Research In Court Settings

Applying Research in Court Settings

Psychologists have interacted with the courts much longer than forensic psychology has been recognized as a field. Indeed, the usage of psychological expertise and data by the court and legal systems is quite broad. Attorneys, for example, hire psychologists and forensic psychology professionals as consultants to assist in the selection of a jury suitable to their client’s case. Expert testimony from psychologists and forensic psychology professionals has been proffered on many subjects to help jurors better understand technical and scientific data. Psychological research on how a jury works and how jurors make decisions has shed new light on the legal process. Even family courts rely on psychological data and expert testimony to aid in the awarding of child custody during divorce proceedings. Reading research studies related to court settings will familiarize you with a wide variety of empirical data used in the court system.

To prepare for this Discussion:

  • Review this week’s DVD program, “Application of Psychological Research – Court Settings.”Think about how psychological research can guide the practice of forensic psychology relative to various issues presented in court settings.
  • Review the article, “The Effects of Pretrial Publicity on Juror Verdicts: A Meta-Analytic Review.” Pay particular attention to the studies reviewed in this meta-analysis and think about how a forensic psychology professional working in a court setting might use this information.
  • Review the article, “On the ‘ General Acceptance’ of Eyewitness Testimony Research: A New Survey of Experts.” Focus on how experts in the field of psychology evaluated eye witness testimony in a court setting. Consider how the results reported from the questionnaire given to the expert psychologists might be used or applied by professionals working in a court setting.
  • Using the Walden Library, identify a psychological research study that could be used in a court setting by a forensic psychologist or forensic psychology professional.
  • Review the methods and results sections of this research study and think about how this study might be used by forensic psychologists or forensic psychology professionals working in a court setting.

With these thoughts in mind:

Post  a brief description of the research study you selected. Then, explain the parts of this study that you believe might be important for a forensic psychology professional working in a court setting. Finally, explain how a forensic psychology professional might use the results of the study in a court setting.

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