This is a fully-revised and updated version of the top academic work in forensic psychology. Focussed mainly on the practical aspects of forensics, this volume provides all readers need to know to be effective practioners. Detailed sections cover both civil and criminal forensic practice; forensic report writing; treating mental illness in the incarcerated; andethicsal issues. Contributors are the best-known and most respected practitioners in the field from the US and Canada. All chapters are completely revised from the previous edition, including 6 which have new authors. Forensic psychology is one of the fastest-growing specialties in the field. Its practitioners are able to avoid managed care and structured settings, and they often focus on assessment, rather than long-term treatment of clients. With the growing public interest in all things forensic, most graduate programs in psychology have added at least one course in forensic psychology over the past few years; and more established professionals are entering the field every day.
The book contains black-and-white illustrations.
Authored by leading scholars and practitioners, this completely revised edition of the leading text and reference work covers all aspects of this rapidly expanding field.
Forensic psychology is the nexus of law and psychology. During the eleven years since the first edition of this book was published, the field of forensic psychology has grown substantially. This timely second edition accurately reflects the growth and development in the field. The purpose is to provide a reference for students and scholars. This update is needed, and as the field has grown since the first edition was published, this second edition is very timely. With chapters written by authorities in the field, this is an authoritative reference for scholars, practitioners of law and psychology, as well as upper-level graduate students. Sections of the book are devoted to topics such as historical analysis of forensic psychology, the application of forensic psychology in criminal and civil proceedings, intervention with offenders, and training, ethical, and professional issues in forensic psychology. The contributors logically and coherently present the complex topics that are the foundation of forensic psychology. They use case examples judiciously to highlight the application of psychology in a legal context. Relevant case law, clinical research, and assessment techniques are thoroughly cited and explained. Given the book's thoroughness, it is puzzling that the editors failed to devote chapters to the application of forensic psychology in the juvenile justice system. This is a thorough and practical book. This second edition is much needed for the field of forensic psychology.
From The Critics
Reviewer: Antoinette E. Kavanaugh, PhD (Northwestern University School of Law) Description: Forensic psychology is the nexus of law and psychology. During the eleven years since the first edition of this book was published, the field of forensic psychology has grown substantially. This timely second edition accurately reflects the growth and development in the field. Purpose: The purpose is to provide a reference for students and scholars. This update is needed, and as the field has grown since the first edition was published, this second edition is very timely. Audience: With chapters written by authorities in the field, this is an authoritative reference for scholars, practitioners of law and psychology, as well as upper-level graduate students. Features: Sections of the book are devoted to topics such as historical analysis of forensic psychology, the application of forensic psychology in criminal and civil proceedings, intervention with offenders, and training, ethical, and professional issues in forensic psychology. The contributors logically and coherently present the complex topics that are the foundation of forensic psychology. They use case examples judiciously to highlight the application of psychology in a legal context. Relevant case law, clinical research, and assessment techniques are thoroughly cited and explained. Given the book's thoroughness, it is puzzling that the editors failed to devote chapters to the application of forensic psychology in the juvenile justice system. Assessment: This is a thorough and practical book. This second edition is much needed for the field of forensic psychology.
4 Stars! from Doody
Irving Weiner (Tampa, FL) is the chairmain of the psychology department at the University of South Florida. He is the author of numerous books, and is the editor of the award-winning 12 volume Handbook of Psychology. Dr. Weiner is the chairman of the Wiley Behavioral Sciences Advisory Board.
Allen K. Hess (Montgomery, AL) is a professor of psychology at Auburn University. He is the author, among other books, of the classic text Psychotherapy Supervision: Theory, Practice and Research.
In his presidential address to the American Psychological Association (APA) in 1898, Hugo Munsterberg remarked "Peoples [sic] never learn from history" (Munsterberg, 1899/1994, p. 234). In similar fashion, in the introductory paragraph to this chapter in the first edition of this Handbook, we asserted that psychologists do not care about the history of their profession. Instead, we said, they are drawn to contemporary issues and theories, even fads. In the second edition, we acknowledged that our initial statement had been somewhat rash. Indeed, we reassert now that psychologists do indeed care, as is apparent from numerous articles published in professional journals reviewing historical trends, as well as the continuing publication of a journal exclusively devoted to the history of psychology. Nevertheless, many psychologists today doubtlessly would still share the sentiments of Stanley Brodsky, who candidly began an article with the comment, "I am a dreadful historian" (1996, p. 5). Brodsky proceeded to demonstrate, however, through his insights into earlier events, that he was not a dreadful historian at all.
Psychology, like other disciplines, needs historical insights. It needs to understand whence it came in order to assess where it is going. A perusal of journals and books published at the turn of the twentieth century, for example, may spark interest in a concept long forgotten or a predecessor whose theories and research deserve to be revisited. On the other hand, delving into early works reminds us of false starts and the occasional damage they did, such as the work of Henry H. Goddard on feeblemindedness during the early 1900s and the self-promotion of Munsterberg, who is sometimes called the father of applied psychology.
In these early years of the twenty-first century, forensic psychology holds claim as the newest branch of applied psychology, having been recognized by the APA as a specialization in 2001. In this chapter, though, forensic psychology is being viewed broadly. It is both (1) the research endeavor that examines aspects of human behavior directly related to the legal process (e.g., eyewitness memory and testimony, jury decision making, and criminal behavior) and (2) the professional practice of psychology within or in consultation with a legal system that encompasses both criminal and civil law and the numerous areas where they intersect. Therefore, forensic psychology refers broadly to the production of psychological knowledge and its application to the civil and criminal justice systems. It includes activities as varied as the following: courtroom testimony, child custody evaluations, law enforcement candidate screening, treatment of offenders in correctional facilities, assessment of plaintiffs in disability claims, research and theory building in the area of criminal behavior, and the design and implementation of intervention and prevention programs for youthful offenders. It should be noted that Hess also defines forensic psychology broadly in the following chapter, as he did in the two earlier editions of the Handbook (Hess, 1987, 1999).
Others have adopted a more narrow view. According to Ronald Roesch, for example (cited in Brigham, 1999, p. 279), "Most psychologists define the area more narrowly to refer to clinical psychologists who are engaged in clinical practice within the legal system." In addition, in recognizing forensic psychology as a specialty in 2001, the APA itself adopted the narrow approach, to include "the primarily clinical aspects of forensic assessment, treatment, and consultation" (Otto & Heilbrun, 2002, p. 8). Although we appreciate the rationale behind this more limited definition, we continue to see the merits of a more inclusive approach. Consequently, this history chapter embraces areas of forensic psychology that may not be considered relevant by those who share the more narrow view.
It should be noted, also, that the term "legal psychology" is sometimes used interchangeably with this narrower view of forensic psychology. However, it is also sometimes used in a slightly more expanded sense, to include not only clinical practice but also theory and research relating to the law. Our own conception of legal psychology is closer to this second view. It is a subset of forensic psychology, referring to psychological theory, research, and practice that is directly pertinent to the law and legal issues. Thus, legal psychology focuses on psycholegal research and contacts with judges and lawyers in a wide range of contexts.
In the pages to follow, after an introductory section covering seminal contributions, we review developments in four major areas of forensic psychology. They are legal psychology (with subheadings for expert testimony and assessment), correctional psychology, police psychology, and criminal psychology. Readers will undoubtedly recognize that there is considerable overlap in these categories and in the subheadings. Correctional psychology, for example, presupposes some understanding of criminal psychology. Assessment, both cognitive and personality, is an essential tool of the trade for psychologists, and it underlies each area of practice. Nonetheless, for purposes of identifying historical trends and landmarks, discussion of these four major areas is warranted.
We focus, of course, on forensic psychology distinguished from forensic psychiatry, which has its own well-documented, rich history. In addition, we focus on the work of forensic psychologists in North America, although we give due recognition to the work of European psychologists, who dominated the field prior to World War I. We review the achievements of psychologists from the end of the nineteenth century and extend our discussion into the 1970s, when forensic psychology came of age (Loh, 1981). The reader interested in more detail about the issues and individuals discussed might check landmark summaries of psychology and law published by Whipple (1909-1915, 1917), Hutchins and Slesinger (1929), Louisell (1955, 1957), Tapp (1976), Loh (1981), and Monahan and Loftus (1982). Developments after the 1970s will be addressed in the works of other contributors to this Handbook.
Do chestnut or oak trees lose their leaves earlier in autumn? Do horses in the field stand with head or tail to the wind? In which direction do the seeds of an apple point? What was the weather one week ago today?
When J. McKeen Cattell posed these questions to 56 college students at Columbia University in March 1893, he was probably conducting one of the first studies, albeit an informal one, on the psychology of testimony. The questions he asked his students were similar to those that "might naturally be asked in a court of justice" (Cattell, 1895, p. 761). His subjects were allowed 30 seconds to consider their answers, then told to write their responses. They were also asked to indicate their degree of confidence in each answer.
When Cattell conducted his informal study, it was reasonably well established that courtroom eyewitness testimony was unreliable and incomplete. Both French and German psychologists were familiar with the powerful influence of suggestion over sensation and perception, having conducted substantial research in these areas. The specific conditions under which testimony was inaccurate were not known, however. Furthermore, as Cattell noted, "An unscrupulous attorney can discredit the statements of a truthful witness by cunningly selected questions. The jury, or at least the judge, should know how far errors in recollection are normal and how they vary under different conditions" (p. 761). But Cattell himself was surprised at both the degree of inaccuracy he uncovered and the wide range of individual differences in the levels of confidence expressed by the students. Answers to the weather question, for example, were "equally distributed over all kinds of weather which are possible at the beginning of March" (p. 761). Some students were nearly always sure they were correct, even when they were not, while others were consistently uncertain and hesitant in their answers, even when they were correct.
Cattell's study probably was the genesis of modern forensic psychology, because it sparked the interest of other researchers in the psychology of testimony. Joseph Jastrow immediately replicated Cattell's "experiment" at the University of Wisconsin and obtained similar results (Bolton, 1896). Aside from this brief flirtation, however, American psychologists did not immediately embrace the study of legal issues.
Psychologists in Europe seemed more intrigued. First, Alfred Binet (1900) replicated Cattell's project in France. In addition, he summarized relevant experiments on the psychology of testimony that were being conducted in Europe and called for a "science psycho-judiciaire" (Binet, 1905; Binet & Clarparede, 1906). Most significant for the historical development of forensic psychology, however, was the apparent fascination Cattell's experiment and Binet's work held for (Louis) William Stern, who had received his PhD in psychology at the University of Berlin under the tutelage of H. Ebbinghaus. In 1901, Stern collaborated with the criminologist F. V. Liszt in an attempt to lend realism to the Cattell design. Stern and Liszt conducted a "reality experiment" in a law class, staging a bogus quarrel between two students over a scientific controversy. The argument accelerated until one student drew a revolver (Stern, 1939). At this point, the professor intervened and asked for written and oral reports from the class about aspects of the dispute. Although the witnesses were law students who, Stern asserted, should have known the pitfalls of testifying, none could give a faultless report. The number of errors per individual ranged from 4 to 12. Moreover, the researchers found that inaccuracies increased with respect to the second half of the scenario, when excitement and tension were at their peak. They concluded-tentatively-that "emotions reduce accuracy of recall."
Stern became an active researcher in the psychology of testimony over the next few years (1906, 1910). He also helped establish the first journal on the psychology of testimony, Betrage zur Psychologie der Aussage (Contributions to the Psychology of Testimony), which he edited and which was published at Leipzig. The journal was superseded in 1908 by the much broader Zeitschrift fur Angewande Psychologie (Journal of Applied Psychology), the first of its kind. In his Aussage research Stern concluded, among other things, that "subjective sincerity" does not guarantee "objective truthfulness"; that leading and suggestive questions contaminate the accuracy of eyewitness accounts of critical events; that there are important differences between adult and child witnesses; that lineups are of limited value when the members are not matched for age and physical appearance; and that interceding events between an initial event and its recall can have drastic effects on memory. It can be concluded, therefore, that modern forensic psychology began as legal psychology with empirical research on the psychology of testimony.
As a parallel phenomenon, European, particularly German, psychologists at the turn of the century were beginning to be used as "expert witnesses" in criminal cases, often applying the knowledge gained from the newly established psychological laboratory. They offered both factual testimony, such as reporting the results of an experiment, and opinion testimony. Perhaps the earliest such testimony, an example of opinion testimony, occurred in 1896, when Albert von Schrenck-Notzing testified at the trial of a Munich man accused of murdering three women (Hale, 1980). The murders had received extensive and sensational press coverage in the months prior to the trial, and Schrenck-Notzing (1897) opined that this pretrial publicity, through a process of suggestion, probably led numerous witnesses to "retroactive memory-falsification." Witnesses could not distinguish between what they had seen and what the press reported had happened. He supported his opinion with factual testimony in the form of accounts of laboratory research on memory and suggestibility. Although the accused was convicted on the basis of solid evidence, Schrenck-Notzing's direct application of the psychology of suggestion to court processes helped stimulate the interest of both German jurists and psychologists (Hale, 1980).
European psychologists at the turn of the twentieth century and until World War I also were delving into the area of guilt deception, the precursor of the liedetection of today. In 1904, psychologists in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland were busy developing a lie detection test for use in criminal investigations. The test was a word association/reaction time task where key words were embedded in a list of innocuous words. Presumably, the slower the reaction time in recognizing the key words, the more likely the respondent was lying. Barland (1988), who has reviewed this history in impressive detail, notes that this approach did not catch on because it was inefficient, time-consuming, and often yielded inconclusive results.
With the exception of this work on guilt deception, early forensic psychology first made its mark in the courtroom, where psychologists in Europe both consulted with judges and lawyers and offered testimony. American psychologists, though, did not become firmly established in this arena until well into the twentieth century. However, in both Europe and the United States, psychologists became involved in conducting research that was relevant to the legal process, although most did not promote it as such.
At the turn of the century, psychologists remained comparatively uninterested in applying research on topics related to law. First, they were just beginning to explore the broad psychological landscape and had little inclination to specialize in law-related matters. This reticence was probably also due to the influence of Wilhelm Wundt, who had trained many of the American pioneers in his Leipzig laboratory (Cattell being the first). Wundt, a philosopher and an experimentalist, was wary of applying psychology until sufficient research had been conducted. He believed that the premature use of partial information could be disastrous. His students often took this caveat quite seriously, although some, like Cattell, eventually began to link the laboratory to the world outside.
One of Wundt's not-so-cautious students was the German psychologist Hugo Munsterberg, who arrived in the United States in 1892 at the invitation of William James to direct the psychology laboratory at Harvard University. Munsterberg spent 24 years trying to persuade the public that psychology had something to offer virtually every area of human endeavor. Now acknowledged by many as the father of applied psychology, he believed psychological knowledge could be applied to education, industry, advertising, music, art, and, of course, law. His claims were often exaggerated, however, and his proposals were rarely empirically based. He usually published in popular magazines rather than scholarly journals (some of his colleagues called his a "Sunday-supplement psychology"). He also incessantly promoted himself and his native Germany, a practice that alienated him increasingly from his colleagues and the public as World War I approached. In fact, this ardent pro-German stance may have had as much to do with the public's antipathy toward him as his abrasive personality.
Not surprisingly, the legal community vehemently resisted his intrusion into its territory (Hale, 1980). Even before the eve of World War I, the great legal commentator Wigmore (1909) found it necessary to assail Munsterberg in a satirical and devastating law review article. Wigmore's attack was prompted by the publication of Munsterberg's (1908) controversial best-seller On the Witness Stand, in which he proclaimed that the time was ripe to apply psychology to the practical needs of the legal system. The book dealt with a wide spectrum of topics, ranging from witness accuracy and jury persuasion to hypnosis and lie detection.
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