Forensic psychology is the intersection between psychology and the justice system. Forensic psychologist should be able to testify in court room proceedings by using relevant legal terms understood by attorneys, legal professionals, and judges. Forensic psychology is completely different from forensic science; the two should not be confused. Some examples of when forensic psychology is used in the criminal justice system are treating mentally ill offenders, consulting with attorneys, jury selection, serving as an expert witness at a trial, analyzing a criminal’s mind and intent, and criminal profiling. Some forensic psychologists choose to focus on research of eyewitness testimony in order to improve interrogation methods. There are also forensic psychologists that focus on public policy such as designing correctional facilities and prisons.
Some key historical figures of forensic psychologists are Wilhelm Wundt, Alfred Binet, Hugo Munsterberg, William Marston, James Mckeen Cattell, Albert Von Schrenck-Notzig, and William Stern. Wilhelm Wundt give us the most tangible landmark in the history of forensic psychology having developed the first psychological laboratory in 1873 in Leipzig Germany leading the way for all fields and subfields of psychology to develop. Alfred Binet co-founded the first psychological laboratory in France in 1889 due to his interest in how psychology could be applied to the legal system. Binet working alongside Theodore Simon developed the first psychometric test of intelligence. Hugo Munsterburg studied under Wundt in Leizpig before setting up an experimental laboratory at Harvard in 1892. He is considered the first forensic psychologist. Munsterburg published a book titled “On the witness stand” which discusses how intense interrogation techniques can lead to false confessions. Munsterburg’s book is supported by his work conducting research into witness memory, false confessions, and the role of hypnosis in court. William Marston...
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