Forensic psychology, a comparatively new subfield of psychology popularised by television shows such as "Criminal Minds," provides a path for those inquisitive about human behaviour and therefore the law.
The American Psychological Association (APA) defines forensic psychology as "the application of clinical specialties to the legal arena." It entails the employment of psychological knowledge and methods to help in answering legal questions arising in civil or criminal proceedings. In fact, the American Psychological Association recently recognised forensic psychology as a specialty area in 2001. Regardless, the sector of forensic psychology has roots that may be traced back to Wilhelm Wundt's first psychology lab in Leipzig, Germany.
A typical path to becoming a forensic psychologist includes earning a bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degree in psychology. To become a forensic psychologist, you do not need any additional licensure beyond that required for clinical psychologists.
Forensic psychologists could work in prisons, research facilities, hospitals, medical examiner's offices, universities, forensic labs, private research firms, police departments, or as consultants. Sentencing recommendations, risk of reoffending evaluations, witness testimony, child custody evaluations, academic research on criminality, consultation with enforcement, treatment of criminal offenders, provision of psychological services to inmates and offenders, trial consultants who assist with jury selection, witness preparation, or legal strategies are common job roles. Forensic psychologists earn an annual base salary of $73,414 with potential bonuses starting from $8,000 to $30,000. Salary expectations vary consistent with geographic location, industry, level of experience, and education. Earnings in forensic psychology also are laid low with job function and level.
A forensic psychologist's day-to-day work environment, job title, and specialisation vary. Civil, family and criminal casework are common specialisations for forensic psychologists. They interact with lawyers, judges, crime victims, and criminal offenders. The responsibilities include observing and interviewing people, writing reports and articles, providing expert testimony, counselling, treatment, and supervising.
Forensic psychology is defined because of the intersection of psychology and therefore the law, but because forensic psychologists can perform a spread of roles, this definition is subject to change. Today, forensic psychologists have an interest not only in understanding why such behaviours occur but also in minimising and preventing such actions within the criminal justice system. Forensic psychologists play a crucial role for college kids who have an interest in the criminal background, it may be an exciting career.
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The degree you select is also influenced by what you would like to try to do as a forensic psychologist, so determining this in time can facilitate your plan for your educational path. If you would like to figure out this field, you'll have to be ready to communicate effectively, research problems, and think critically.