Monthly Archives: 九月 2012

narrow >> broad


most narrow: only clinical practice


The Specialty Guidelines for Forensic Psychologists promulgated by the Committee
on Ethical Guidelines for Forensic Psychologists  (1991)

professional practice by psychologists within any subdiscipline of psychology (e.g., clinical, developmental, social, and experimental) 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.


American Psychology Association (2001)

clinical aspects of forensic assessment, treatment, and consultation (Otto & Heilbrun, 2002).


the American Psychology-Law Society (Division 41 of the American Psychological Association)

all professional practice by any psychologist working within any subdiscipline of psychology (e.g., clinical, developmental, social, and cognitive) when the intended purpose of the service is to apply the scientific, technical, or specialized knowledge of psychology to the law and to use that knowledge to assist in solving legal, contractual, and administrative problems (Committee on the Revision of the Specialty Guidelines for Forensic Psychologists, 2006)


broader: integration of applied and experimental psychology

An example of one such definition suggests that the term “[f]orensic psychologist refers to any psychologist, experimental or clinical, who specializes in producing or communicating psychological research or assessment information intended for application to legal issues” (Grisso, 1987, p. 831; see Bartol & Bartol, 2006).



using psychological knowledge and research not only to assist legal actors within the judicial system, but also asserts that the field has a role to play as a therapeutic agent and evolutionary force within legal contexts.

(can act as a guild and advocate for making the law more therapeutic, and in doing so help the legal system become more effective in achieving its aims. << influenced by “theralaw” = “psycho-legal” and therapeutic jurisprudence traditions (which assert that the legal system should seek to promote the health and emotional well-being of individual citizens in addition to ensuring justice and social order (e.g., Wexler & Winick, 1996).)


我其实最高理想是做broadest的那种吧。但其实要把narrow的那种做好也很不容易,而且也相当有趣。大部分心理学转型的同学都向往中间那种。只有做中间那种做到一定程度才有可能总是在做最narrow的那种 (例如corine, 从clinical转型到forensic,或者david, 从therapist 到狭窄的forensic therapist)。


from edited by Rebecca Jackson



first informal research: (arguably) could be traced back from 1890s behavioral and psychometric movements, first forensic psychological study on the reliability of courtroom eyewitness testimony.

first formal legal assessment: (arguably) 1916 with the use of testing to assess the intelligence of 30 applicants for police and firefighting position (Terman, 1917)

the earliest court decision on the subject generally rejected any role of psychologist as testifying experts, holding that only physicians were qualified to do so (Odom v. Sate, 1911).

it was not until 1962 that Judge Bazelon, then a circuit judge for the united sates Court of Appeals for the District of Coloumbia, wrote in Jenkins v. United States that psychologists who were appropriately qualified could testify in court as experts in mental disorders, and that the psychological measures they employed could be used to support their opinions.

today, police psychology and correctional psychology are both well-developed practice areas within applied clinical psychology.

ongoing debate: whether these practice areas fall within the professional ambit of forensic psychology

psychometric methods movement (1890s) >> court acceptant (1960s) >> forensic psychology moved into mainstream (late 1970s) >> being officially recognized (2001)