Forensic Psychology

Topics: Psychology, Jury, Prison Pages: 3 (871 words) Published: August 22, 2013
Kaplan University

Forensic psychology is typically the intersection of psychology and the law, but forensic psychologists can perform many roles so this definition can vary. The field of psychology is booming due to movies and television shows that depict protagonists using psychology to solve the most heinous crimes and are able to predict the criminals’ next move. These dramatizations glorify this career and in reality, these forensic psychologists practice the science of psychology within the realm of criminal justice and civil courts. Unlike clinical psychologists who are concerned with the assessment, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mental disorders, the forensic psychologist will be employed for a specific job function and will be of a short duration (Cherry, N.D.). Majority of the individuals who come in contact with these professionals are court ordered to do so and this makes the job of the forensic psychologist quite tough because of the participants’ unwillingness to co-operate.

During criminal trials forensic psychologist will assist law enforcement professionals in many aspects including the trial phase to remove human error from juries, witnesses, lawyers and judges. The court system is filled with witnesses who have their personal biases which could be detrimental to a criminal case. It is also known that witness testimony is highly unreliable and the American Psychological Association convinced the courts to allow the defendant to challenge the witnesses of their reliability (Wachtel, 2003). Interesting enough, the forensic psychologist is not permitted to give their opinion of the reliability of the witness; that decision is left up to the jury. As we know the prosecution and the defense team, through jury selection will decide on the jury and both sides may employ the forensic psychologist as a consultant to help determine the best jurors for the case. The forensic psychologist will provide specific questions for both legal teams...
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