Forensic Psychology

Topics: Psychology, Crime, Offender profiling Pages: 3 (855 words) Published: December 3, 2013


FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGY

Forensic psychology is the use of science based on the mind and behavior relating to law and legal matters (Nordqvist, 2009 & “Forensic Psychology,” 2010). The word psychology comes from the Greek word psyche meaning “breathe, spirit, soul”, and the Greek word logia meaning the study of something. The use of psychology dates back to 44 B.C during the assassination of Julius Caesar (“History of Forensic Psychology,” n.d.). In 1879 Wilhelm Wundt, originally from Germany, founded psychology as an actually independent experimental field of study. He set up the first laboratory that carried out psychological research exclusively at Leipzig University. Wundt is known today as the father of psychology (Nordqvist, 2009). Forensic psychology involves sentencing criminals, determines guilt or innocence, eyewitness accuracy, and assists in the profiling of criminals (Nordqvist, 2009). In forensic psychology criminal profiling or also known as psychological profiling is a key factor in the criminal investigation. The main purpose of criminal profiling is to provide the police with a psychological profile of the personality of the perpetrator that could then be used to direct the investigative search. It also involves investigating an offender's behavior, motives and background in an attempt to further guide an investigation. Research shows that offender's that repeatedly rape or kill are driven by a sensitive public fear for their actions and media attention, which could eventually lead to their arrest. Analyzing the criminal's habits and customs allows investigators to trace similarities between previous crimes. When these details of their lifestyle are made public, friends, neighbors and colleagues may recognize them (Psychological Profiling, 2005.) In homicide case, for example, FBI agents gather a personality report through questions about the murderer's behavior. During this investigation four...
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