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Introduction to Psychology

<<< Previous FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGY:Origin and History of Forensic Psychology
Introduction to Psychology ­PSY101
Lesson 45
Applying psychological rules in the judicial system.
Area of psychology that applies psychological principles and methods to various areas of the
legal system.
It is also defined as the area where clinical methods and techniques are used in the legal
It is one of the fastest flourishing areas of psychology.
Bartol & Bartol (2004:8) define forensic psychology as:
"The research endeavor that examines aspects of human behavior directly related to the legal process and
the professional practice of psychology within, or in consultation with, a legal system that embraces both
civil and criminal law."
Psychologists' job is both clinical and forensic in nature in the sense that they provide clinical services to the
traumatized patients, and also submit the assessment report to the court about the extent and the nature of
psychological damage that has occurred.
Forensic psychology is dealt with under the Division 41 American Psychology- Law Society of APA.
The role of the psychologist in the legal system
Assessment of the accused.
Psychological intervention for those under trial.
Rehabilitation of the convicted.
Research in criminal psychology: causes and contributing variables.
Forensic Psychology's Contributions in Various Judicial Areas
Forensic psychology is mainly concerned with:
i. Divorce and child custody.
ii. Determining the criminal responsibility or insanity and the competence of an accused to stand trial.
iii. Selection of the jury.
iv. Recording case proceedings for assessment.
v. Providing expert point of view and opinion while assessing questions, which are psychological in nature.
v. Assessing and evaluating the response receptiveness.
vi. Usage of psychological principles and tests.
vii. Recruitment of police officers, fire fighters, security and military personnel.
viii. Explaining the causes and effects of psychological disorders and illness.
ix. Providing consultation to develop and maintain workplace safety and for violence debriefing procedures.
x. Developing and applying treatment programs to offenders and people at risk.
xi. Conducting researches on increasing, improving, and modifying the treatment and rehabilitation
xii.Developing profiles of different types of offenders.
xiii. Teaching, training, and providing professional help on various issues of forensic psychology.
What is the role of forensic psychologist?
A forensic psychologist does a number of things:
Basic and applied research: mainly on the legal matters and/ or related issues. In this, a forensic
psychologist studies: the legal practice and the legal matters, attitudes and behavior of criminals,
police officers, eyewitness testimony, jury behavior, memory, perception, recall etc.
Training/ education to the people in the legal system such as police officers, judges, lawyers
(rarely) correctional staff etc
Introduction to Psychology ­PSY101
Clinical applications (these are the activities that are most well-known).
Judging and evaluating various behaviors: insanity, various competencies, civil commitment,
custody, claims of psychological injury, and psychological fitness for law enforcement work.
Providing counseling and treatment: to offenders, inmates, police officers and their families,
and the victims.
Providing consultation to law enforcement agencies: for crisis intervention, hostage
negotiation, critical incident debriefing, autopsy, psychological profiling
Providing expertise to courts such as expert testimony, amices curiae briefs, alternative dispute
Helping the lawyers: Giving suggestions about how to evaluate the clients, preparation of
witnesses, jury selection.
Origin and History of Forensic Psychology
Forensic comes from the Latin word "forum".
Forums were the public places or gatherings in the Roman city- states where the debates took
places on the judicial processes.
Its history dates back to at least the turn of the 20th century.
Hugo Munsterberg is regarded as the first forensic psychologist.
Alfred Binet and Sigmund Freud were the ones who developed psychological tests that could be used in
judicial proceedings and suggested that the time taken by the person to answer questions could be an
important factor in estimating whether the person is the real culprit or not.
In 1916, Lewis Terman began to apply psychological tests for law enforcement and used intelligence tests in
assessing intelligence of 30 applicants for the jobs of police and fire fighters.
Psychology's applications in law and law enforcement continues since the 1920's. Today there are almost
2000 psychologists who belong to the American Psychology- Law Society.
Different psychologists take this field with different perspectives. i.e. some defines it as the intersection of
psychology and legal system, whereas others take it as the clinical practice of psychology in legal
The American Board of Forensic Psychology and the American Psychology-Law Society (1995) define
forensic psychology as:
"The professional practice by psychologists within the areas of clinical psychology, counseling
psychology, neuropsychology, and school psychology, when they are engaged regularly as experts
and represent themselves as such, in an activity primarily intended to provide professional
psychological expertise to the judicial system."
They also emphasize on:
Advice to attorneys,
Advisory opinions, and
Depositions and testimony that helps in the resolution of disputes relating to life or property. Also,
forensic psychologists assist other lawful tribunals, and deal with the issues that reach the court, as
well as the situations arising after the court decision.
Important Terminology in Forensic Psychology
The commonly used terminology in forensic psychology is:
Expert witness.
Criminal profiling.
Introduction to Psychology ­PSY101
Jury consulting/consultation.
Important Sub- Fields of Forensic Psychology
Clinical- forensic psychology.
Developmental psychology.
Social psychology.
Cognitive psychology.
Criminal investigative psychology.
Ethics Essential to Be Followed by the Forensic Psychologist
The following rules are essential to be followed by forensic psychologists. They are;
Use of scientific, approved and standardized methods,
Communication harmony.
Requirements of Becoming a Good Forensic Psychologist
Those who wish to become a forensic psychologist need to have special skills like:
Feeling comfortable while working with other people,
Research- oriented mind.
Psychology of Women
Division 35 of APA Society for the Psychology of women.
The main focus is on psychological, biological. social, and lifespan development differences and similarities
of the genders with emphasis on the major life events of women.
The following areas are of special interest to a psychologist involved in women/gender research:
·Female physiology and reproductive health.
·Female cognitive skills
·Early socialization into sex roles.
·Stereotyping women in media.
·Cultural determinants of sex differences
·Work issues; power relationships between men and women, psychosocial factors in
·Women empowerment
·Physical and mental health issues.
·Discrimination and violence prevention.
·Gender equality and equity
Table of Contents:
  1. WHAT IS PSYCHOLOGY?:Theoretical perspectives of psychology
  3. SCHOOLS OF THOUGHT:Biological Approach, Psychodynamic Approach
  4. PERSPECTIVE/MODEL/APPROACH:Narcosis, Chemotherapy
  5. THE PSYCHODYNAMIC APPROACH/ MODEL:Psychic Determinism, Preconscious
  6. BEHAVIORAL APPROACH:Behaviorist Analysis, Basic Terminology, Basic Terminology
  8. RESEARCH METHODS IN PSYCHOLOGY (I):Scientific Nature of Psychology
  9. RESEARCH METHODS IN PSYCHOLOGY (II):Experimental Research
  11. COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT:Socio- Cultural Factor, The Individual and the Group
  12. NERVOUS SYSTEM (1):Biological Bases of Behavior, Terminal Buttons
  13. NERVOUS SYSTEM (2):Membranes of the Brain, Association Areas, Spinal Cord
  14. ENDOCRINE SYSTEM:Pineal Gland, Pituitary Gland, Dwarfism
  15. SENSATION:The Human Eye, Cornea, Sclera, Pupil, Iris, Lens
  16. HEARING (AUDITION) AND BALANCE:The Outer Ear, Auditory Canal
  17. PERCEPTION I:Max Wertheimer, Figure and Ground, Law of Closure
  18. PERCEPTION II:Depth Perception, Relative Height, Linear Perspective
  19. ALTERED STATES OF CONSCIOUSNESS:Electroencephalogram, Hypnosis
  20. LEARNING:Motor Learning, Problem Solving, Basic Terminology, Conditioning
  21. OPERANT CONDITIONING:Negative Rein forcer, Punishment, No reinforcement
  22. COGNITIVE APPROACH:Approach to Learning, Observational Learning
  23. MEMORY I:Functions of Memory, Encoding and Recoding, Retrieval
  24. MEMORY II:Long-Term Memory, Declarative Memory, Procedural Memory
  25. MEMORY III:Memory Disorders/Dysfunctions, Amnesia, Dementia
  26. SECONDARY/ LEARNT/ PSYCHOLOGICAL MOTIVES:Curiosity, Need for affiliation
  27. EMOTIONS I:Defining Emotions, Behavioral component, Cognitive component
  28. EMOTIONS II:Respiratory Changes, Pupillometrics, Glandular Responses
  29. COGNITION AND THINKING:Cognitive Psychology, Mental Images, Concepts
  31. PERSONALITY I:Definition of Personality, Theories of Personality
  32. PERSONALITY II:Surface traits, Source Traits, For learning theorists, Albert Bandura
  33. PERSONALITY III:Assessment of Personality, Interview, Behavioral Assessment
  34. INTELLIGENCE:The History of Measurement of Intelligence, Later Revisions
  35. PSYCHOPATHOLOGY:Plato, Aristotle, Asclepiades, In The Middle Ages
  36. ABNORMAL BEHAVIOR I:Medical Perspective, Psychodynamic Perspective
  37. ABNORMAL BEHAVIOR II:Hypochondriasis, Conversion Disorders, Causes include
  38. PSYCHOTHERAPY I:Psychotherapeutic Orientations, Clinical Psychologists
  39. PSYCHOTHERAPY II:Behavior Modification, Shaping, Humanistic Therapies
  40. POPULAR AREAS OF PSYCHOLOGY:ABC MODEL, Factors affecting attitude change
  41. HEALTH PSYCHOLOGY:Understanding Health, Observational Learning
  42. INDUSTRIAL/ORGANIZATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY:‘Hard’ Criteria and ‘Soft’ Criteria
  43. CONSUMER PSYCHOLOGY:Focus of Interest, Consumer Psychologist
  44. SPORT PSYCHOLOGY:Some Research Findings, Arousal level
  45. FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGY:Origin and History of Forensic Psychology