Psychology has many different types of practices and aspects so essentially to pursue a career in psychology would be too vague. One of the practices that entice my ability to push myself to continue in psychology would be the forensics and the ability to diagnose an individual that tries to say that he or she is mentally unstable. I feel that this is one of the biggest factors that helps prosecute some of the world’s most profound individual’s known to our legal system.
Forensic Psychologists: Roles and Activities
An interesting article I encountered in regards to my career goals was one written by, John Wiley, named, “Forensic Psychologists: Roles and Activities”. Forensic psychologists have a role in a variety of agencies and institutions. In legal situations psychologists are used to assess inmates that suffer from different types of disorders, which could lead to hurting themselves or others. They play a role as an evaluator as they monitor the mental state of a person on trial that claims to have a mental disorder. Evaluation of individuals that are on trial claim to have a mental disorder but this is where some of their main contributions are made.
The “insanity” plea is the most common that one will face in this profession, however, if an individual is found incompetent to for trial by due to insanity, psychologists refer them back to the proper institution for proper therapy and treatments. The individual then is to stay in that facility until they are fit for their trail. In either case they are required to testify on the defendant’s competence to plead insanity or to stand trial. They are also required to testify on the defendant’s mental state upon evaluation. Psychologists can be hired by different parties to testify with conclusive evidence, either by the defense attorney or the prosecution attorney. Since either the prosecution or defense is paying them, are they going to state to the court what the person who paid them to testify wants to hear or are they going to be truthful. There really is no guarantee on the forensic psychologists honesty of their testimony, therefore I would not suggest this area of practice.
One of the most important areas, in my opinion, is working with law enforcement agencies. I plan to further pursue a degree in criminology but would I would love to work with individuals who commit the crime that way when I investigate crime scenes I get a better understanding of things. Forensic psychologists are often called upon to conduct a psychological profile on an individual to help solve crimes but without a psychological point of view the law enforcement agencies are limited in assets. Another professional portion I find interesting is how they are able to give information on the approximate age, sex, religion, working status or any other behavioral patterns that might aid in catching a criminal. Forensic psychologists are also used to debrief witnesses or victims who may result in acquiring elaborate information from key persons related to the case.
However, some of my favorite reasons would have to include the thought process and thought distribution of serial killers. Being able to dissect some of the common thought processes are what really intrigues me but nevertheless, the overall aspect as to why one would commit such an atrocity. When I was taking psychology in high school, I remember watching a documentary of “America’s Serial Killers”. This video fascinated me because of how crucial these killers were and how they just loved killing people. Several questions regarding their behavior arose which led to an infinite amount of speculation and unanswered questions. Lastly, these thoughts and actions are what currently motivates me to strive in Psychology only further pursue the career of forensics and criminology.
Forensic Psychology is a broad and important science on the Criminal Justice system. The main goal is to focus the understandings of the offenders’ behaviors and evaluate not only what makes them offense but also follow the rehabilitation inside and outside correctional. It is important to realize that a forensic psychologist do not perform in all the subspecialties that forensic psychology has to offer. Each practitioner will become an expert in particular areas that allows him or her to focus on specialty fields provided by the profession.
Forensic psychologists: Roles and activities. (2004). In The concise Corsini encyclopedia of psychology and behavioral science. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley. Retrieved from http://search.credoreference.com.contentproxy.phoenix.edu/content/entry/wileypsych/forensic_psychologists_roles_and_activities/0
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