What is forensic psychology?
Forensic psychology is abranchof general psychology that mainly acts in thejudicial process, which is carried out in the courts and deals with the study of thebehavior of the human being within the legal system.
For some authors, forensic psychology is “the science that teaches the application of all branches and knowledge of Psychology to the questions of Justice, and cooperates at all times with the Administration of Justice, acting in the forum (court), improving the exercise of Law”. (1)
The reason for this is thathuman behavioris very complex but at the same time it is very fragile, so when evaluating the evidence in a trial of any person, it is sometimes necessary to check if there isa pathological component of mental originthat may have influenced the person to commit the crime.
To highlight: The professionals in charge of this activityare called forensic psychologists, whose final product is a report based on expert evidence, which reflects theevaluation of the person who is under judicial process.
What is forensic psychology for?
The main purpose of forensic psychology is toissue on a scientific basisan opinion on thestate of mental health of a person, which allows judges to elucidate their commitment within the criminal act committed.
This specialty also deals with Psychological treatment for those who have been sentenced and that somehow affects their emotional and mental balance.
Note: The difference between forensic psychology and criminalistics is that the latter studies the behavior and mental processes of the individual who has committed a crime.
What are the types of forensic psychology?
Two subspecialties emergefrom this specialty ,which constitute the types of forensic psychology and which we will now describe:
1. Clinical forensic psychology
, their individual characteristics, damages or sequelae caused, as well as determining the responsibility, treatment or penalty for the defendant, in those cases where he is considered more or less
2. Experimental forensic psychology
Experimental forensic psychology is another subspecialty of forensic psychology and its function is to analyze the testimony and not the witness , in order to provide the judge with the necessary information for a better evaluation of the evidence in court.
You should know: The experimental forensic psychologist is a witness memory specialist. (two)
What does a forensic psychologist do?
The forensic psychologist, due to the capacity developed in the legal and psychological areas, is in charge of several functions, which we mention below:
1. Understand judicial processes and apply the appropriate techniques
The forensic psychologist, despite the fact that his specialty is focused on psychology , must understand how judicial processes work and know their different techniques for a correct application of the legal foundations, both for the judicial system and for the defendant himself.
To highlight: In this context, the forensic psychologist must work together with the prosecutors, judges and lawyers involved in the case.
2. Study and analyze the faculties and psychological conditions
Entering his specialty, the forensic psychologist has the ability to study and analyze behavior through the psychological expertise of the human being.
Note: This is how the psychologist can make a map of the actual psychological conditions of a subject at a given time, whether present or past.
3. Analyze and interpret relevant information in court cases
The forensic psychologist also has the ability to Study reports and documents related to judicial cases and based on his analysis from the psychological and legal perspective, he can elucidate and help prosecutors and judges on relevant information for a trial.
Important: The forensic psychologist performs the analysis and interpretation of the information, on Technical and Scientific Foundations already proven. (3)
4. Offer professional testimony in trials
Another of the abilities of the forensic psychologist is that he can participate in judicial processes as an expert witnessin the area of psychology, to help those interested in a judicial process understand themental conditions of a defendantto accept certain responsibilities before the court. society.
You should know: The testimony of a forensic psychologist can be key to a judge’s decision in a judicial process.
5. Suggest treatments to convicted people
As mentioned above, one of the faculties or functions of every specialist in psychology is that he knows the appropriate therapies to mitigate and Correct mental disorders caused by states of emotional stress, anxiety or depression .
These mental states often occur frequently in those people who suffer sentences in prisons for the first time .
- Forensic psychology is a branch of general psychology, which mainly acts in the judicial process.
- This discipline deals with the study of the behavior of the human being, within the legal system during the oral trial.
- Forensic psychology serves as support to the Judicial System , in advising on cases that are in court.
- Forensic psychology issues an opinion on the state of mental health of a person, to elucidate their commitment within the criminal act.
University Professional in the area of Human Resources, Postgraduate in Occupational Health and Hygiene of the Work Environment, 14 years of experience in the area of health. Interested in topics of Psychology, Occupational Health, and General Medicine.