Forensic Psychology

 

There are many different fields of psychology that a certified psychologist can choose to work in.

And there are also many different forensics careers available to people that range from from forensic scientists to computer and digital forensic analysts

But if you’re interested in a career in psychology that also has a link with the legal and criminal systems than working in forensic psychology might be exactly the right career for you.

So what is forensic psychology?

Forensic Psychology Definition

Forensic psychology is simply the application of psychology within the legal or criminal justice system.

Forensic Psychology Job Responsibilities

The full scope of forensic psychology is quite large and varied, but listed below are the major responsibilities that a forensic psychologist can be called on to fulfill.

Psychological Assessments

Making psychological assessments makes up a large part of forensic psychology.

The one example that comes to mind for many people immediately is a situation whee an insanity plea has been entered by a defendant.

In this situation it is the job of the forensic psychologist to make a recommendation to the court as to whether or not they think the defendant was in full control of their mental faculties when they committed the crime, usually homicide.

Forensic psychology will also be used to determine whether a person is fit to stand trial. If a person is evaluated and it is found that they’re not in any state to fully understand the charges being brought against them and participate in their own defense during the process of a criminal trial, then that trial can be postponed based largely on this assessment by a forensic psychologist.

Another type of assessment that will be made by a forensic psychologist has to do with the ability of a person to provide suitable parenting of their child.

Jury Selection

One of the key training areas of any psychologist has to do with getting a good understanding of human behavior and motivation.

And this knowledge becomes a powerful tool in forensic psychology when it is used in the jury selection process.

In many criminal cases where the stakes are high, and the death penalty is a possibility, the selection of the jury is an extremely important process.

Both sides of the case will doing all they can to try and get a jury that they think might be sympathetic to their own argument.

So being able to identify those people that could possibly be good or bad for your case when it comes time to decide on a verdict, is a very valuable skill.

And while assisting in jury selection isn’t necessarily a large part of forensic psychology, it can definitely be a crucial role.

Forensic Psychology Careers

If you think that a career in forensic psychology might be something you’d be interested in than you’ve got some study and training ahead of you.

You will most likely need both an undergraduate and a post graduate degree, as well as some time to build up some experience in the field.

But forensic psychology careers can definitely provide you with a rewarding and varied career path…and the money isn’t too bad either.

 

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