Forensic Psychiatry

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A forensic psychologist views a client or defendant differently than a traditional clinical psychologist. Seeing a situation from a client’s point of view or empathizing with a patient is not something a forensic psychologist will do. Traditional psychological tests and interview procedures are usually not applicable when dealing with a forensic situation. In forensic evaluations it is important to assess the consistency of factual information.
Forensic psychology is the application of psychology to the criminal justice system. This is however, different from forensic science. While a forensic psychology deals with legal issues, such as public policies, new laws, competency, and whether a person is sane at the time of a crime, they focus on the psychological perspectives involved in the legal system. 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, analyzing a criminal’s mind and intent, and criminal profiling. There are some forensic psychologists that choose to focus on research, which could range from the examination of eyewitness testimony, to improving interrogation methods. There are also forensic psychologists that focus on public policy, such as designing correctional facilities and prisons.
In 1901 a man named William Stern studied memory by asking students to study a picture for forty-five seconds, and then recall what happened in the picture. This is when eyewitness testimonies began to lose credibility, because often times the participants were incorrect in explaining what happened in the picture, and when asked a question such as, was the man holding a knife in the picture, they would answer yes when in fact there was no knife. These were known as lead-in questions, which are often used in…...

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