Law Psych. Where law and psychology meet.

Find out about the relationship between law and psychology and how this field is growing.

The growing field of legal psychology.

legal-psychologyNot long ago, the legal profession did not recognize psychology as an important part of the legal system. Eye witness testimonies were considered the holy grail of evidence, unlikely jury verdicts were attributed to the work of incompetent or highly persuasive attorneys, and defendants who were clinically insane were treated just like everyone else. The legal system was 100% geared towards incarcerating those who were responsible for a criminal act. Whether or not that person was mentally fit, or whether the person whose testimony would be used to convict a defendant was mentally fit, were not questions that were taken seriously in a court of law.

Now, the public as well as higher-ups have embraced psychology as a vital part of the legal system. During a recent trial proceeding, Tim J. Ryan wrongful death attorneys as well as a prosecutor utilized psychologists to help them during the jury selection process. Attorneys across the globe are starting to recognize that psychological factors can easily influence a jury's decision, and that they will need legal psychology experts to put themselves in the best position to obtain a win.

Law psychology programs are increasing all over the United States and across the globe as more professionals accept psychological analysis in the legal field. Clinical-forensic psychologists, Developmental psychologists, Social psychologists, and cognitive psychologists are all in high demand. Psychologists that are considered experts within their field who have the ability to explain their findings in an easy-to-understand and believable way are now believed to be a tremendous asset.

Psychologists are fully aware that feelings and emotional reactions have a direct influence on everything that a person does. This is especially important when dissecting the sorts of circumstances that legal advisers have a tendency to experience — controversies that are unmistakably linked to emotional investment, for example, marital separation, individual injury, break of agreement or truce breakage, segregation or criminal allegations, even such matters as the joining of a business, an estate management or maintenance, may be seen differently by a court of law based on a psychologist’s opinion. A false accusation of domestic violence could be better understood by having the situation examined by a legal psychologist, turning a guilty verdict into a not guilty one. It is imperative for lawyers to know how feelings and emotional behaviors can convolute choices that they and their clients need to make, many times when the choices are difficult to explain.

In addition, psychological analysis of a legal situation can help lawyers comprehend the means in which they can utilize emotions — their own particular emotions or their clients’ — as a wellspring of data for inspiration, as an approach to speak with others, or as a window into diverse methods for approaching an issue. The possibilities for legal professionals to use the psychological profession to bolster client cases has never been more obvious.

For example, instances of physical suffering that amount from negligence are often pursued in a courtroom by personal injury attorneys. These can be car accidents, slip and falls, or any other situation in which a person's injuries sustained could have been prevented and a person with insurance is responsible. One particular personal injury case that legal psychology has had a dramatic impact bite cases. A court of law used to believe that dog bite cases due to negligence only deserve to be compensated for their medical expenses arising from their injuries, but now it is so much more. Pain and suffering from dog attacks can result in far more compensation that the medical bills. Sometimes, small children suffer dog bites to the face and have severe scarring as a result. The psychological impact of such an event cannot be understated, and courtrooms have begun to take these damages very seriously as a result of legal psychology's growing influence.

Randy Collins of the Law Offices of Randy Collins, a speaker at legal psychology conventions, said something that every legal professional should take very seriously. “Legal psychology is one of the biggest influences of a not guilty or guilty verdict”. Think about that for a minute. Whether or not a person is found guilty or not guilty, regardless of the type of crime that they are facing charges for, is hugely influenced by the psychological disposition of the attorneys, the judges, and the jury involved in your criminal proceedings.

Ten years ago, anyone found with a large amount of Marijuana in their vehicle that couldn't pass a field sobriety test could expect a DUI on their criminal record without question. Things are no longer so black and white when it comes to driving under the influence of Marijuana and THC. Marijuana DUI attorney Randy Collins was able to convince a jury that his client’s ability to drive was not impaired, despite his client having been possibly under the influence of Marijuana and field sobriety tests implying that she was very much under the influence. Whether or not the defendant was high was not what won the case, it was whether being high affected her ability to drive. Twenty years ago, it would have been nearly impossible to convince a jury that being stoned might not affect your ability to drive.

Mental examination or psychological research has genuine significance for all the sorts of things that legal counselors do. Attorneys in this day in age should not depend entirely on the skills they obtained during law school. Psychological associations are regularly conducting useful related psychological research and working hard to help attorneys find out how to be more valuable in different territories of their practice.

Legislators across the globe are using principles of Legal Psychology, and are now using psychology to try and explain why past laws enacted have not worked to try and develop more effective legislation. Government officials have been very tough on crime, but has it worked? Many people have said yes over the years, but now that the information gathered is being studied by numerous doctors, including psychologists, very few people can argue that the current system is working. Although progress towards convincing the public that being tough on crime rarely works is probably the biggest hurdle towards making significant change, public opinion is changing. The disastrous effects of the failed drug war have resulted in countless people being sent to prison for non-violent drug offenses. Drug users are now starting to be treated as addicts who need professional assistance beating addiction. Many legal psychologists feel that this is hugely beneficial towards creating a system that works.

Psychology in the legal field is growing exponentially right now, and it is a very exciting time for anyone who is serious about joining the field. Feel free to explore our site to find out about careers, general info, or even our own thoughts on our legal psych blog. Want to join our team? Contact us today!

How To Ease Psychological Suffering From a Defective Product

A defective product is a malfunction in a product that has a defect in manufacturing or design, or is not working normally because of incorrect instructions or warnings. You can say that a product is in a defective mode if it is harmful and dangerous to the user who purchases the product. A product with a defective condition can result in a lawsuit if it directly contributes to injury or death when people use it.

If the consumer has been injured or suffers other damages due to the product being used, they may have a the right to file a product liability claim. The list of defective product case types goes on and on, typically the claims fall into three different categories of product liability: (1) defective manufacture; (2) defective design; or (3) failure to provide the proper guideline about how to use the product which resulted in a defective design.

Defective Beauty Products

There are many types of beauty and self-care products on the market these days, including shampoos, soaps, creams, make-up, lotions, toothpaste, deodorant, etc. Most products are safe to use. But unfortunately, some of these products can be harmful, causing infection, allergic reactions, skin problems and some other issues.

These products are marketed to consumers and prey on their psychological needs to be viewed as beautiful and loved. When these products backfire, they can leave permanent scars that affect a person physically and emotionally. There are injury groups that help victims to recover from these situations.

Defective Vehicles

If you are a victim of different kinds of damages because of a defective vehicle such as car, truck, ATV, SUV, motorcycle, or other defective auto part, you likely suffered life-threatening injuries. The instance you suffered was probably very traumatic.

Most individuals that sue and receive money for defective auto crashes are paralyzed and have a lot of psychological issues following their situation. Speaking about the difficulties and challenges you face can go a long way towards recovery.

Toy Defective Products

The toys that parents buy for their children should be safe to use in order to decrease the chances of being a victim, no doubt that most of the toys are already safe, but not all. There are some strict rules and regulations about the manufacturing of toys but still some manufacturers make faulty toys that cause permanent injuries to children. There can be many problems like the problem may be a design defect or functional defect. Sometimes wrong specs are given to the manufacturer — or the manufacturer may not follow the specifications.

Whether you are the parent or the child in these situations, they can be very traumatic. Parents can feel like they did not do enough to protect their child. Children can have permanent scars and nightmares for years to come.

Defective Children’s Sports Equipment

Detailed manufacturing precision and quality should be taken very seriously while manufacturing the products of children in order to ensure that children are protected.

When these devices fail to protect kids, the affects can be long lasting. It’s important to focus on the fact that your individual device was defective, and not safety equipment in general.

How your Mental State Can Affect the Way You Perform in a Field Sobriety Test

mental state

You may be asked to perform a field sobriety test if a police officer suspects that you are driving under the influence of alcohol. These tests will aid an officer in the decision of whether or not you are capable of driving, or are impaired and will be arrested for a DUI. These tests are used as evidence in your case against you. There are three tests that were established by the NHT which police officers may use:

– The Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test

– The Walk-and-Turn Test

– The One-Leg Test

How you feel at that moment, and what you are thinking can lead to a faulty reading, such as if you are nervous, which people tend to be when stopped by police officers. Few people know that when asked to perform a field sobriety test, you are allowed to refuse. This does not mean you cannot be arrested or forced to forfeit your dmv hearing; it just limits the evidence against you. Yet, once arrested, you cannot refuse a chemical test to measure your blood alcohol content without penalty. But again, out there on the road, you do have the right to refuse.

The Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test

When conducting this test, an officer will have you track the movement of a pen or finger with just your eyes. Nystagmus is a natural occurring involuntary jerking of your eye when looking at peripheral items. Studies have shown that Nystagmus is more pronounced when you are impaired. These are the signs an officer is looking for which would indicate your impairment:

– Your inability to smoothly watch the pen and your eyes jerk as they focus on tracking the movement

– If your eye starts jerking when stretched all the way to one side

– Nystagmus occurring before reaching a forty five degree angle.

The Walk-and-Turn Test

For this test, you will be asked to walk nine paces, heel to toe, in a straight line. There are eight clues to impairment, but the officer need only see two for them to arrest you:

– Lack of balance while listening to the instructions

– Beginning before instructions are finished

– Pausing while walking to regain balance

– Failing to walk heel to toe

– Stepping off the straight line

– Using your arms to balance

– Make an improper turn

– Take incorrect number of steps

The One Leg Stand Test

Here, you will be asked to count aloud until you are told to stop all the while balancing one foot 6 inches off the ground. There are four indications of impairment, only two are needed for being arrested. While balancing if you:

– Sway

– Use your arms

– Hop

– or put your foot down

How your state of mind affects these tests

When performing these tests, you may mess up because you are nervous or scared. Many who get pulled over by a police officer feel that way, which can impair their ability to perform these tests. If you remain calm and listen to what the officer is asking of you, chances are the tests will run a lot smoother.

You should also keep in mind to inform the officer of any medical or mental conditions you may have. Some conditions will make you unable to perform these tasks, and letting the officer know beforehand will save you a lot of trouble. This includes if someone over the age of sixty five, or someone with an inner ear problem. If you have the wherewithal, let the officer know.

Generally, the calmer you are, the better these tests will go. If you are in a panic or are nervous, this may affect how your tests turn out. Remember as mentioned above, it does not take much for an officer to find what they need to arrest you. If your mental state is calm, then you will be able to refuse the tests, or perform them without a problem.

Of course, if you are impaired, then your mental state will not be as focused as it should be to drive, and you will likely not pass these tests. That is just one reason why you should not drink and drive.

Important Psychological Aspects of Wrongful Death Cases


When people suffer serious loss, they exhibit symptoms resulting from numerous defensive mechanisms that they’ve developed throughout their lifetimes. The loss of a loved one strongly impacts the minds and development of immediate family members and close loved ones.

There are psychological aspects of grief following a death with someone who is close that are generally consistent. How people deal with the emotions and challenges of the death of a close relationship depends on many factors.

However, when a person close to you dies as a result of a death that could have been prevented, there are additional emotional strains that can negatively affect the psyche of children, spouses, family members and anyone else that developed a strong bond with the deceased.

Wrongful Death lawsuits and the psychological strains inherent

A wrongful death lawsuit occurs when a person dies and their family members pursue financial compensation from the party responsible. These are commonly the result of car accidents causing the death of a person that is dependent upon the deceased for emotional and financial assistance.

Following a fatal motorcycle accident occurring in the late 90s, attorney Tim Ryan litigated a case in public court to obtain compensation for a family of individuals who lost their “bread winner” in a collision resulting from gross negligence.

The victim was struck by a vehicle owned and operated by a well-known soda company. The vehicle’s driver ran a red light and struck the victim on the left hand side of his motorcycle at an estimated 40mph. The victim was treated at the scene and airlifted to a local hospital, later succumbing to their injuries.

Attorney Tim Ryan argued that, for the victims’ family, knowing that their father/husband should be there breathing with them today, but that the SUV driver failed to pay attention directly resulting in their loved ones death, made the death particularly difficult to bear.

Few studies have been done to prove that these claims, but there is no doubt that victims who view their loved one’s death as a situation that could have easily been prevented internalize the loss a bit differently.

Death vs. wrongful death

Most experts agree that the death of a loved one results in multiple stages of grief. For those who have had loved ones die as a result of a preventable tragedy, these stages still exist, yet they are experienced differently.

These stages include denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Following the loss of a loved one, most people feel some level of guilt as they try to process their loss and what their loss means for them.

Was the death my fault? Could I have done anything to prevent this? Did I do enough to let them know I loved them?

These are normal feelings that anyone might feel after losing their husband, child, or close friend. However, when the death is preventable, it can be much easier for those grieving to spiral into depression as they place an incredible amount of guilt upon their own shoulders.

Help for those recovering from a wrongful death

The grieving process will differ from person to person as well as the details surrounding the death, but general advice for those suffering from grief remains the same: open up to those around you, refrain from blaming oneself, and seek professional help if you feel your thoughts or feelings are overwhelming.

Those struggling to deal with their grief in a productive manner are encouraged to evaluate outside sources.

Legal Psychology Concepts Every Beginner Should Know

Legal psychology is derived from scientific, psychological research of the law, legal institutions, and the people they affect. Legal psychologists apply basic cognitive and social principles and extrapolate them into issues involving the legal system.

Anyone with a professional interest in Law should acquire a basic understanding of the main areas of research relevant to the crossover of these two disciplines.

Clinical Psychology: As applied to law, this deals with issues of competency, the insanity defense, suspect, and offender profiling. These typically fall under forensic psychology.

Eyewitness Testimony: Once the primary focus of those concerned with legal psychology, along with jury decision making- courts are increasingly looking to more substantial forms of evidence. While eyewitness testimony is still heavily relied upon, the notion that eyewitness testimony can be taken as reliable evidence is rapidly losing support.

Expert Witnesses: Psychologists who are specially trained in legal issues are frequently called upon by legal parties to provide their professional opinion about the mental state of a witness, defendant, or plaintiff. Experts of this kind are usually asked to offer an appraisal of a defendant’s competence to stand trial, or about perceptions as to whether of not the person knew the crime at issue was, in fact, morally wrong.

Policy Making: Psychologists working in public policy centers can be influential in the formulation of legislative policy. They may be called upon by lawmakers to address issues of public health and the general welfare.

Advisory Roles: Legal psychologists may occupy advisory positions within a court system. They can advise  judges or other decision makers about psychological findings relevant to a given case. Psychologists who act as court advisers provide similar input to psychologists acting as an expert witness but act in accordance with the expectations of the adversarial system.

Trial Consultants: Special training or certification is not needed to be a trial consultant though advanced degrees are welcomed. Some psychology academics are taken on as trial consultants at times when their expertise will be useful to a case.

Trial consultants can provide a range of services for lawyers, such as jury selection, or by  performing “mock trials” using focus groups. Trial consultants can help organize testimony, prepare witnesses, and even arrange for the use of “shadow jurors” who observe as the trial unfolds in order to provide their input. There is a debate on whether trial consultants are protected under attorney-client privilege provisions, especially when a conflict of interest may arise.

Amicus briefs: An amicus brief contains an opinion backed by scientific citations and statistics about the state of mental illness, mental retardation, or brain damage of persons of interest for determining the quality of their possible testimony or responsibility for past deeds with which a legal proceeding is concerned.

The Reliability of Child Testimony

girl looking at court

Oftentimes, the only witnesses police investigators have are children. In such cases, it is appropriate to question the validity of the children’s testimony. How does it compare to adult testimony? Does the relative tendency of children to speak earnestly outweigh their lesser cognitive abilities?

Child development specialist of Cornell University, Dr. Steven Ceci believes that children and adults store memories in very different ways. He says the differences in the ways adults and children imprint memory is due to the influence of experience on adult witnesses and the lack of it in children. That does not mean, he says, that children are incapable of being credible witnesses- it means the ways in which their testimony can be credible are different.

The issue has grown in relevance, unfortunately, due to the recent increased incidence of traumatic childhood events like sexual abuse and physical violence. When these cases are brought before a judge, very frequently, the child’s testimony is the most critical factor in determining the character of a judge’s decision. This is not so because the child’s testimony is of the best quality- but rather because it represents the most pivotal factor in a case.

The problem of suggestibility, as in- the degree to which storage, encoding, retrieval and reporting of experienced events are influenced unduly by internal and external factors, is a major barrier to children’s providing reliable testimony. Leading questions which stem from interviewer bias is likely the single factor that most detracts from the reliability of child witness testimony. When an interviewer leads the child in a direction based on preconceptions about an indecent, the child is prone to give the answer the interviewer wants from either a desire to please or from suggestibility.

Dr. Ceci says that a person’s ability to give accurate testimony reaches its peak at about the age of 12. From there, he says, it begins to decline.

“The most important ingredient which drives the difference in memory is how much they know about the event prior to experiencing it. So, the 3-year-old is not terribly good at recalling what he saw because he does not have a script for the event about what happens in a given scenario,” he said.

In the 1980s, there was an epidemic of false/implanted memories being used  as child-witness testimony. Children were asked leading questions and, Dr. Ceci said,”the children’s memories had been altered by the incessant and suggestive interviews they were subjected to.”

Interviewers can ask the wrong questions, or pursue the child- often relentlessly- with loaded and leading questions. In cases where the child’s memory is feeble or non-existent, the interviewer can easily implant a false memory.

Dr. Ceci said the problem can be alleviated, to some degree, by presenting the child with an interviewer of lesser stature. A janitor, for example, rather than a uniformed police officer- or a counselor rather than a teacher.

By removing pressures that might make the child feel urged to give the interviewer what the child thinks the interviewer wants, by using correct questioning techniques that are not leading, loaded, suggestive, or pressuring, and by choosing child witnesses as close to age twelve as possible, (when possible), the testimony of children can be reasonably considered more reliable. Child testimony, when gathered correctly, can often be the best and most accurate testimony  available to the court.

The Reliability of Eye Witness Memory


Unfortunately, there are countless people who have seen violent and trauma-inducing crimes. Witnessing such events can affect a person throughout their lifetime. When a person witnesses a crime, that memory is considered an “Eye Witness Memory”. These terms are often used in the judicial system. Eye witness memory is also used to describe an individual’s memory for a particular face, such as in situations where they have to positively identify their perpetrator. What experts have found over the last several years is that a person’s memory is not as reliable as once thought. There are a wide variety of different things that can affect a person’s ability to properly recollect someone’s face.

According to different researches found, when people were made to replicate eye witness testimony in controlled tests, their ability to do so was not very accurate. There are a number of psychological factors that can cause a person to incorrectly identify someone as their attacker following a crime. As a result, innocent people are regularly being sent to jail and prison for long sentences because of a false believe in the infallibility of eye witness testimony.

Research has produced a number of different reasons for why a victim who has witnessed their attacker’s face could provide false information about that attacker’s description, or could even believe it was a completely different person altogether. These causes include:

  1. Filling in of the memory’s gaps – When a person does not completely remember a situation, the brain will try to fill in the gaps. This is why the reconstruction of memory invokes pieces of data and information coming from other sources.
  2. Systematical Distortion of the Memory Perception– there are various studies showing that the memory can be biased toward expected events and that the systematic biases for remembering distances and sizes are a common part of memory perception.
  3. Memory is “personal” – memory of an individual interprets what he or she has seen. Basically, the eyewitness memory of the person is involved in the extraction of interpretations that is based on beliefs, experiences and needs.
  4. Biased Memory on Question Retrieval Method – experts says that eyewitness memory may become biased with the questions being given during retrieval process of the eyewitness.
  5. Retelling effects of the witnessed crime– accuracy may decline over time or if a story is retold many times. Based upon research, in some cases, the eyewitnesses tend to have a lower accuracy when immediately asked after the traumatic experience to recall the event.

Eyewitness memory may be a legitimate tool for prosecutors and law enforcement alike to ensure that those who commit crimes are punished accordingly, but the fact that it has failed for so many is enough reason to believe with certainty that this method should not be considered absolute evidence of guilt. It may be useful from time to time, but depending on the eyewitness, memory can be unideal.

Why It’s So Hard for Victims of Domestic Violence to Drop Charges


If you are wondering why it is so hard for victims of domestic violence to drop the charges, the answer would be this. The truth is, victims often want to find out how to drop domestic violence charges, but rarely have the power to do so. Once the office of state prosecutor or police has already issued a domestic violence charge against the batterer, the victim would completely be out of authority to drop the issued charges. Why? This is because domestic violence is considered to be a very serious crime. The process behind the criminal charges is often misunderstood. Most of the people accused of this crime believe that the victims are the ones that issued the charges, which is completely wrong. The crimes are managed and governed by your residing state and the state is also the one that issues the criminal charges.

To make it simpler, the victim is not the one who issued that charges, that’s why they cannot drop the charges. The state, particularly, the prosecutor’s office will be the one that will decide whether to drop or move forward the case or the charges. However, even though the victim is not the one who has brought the criminal charges, they still have a very important role to place in the advancement of proceedings.

The Role of the Victim in the Case

The victim will have to play a very important role in a domestic violence case to make it move forward. If, for instance, the case has already reached a trial, the victim’s testimony will be required in the court against the abuser, however, in some states like California, the alleged victim can easily refuse to testify by paying a fine. In some states refusing will make the state charge the victim with a crime. They will also be summoned in court for some purposes or to retrieve evidence or documents for court use. Often, victims are summoned to explain their own side or ask their opinions. If the judge will make a decision on whether the abuser will be released, they will also be summoned to get their opinion about it.

It is important to be aware that victims do not have to have a passive role. To make it simpler, their role isn’t just about testifying in a criminal case, or asking you about their opinions. They also have complete rights to pursue monetary damages from the abuser. In other words, if you were the victim you could sue the abuser for money to pay the damages he/she cost to your life, be it psychological or personal injuries.

Victims are also afforded certain perks to help ensure their protection. They can possibly ask for a restraining order against the abuser. This can provide them safety because of the fact that this order will force the abuser to give up his/her guns for a period of time. Also, depending on the victim’s condition, they may receive an early option to break their lease. If they’re afraid of the batterer being released and they’re thinking that their abuser might hurt them again, they should consider this option in order for them to live more peacefully.

Why The Hoops?

Alleged victims of domestic violence have to jump through a lot of hoops to drop charges for domestic violence. Many people are confused as to why someone who has been arrested for a crime cannot have the charges dropped because their alleged victim doesn’t want them to go to jail. Prosecutors believe that victims of DV will often try and recant their statements later, even if the abuse actually did exist. There are a number of psychological reasons for such a situation to occur, but it is surprisingly common. Some women may feel love for their abuser. Others may feel pity. Regardless, states put these laws into action to help protect victims suffering from psychological afflictions and other men and women who may become victims of abuse in the future if dangerous defendants are not locked up.

Use of Legal Psychology in Criminal Trials

Gupta, is seen in this courtroom sketch as the verdict is read in his insider trading case in Manhattan Federal Court in New York

Legal psychology is a discipline that involves the use of empirical and psychological research in relation to law and legal organizations as well as to people who have contact with regard to legal matters.

This discipline is an essential part in legal proceedings, especially in terms of situations and persons that need psychological evaluation. The expertise of legal psychologists is often asked in vague cases and they are the people whose expert opinions can drastically change the tide and the ruling of the case.

The work of legal psychologists is to stand as expert witness on cases where psychological opinions are needed. For instance, when in criminal trials, legal psychology is used in order to determine and testify whether the eye-witness account is plausible or if there is a hole in the account. The expertise of legal psychologists is also used for determining mistaken identities or to determine whether a person is competent to stand trial.

Legal psychologists who focus on clinical issues, on the other hand, are asked to testify and determine the capacity of the dependant to stand trial, their intelligence and competence and many others as well. Legal psychology may also be used to assess perceptual issues that may come up in the trial. The practice of legal psychology evidently has essential uses when it comes to legal matters despite the way that others see them as hired guns or people who state the obvious.

Whatever it may be that others think of legal psychologists, use of legal psychology in proving the truth is proven accountable. Here are instances where legal psychology is used during criminal cases.

  1. Used to evaluate a legal practice. Legal psychologists can be called upon by the state to work in order to address some issues when in an empirical research that could be involved in criminal cases.
  2. Psychologists with legal expertise can also be called upon by the court in a criminal case to hold advisory roles. Through their expertise in legal psychology, they may have the ability to advice the judge or the legal decision makers based on psychological findings related to such cases.
  3. Legal psychology is also used in testifying at the court on issues that relate to mental illnesses, retardation and other factors. Through empirical research done by legal psychologists, they can provide opinions regarding the matter as long as it is backed with scientific evidence.
  4. Legal psychology can also be used in trial consulting. Academic people who have the knowledge and expertise in legal psychology are sometimes hired for their expert opinions when they are needed in the case.

Legal psychologists who act as trial consultants are sometimes hired by firms as practicing attorneys because of the benefit that comes with their knowledge in legal psychology. Through this discipline, it can become easy to determine whether the witness, the accused or the dependant’s account is true. It also helps in determining whether a situation is plausible or not. The scientific value of legal psychology is of all the most important aspect that makes it essential to criminal trials.

Forensic Psychology and Legal Psychology


The act and practice involved with forensic psychology, and maybe the most continuous obligation of legal clinicians, is the mental evaluation of people who are included, somehow, with the legitimate framework. Hence, in spite of the fact that it is important to have solid preparation in law and forensic psychology, the most essential aptitudes a forensic psychologist or a scientific clinician must have are strong clinical abilities. That is, abilities like clinical appraisal, talking, report composing, solid verbal relational abilities (particularly if a specialist witness in court) and case presentation are all critical in setting the establishment of the act of forensic psychology.

With these aptitudes forensic clinicians perform such undertakings as risk evaluation for schools, tyke authority assessments, competency assessments of criminal respondents as well as of the elderly, advising administrations to casualties of wrongdoing, demise notice methods, screening and determination of law implementation candidates, the appraisal of post-traumatic anxiety issue and the conveyance and assessment of intercession and treatment programs for adolescent and grown-up wrongdoers.

The act of forensic psychological research includes examinations, research studies, appraisals, meeting, the outline and execution of treatment projects and professional court witness confirmation.

Ostensibly a standout amongst the most fascinating appraisals for a criminological therapist is appraisal in “mens rea” (madness) cases. In the U.S., an individual can’t be considered responsible of a wrongdoing on the off chance that he/she didn’t have a “liable personality” at the time the criminal action was carried out. There are a few conditions in which the law perceives that a blameworthy personality is nonattendant (e.g., self-protection). “Madness” is not a mental term however a legitimate one. The standard for madness is controlled by every state, and there is additionally a higher governmental standard.

A typical standard is whether the individual realized what he/she was doing wasn’t right. The scientific analyst needs to focus not how the individual is working at the present minute, but his/her mental state at the time of the wrongdoing. Consequently, a great part of the forensic therapist’s work is reflective and must depend on obtained outsider data, guarantee contacts and composed interchanges (e.g., comments passed during the course of the wrongful act).

The field of law and psychology includes the utilization of logical and expatriate parts of psychology to inquiries and issues identifying with law and the legitimate framework. There are various strengths that analysts may seek after inside the bigger territory of psychology and law. This field incorporates commitments made in various diverse ranges -research, clinical practice, open strategy and instructing/preparing among them- -from a mixture of introductions inside the field of psychology, for example, formative, social, cognitive, and clinical.

While psychological wellness experts and behavioral researchers have been included with the legitimate framework in an assortment of routes for a long time, the decade of the 1970s saw the start of more formalized associations.

Need more information about forensic psychology? The following are links to websites that provide highly-detailed analysis:

American Psychology Law Society

– Providing several forensic psychology guides and briefs, you can count on the American Psychology Law Society to break down important concepts and provide a vast array of useful related information.


– Whether you’re trying to find info about Psychology law careers or in-depth info about forensic psychology, this subsection of has you covered.

How Legal Psychology Affects Everyone


The idea that psychology has no business in a court room is no longer entertained by licensed professionals; most attorneys use psychologists to increase their chances of a win, and psychologists have always begrudgingly accepted the need for their services within the legal system. What many people still fail to recognize is the fact that law and psychology are still very much misunderstood, and that the more we know, the more it seems we need to learn.


Take the situation with Michael Brown as an example. Many people are aware that Michael Brown was a black male that was killed by a white police officer in Ferguson Missouri. While the officer’s actions were pardoned, there were numerous eyewitnesses who gave testimony that was in direct contradiction with one another. While some people testified that the officer took action that was within his rights, others testified that he did not. (more…)

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