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The Psychologist as Expert Witness / Edition 2

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Overview

The leading resource on forensic practice

The Psychologist as Expert Witness, Second Edition introduces practitioners to the law and the role of psychologists in the courtroom, covering all facets of forensic practice-one of the most rapidly growing areas of professional specialization. This comprehensive primer prepares the psychologist to function credibly as an expert witness, identifying the current and emerging areas of application of psychology to the law.

Revealing psychology's enormous potential to promote human welfare through the American system of jurisprudence, former American Psychological Association president Theodore Blau:
* Outlines the ways psychology has come into contact with the court via the areas of neuropsychology, clinical psychology, psychotherapy, mental disability, psychological profiles, various marital and family issues, and others
* Offers a wide range of situations in which psychologists have appeared as expert witnesses
* Includes step-by-step instructions on examining competency to stand trial and making custody recommendations
* Examines cases where psychologists have done well-and not so well-in court
* Discusses malingering, deceit, and exaggeration
* Presents guidelines for testifying in marital, civil, and criminal disputes
* Emphasizes standards for practice and practical training in providing testimony to the courts

The book contains black-and-white illustrations.

A revised and updated edition of the leading resource on forensic psychology, this comprehensive primer introduces psychologists to the legal world, covering all facets of legal practice.

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Editorial Reviews

Gene Griffin
In the fifteen years since the first edition, the field of forensic psychology has exploded. Here the editor discusses the role of the psychologist within the court systems. The editor's purpose is to define psychologists' potential as expert witnesses with a primary emphasis on standards for practice. He also offers practical suggestions for providing expert testimony. He succeeds in emphasizing the latest standards for practice but sometimes falls short in presenting a position regarding practical testimony. This book is written for psychologists who are adept in their field and are learning about the court systems. Some of the discussion would also be relevant for social workers and psychiatrists. After a general introduction to the legal system, the book focuses on specific issues where psychologists serve as experts to the court. The editor does a wonderful job of presenting an overall framework for expert testimony. He presents a comprehensive set of appendixes that include guidelines and statistical comparisons. Shortcomings concern a tendency to overstate advice for psychologists regarding court testimony. For example, statements such as ""the reliability and validity of psychiatric opinion in the competency issue are in doubt,"" while praising the value of psychologists' opinions may not be a fair comparison. Also reference to the ""absolute legal rights of criminal defendants and criminal findings of innocence"" is inaccurate (no rights are absolute and a court may find that the state did not prove a defendant guilty but it will not declare a defendant innocent). This is a good book about the issues involved in forensic psychology. It is timely and has an excellentcompilation of rules and guidelines regarding testimony. Other books on forensic psychology issues, such as those titles written by Melton or Grisso may be more useful regarding the specifics of court evaluations, but this book does a good job of presenting an overall framework of the issues.
From The Critics
Reviewer: Gene Griffin, PhD, JD (Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine)
Description: In the fifteen years since the first edition, the field of forensic psychology has exploded. Here the editor discusses the role of the psychologist within the court systems.
Purpose: The editor's purpose is to define psychologists' potential as expert witnesses with a primary emphasis on standards for practice. He also offers practical suggestions for providing expert testimony. He succeeds in emphasizing the latest standards for practice but sometimes falls short in presenting a position regarding practical testimony.
Audience: This book is written for psychologists who are adept in their field and are learning about the court systems. Some of the discussion would also be relevant for social workers and psychiatrists.
Features: After a general introduction to the legal system, the book focuses on specific issues where psychologists serve as experts to the court. The editor does a wonderful job of presenting an overall framework for expert testimony. He presents a comprehensive set of appendixes that include guidelines and statistical comparisons. Shortcomings concern a tendency to overstate advice for psychologists regarding court testimony. For example, statements such as "the reliability and validity of psychiatric opinion in the competency issue are in doubt," while praising the value of psychologists' opinions may not be a fair comparison. Also reference to the "absolute legal rights of criminal defendants and criminal findings of innocence" is inaccurate (no rights are absolute and a court may find that the state did not prove a defendant guilty but it will not declare a defendant innocent).
Assessment: This is a good book about the issues involved in forensic psychology. It is timely and has an excellent compilation of rules and guidelines regarding testimony. Other books on forensic psychology issues, such as those titles written by Melton or Grisso may be more useful regarding the specifics of court evaluations, but this book does a good job of presenting an overall framework of the issues.

3 Stars from Doody
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780471113669
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 11/2/2001
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 608
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.70 (d)

Meet the Author

DR. THEODORE H. BLAU is a former president of the American Psychological Association. A consultant and expert witness on countless cases, he has trained psychologists for over twenty years in his methods and techniques.

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Table of Contents

Coming of Age.

Present and Future Roles of the Psychologist.

The American Court System.

Preparing to Serve as an Expert Witness.

Admissibility.

Psychological Tests in the Courtroom.

Competency to Stand Trial, to Testify, and To Make Decisions.

The Insanity Defense.

Addiction and the Law.

Domestic Issues: Marriage, Dissolution, and Custody.

The Expert Witness and Personal Injury Litigation.

Malingering, Deceit, and Exaggeration.

Your Day in Court.

Emerging Applications and Issues.

Ethics, Constraints, Concerns, and Standards.

Appendix A: Landmark Cases.

Appendix B: Current Training in Psychology and the Law.

Appendix C: Expert Witness Admissibility—Federal Rules of Evidence, 1993.

Appendix D: Custody Evaluation Guidelines Recommended by the APA.

Appendix E: Tables and Formulae for Comparing Military Test Performance with Current Test Results.

Appendix F: Forensic Psychology Specialty Guidelines.

Appendix G: Comparison of Neuropsychological Test Performance in Forensic and Non-Forensic Populations.

Appendix H: Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct.

Forensic Glossary.

References.

Author Index.

Subject Index.

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