Term Paper: Forensic Psychology Review, V Fulero, S

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Forensic Psychology Review, v

Fulero, S. And L. Wrightsman. (2008). Forensic Psychology. Cenage. Chapters 9-16.

Child Custody and Related Decisions -- Child custody issues are among the most difficult and challenging for the Forensic Psychologist. A child's mind is not fully developed, and it is often difficult to get at the heart of the matter; to understand what happened with events based on a child's memory. It is also necessary to be extra careful to ensure that the professional does not lead the child toward a conclusion. Thus, by the very nature, a Forensic Psychologist must play different, and sometimes difficult, roles with child custody hearings (mediator, expert, therapist, researcher).

The Court, however, is looking for a neutral professional to deal fairly with cogent explanations on family dynamics and childhood issues. It is necessary to avoid "isms" -- broad statements about lifestyle, predispositions, etc., and to remain unbiased when looking out for the welfare of the child and focusing on individual situations. It is also important to avoid the dual relationship paradigm: one cannot be a therapist and an objective analyst for the Court -- choose one and remain true to that course.

Chapter 10 -- Improving Eyewitness Identification Procedures -- Eyewitness procedures are often problematical because they rely on memory -- and memory is faulty. The Forensic Psychologist must use their expertise to reduce these eyewitness errors, to probe memory testimony and find any systematic variables to help ascertain the truth.

The Forensic Psychologist must be careful when acting as an information generator -- and must use interview content wisely to review, review, and review again, in order to limit bias and increase the accuracy of testimony. Spend extra time if a child is a witness; help that child separate fantasy, reality, and remove influence from the child's association of the event. However, it is also important not to assume prior jury or Court knowledge, and to encourage testimony and expertise to clear up any misunderstandings and/or refute anticipated jury bias.

Chapter 11- Interrogations and Confessions -- Depending on where and when the interrogation/confession took place, the Forensic Psychologist will often be called in to verify the statements and facts surrounding the case, and to interview the subject to ensure the confession was not coerced in any way. There are times, too, that a Forensic Psychologist will be used to help in a difficult interrogation, probing the suspect using psychological techniques. However, the role of evaluation in both confessions and interrogations is quite important -- the goals is to remain objective, bring in facts, not suppositions. Indeed, the Forensic Psychologist must remain aloof and unbiased.

False confessions and coerced or loaded interrogations are, unfortunately, a fact of most any legal system. Care must be taken to avoid hooks from sociopathic personalities. The Forensic Psychologist must refuse to be manipulated, especially when the subject claims to know something personally about you, or tried to manipulate you.

Without becoming adversarial, review police procedures and conduct during interrogation. Use the role of Forensic Psychologist to enhance, not detract, from investigation. Remain objective and use the guiding principles of you… [END OF PREVIEW]

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