What Is Forensic Psychology

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Contemporary Issues in Psychology

1. Title of occupation: Forensic Psychology
2. History Of the Occupation:
-Key figures: J. McKeen Cattell, Hugo Munsterberg, William Stern, William Marston and Alfred Binet. -Use in justice system: Applied psychology to the justice system in 1916 by Binet's work and developing the Stanford-Binet test, which assesses job candidates for positions in law enforcement. Research conducted by William Marston in 1917 led to the development of the polygraph. Marston found there was a strong correlation between systolic blood pressure and whether someone was lying. In 1923, Marston testified in the case Frye v. United States that his testimony set the precedent for use of expert witnesses in court cases. It was then determined by the Federal Court of Appeals that for a technique, assessment or procedure to be used as evidence, it must be generally accepted in its field.

3. What contribution does it make to society in general?

Forensic Psychology Helps both the community and government organisations. It applies psychological knowledge, understanding and functioning of legal and criminal justice systems, and also contributes to conducting research in relevant areas. 

4. Nature of the work:

A. Job Duties:

- Courts and other tribunals.
-Mental health (both general services and forensic mental health services) -Corrections (adult and juvenile, prisons and community)
-Rehabilitation services (e.g., pain clinics, head injury services, drug and alcohol services) -Academia, research and policy organisations
- Police
- Private Practice

B. Tasks for new graduates with no experience to the job:

- Organising forensic reports
- Basic forensic psychology duties:
Collecting and reporting (both in written reports and oral)
Psychological assessment and report writing.
Psychological formulation and diagnosis.
Psychological intervention
Program evaluation.
Forensic Interviewing.
Research.

C. What other occupations are similar to this job? Criminal Psychology

D. What are the specific differences between these occupations and this job?

FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGY:
- Applies to the criminal system
- Psychological perspectives: legal issues, policies, laws, competency and sanity of defendant. CRIMINAL PSYCHOLOGY:
-Understanding psychological motivations behind crime
-Evaluate crime scenes, evidence and witnesses. Investigates all materials of criminal investigation.

5. Certification:

A. The Lowest level of education needed for entry to this occupation in Australia is a degree in psychological science.

B. The most desirable level is a Bachelor degree in Psychological Science (with honours) however, other legal courses undergone would be beneficial.

C. In order to become recognised and accredited as a practising psychologist licensing recognised from the APA (Australian Psychological Association) is sufficient.

6. Qualifications:

A. Which area of study would be most suitable training for this kind of occupation? knowledge and understanding of both clinical psychology and law studies would be highly valuable for this occupation.

B. What are the specific skills most useful for this occupation? Theory and practical skills in both psychological and legal fields. As well as comprehensive research skills.

C. Describe any physical or personality attributes which would most suit a person to this occupation. Although there is no emphasis on physical characteristics; having a patient, law abiding and goal orientated personality would suit this occupation.

7. Advancement

A. Expected positions? Positions such as clinical ,rehabilitation, policing, judicial, scientific, social and government fields

B. Turnover rate for employees? It is hard to collate as most are employed privately.

C. List at least three types of employment organisations:
- The Australian Psychological Society (other government funded organisations) -...
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