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PSY328H1 (27)
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Chapter 1

Chapter 1

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University of Toronto St. George

Chapter One An Introduction to Forensic Psychology Forensic Psychology a field of psychology that deals with all aspects of human behavior as it relates to the law or legal system What is Forensic Psychology No generally accepted definition of the fieldReferred to as legal psychology or criminological psychologyNarrow definition focuses on certain aspects of the field while ignoring other potentially important aspects o Might focus on clinical aspects while ignoring the experimental research o The only individuals who should call themselves forensic psychologists are those individuals engaged in clinical practice ex Assessing treating or consulting within the legal system o Psychologists who spend all their time conducting forensicrelated research would not technically be considered forensic psychologists according to this narrow definitiono Therefore there are problems with using narrow definitions to define the field of forensic psychologyo Focuses on application onlyBroad definition less restrictive o Popular definition the research endeavor that examines aspects of human behavior directly related to the legal processand the professional practice of psychology within or in consultation with a legal system that embraces both civil and criminal law o Focuses on research as well The Roles of a Forensic PsychologistIndividuals who call themselves forensic psychologists are always interested in issues that arise at the intersection between psychology and the lawWhat differs across the definitions is the particular focus the forensic psychologist takes o Clinician or researcherhowever these are not mutually exclusiveThe Forensic Psychologist as a Clinician o Clinical forensic psychologist broadly concerned with the assessment and treatment of mental health issues as they pertain to the law or legal systemo Includes research and practice in a variety of settings such as schools prisons and hospitals o Forensic psychiatry a field of medicine that deals with all aspects of human behavior as it relates to the law or legal system o Both clinical forensic psychologists and psychiatrists are trained to assess and treat individuals experiencing mental health problems who come into contact with the law and you will see psychologists
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