisons and hospitalsOften concerned with the assessment and treatment of persons with medical disorders within the context of the lawResearch side a frequent task for the clinical forensic psychologist might involve the validation of an assesement tool that has been developed to predict the risk of an offender being violent
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