Lecture 1: Overview of Forensic Psych Flashcards Preview

Forensic Psych Midterm > Lecture 1: Overview of Forensic Psych > Flashcards

Flashcards in Lecture 1: Overview of Forensic Psych Deck (32)
Loading flashcards...

The professional practice by psychologists within the area of clinical psych, counselling psych, neuropsych and school psych when they are engaged regularly as experts and represent themselves as such, in an activity primarily intended to provide professional expertise to the judicial system

The narrow definition of forensic psychology (ABFP-AP-LS)


The broad definitions of forensic psychology

-issues arising out of the relationship between human behaviour and the law, legal system and legal process (weiner)
-Bartol &Bartol: a research endeavour or a professional practice.


Define Psychology and the law

Psych is viewed as a separate discipline from the law, examining components of the legal system from a psychological perspective. Psychology being used to look at assumptions made by the law asking questions such as "are eyewitnesses accurate" "do certain interrogation techniques cause people to falsely confess". Psychologists attempt to answer questions like this so they can communicate this information to the legal community.


Define Psychology in the law

When Psychology is being used within the system as it currently operates. The use of psychological knowledge in the legal system (e.g., criminal profiling)


Define Psychology of the law

When psychology is being used to study the law itself, it is uncommon because an extensive background in psych and law is required. For example "why do police officers have so much discretion" "does the law reduce the amount of crime in our society"


History of forensic psychology

The beginning- psychology of testimony
Forensic psychology in NA
Forensic psychology in the CJS
Forensic psychology in the courts
Forensic psychology in law schools
Period of rapid growth


The beginning, psychology of eye witness testimony research studies were done by?

James Cattell. His findings were that Answers were often inaccurate and they were Differences in levels of confidence


Stern and Lizst

Conducted an experiment called the reality experiment. Which was a staged Classroom encounter in a law class, in which one student ends up pulling a revolver on the other. The observers were then asked questions about the event. Stern found testimonies were incorrect, in addition found emotions reduced recall accuracy.


Albert von Schrenck-Notzing

German physician and expert witness. Testified about extensive pre trial coverage influencing the testimony of people and causing retroactive memory falsification (confusion between what we saw vs. what was reported)


Forensic psych in NA- Munsterberg

Involved in several cases but not as an expert witness. In one case he reviewed interrogation records of a man accused of raping and murdering a woman (richard ivens; he was intellectually disabled). The courts paid little attention to his contributions. He was an advocate for forensic psychology. He wrote the book on the witness stand, resistance from legal scholars due to his arrogance. pushed psychology into legal arena.


Forensic psych in the CJS- Fernald and Healy

First clinic for delinquents, juvenille psychopathic institute, diagnosis treatment and rehabilitation.


What happened in 1913

Psychological services in prison


What happened in 1916

psychological services for police


what happened in 1917?

tests for law enforcement personnel selection


Forensic Psych in the courts: Varendonck

Expert witness on the belgian murder trail. Children gave different evidence. Offered to the court that testimony provided by children was often inaccurate and thy were prone to suggestion.



Provides testimony in the civil trial, involved train wreck, conducted reaction time studies.


Forensic psych in law schools- Marston

First professor of legal psychology, research on lie detection, created the polygraph test and wonder woman.


People v. Hawthorne

A psychologist was permitted, on appeal, to provide an opinion about the mental state of the defendant. Standard for determining expert status is not a medical degree but extent of knowledge. opened up a whole new area of opportunity for psychologists.


Brown v. Board of education

Psychologist submitted a brief outlining detrimental effects of segregation. The first time US supreme court validated the value of psychology/empirical research in a case.


Psychodynamic theories of crime

Theories of crime that primarily rely on the internal dynamics of the offender and the
importance of early childhood experiences. An example is Bowlby’s theory of maternal deprivation which suggests primary factor for delinquency is the absence or presence of maternal caregivers.


Learning theories of crime

Theories of crime that primarily rely on principles of conditioning (e.g., learning from
consequences). An example is Bandura’s social learning theory. all learning theories assume that criminal activities are learned (social learning) or vicarious conditioning. Peers, family can all provide indirect reinforcement for behaviours.


Personality theories.

Theories of crime that primarily rely on the personality make-up of criminals and how
their personality make-up differs from law-abiding citizens. An example is Eysenck’s bio-social theory of crime. What explains criminal behaviour has something to do with our personality, developed Eysenck personality questionnaire. personality and CNS interact (don't experience arousal the same way) and prevented people from learning from negative consequences the same way someone normal would.


Forensic psych as a distinct discipline led to an increase in...

Increase in books
Increase in journals (law and human behavior)
Increase in associations (like APLS, these don’t exist unless they are lots of professionals in the field doing research)
Increasing in degree programs (3 or 4 programs)
Code of ethics (deal with specific issues within the field)


Ethical Issues

Conflicts of interest
Informed consent
Client confidentiality
duty to disclose
Suspected child abuse


Hess: the different dimensions along which psychology and law differ

Epistemology (Pscyh believe that it is possible to uncover hidden objective truths if the appropriate experiments are conducted, Law: truth in the law is defined subjectively and based on who can provide the most convincing story)
Nature of the law (Psych : goal is to describe how and why people behave the way they do, law: is prescriptive, it tells people how they should behave and provides punishment for not behaving that way)
Knowledge (in psych its based on empirical research in law its based on idiographic analysis of court cases)
Methodology (psych: nomothetic and experimental, law idiographic case by case basis)
Criterion (strict, lenient)
Principles(exploratory approach that encourages multiple explanations for findings, vs law is more conservative.
Latitude of courtroom behaviour (psychologists are restricted in court, fewer restrictions for lawyers)


State v. Driver

Only a partial victory for forensic psychology in America. The case involved attempted rape and the court accepted expert evidence from a psychologist in the area of juvenile delinquency.


The jenkins trial

involved charges of breaking and entering, assault and intent to rape. Jenkins pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. 3 psychologists supported this claim on the basis that the defendant was suffering from schizophrenia. However the judge instructed the jury to disregard the testimonies because psychologists weren't qualified to give expert testimony on mental disease. The case was appealed, as part of the appeal, the APA provided a report to the court saying they're competent to provide info on mental illness. So the courts reversed the conviction and ordered a new trial saying some psychologists are qualified.


What is a clinical forensic psychologist?

psychologists who are broadly concerned with the assessment and treatment of mental health issues as they pertain to the law or legal system.


What is forensic Psychiatry?

a field of medicine that deals with all aspects of human behaviour as it relates to the law or legal system.


What are the mohan criteria?

A Canadian Standard for accepting expert testimony, which states that the expert testimony will be admissible in court if the testimony is relevant, is necessary for assisting the trier of fact (must go beyond common understanding), does not violate any exclusionary rules, and is provided by a qualified expert.