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Forensic Psych Class Notes Week 1

by: Rebecca Sumrow

Forensic Psych Class Notes Week 1 PSY BEH 161C

Rebecca Sumrow
GPA 3.9

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About this Document

These notes contain the lecture points from the 1st week of class with the exception of the administrative information that can be found in the syllabus. These notes only pertain to the actual cou...
Class Notes
forensics, Forensic Psychology
25 ?





Popular in Psychology And Social Behavior

This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Rebecca Sumrow on Sunday October 2, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PSY BEH 161C at University of California - Irvine taught by N. SCURICH in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 2 views. For similar materials see FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGY in Psychology And Social Behavior at University of California - Irvine.

Similar to PSY BEH 161C at UCI

Popular in Psychology And Social Behavior


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Date Created: 10/02/16
Forensic Psychology – 9/28/16 Class Notes Overview of Forensic Psychology Forensic Psychology is not: Criminal providing (like CSI). Only 10% of people in that field are forensic psychologists. • Criminal profiling is not a science. It isn’t studied formally and is not verified scientifically. Selected topics in Forensic Psychology: • Each week we will look at a new topic and basically follow the outline in the book. • Reading is short yet important. • Supplemental reading will be posted on the course site (this will be on the exams). Week 1: INTRO • See above. Week 2: FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGY AND EXPERT TESTIMONY • Overview of forensic psychology. o Definitions: only clinical or counseling psychologists. o Training: doctorate in psychology, a 2 years fellowship with a focus on forensics. • Legal system. • Role of expert witnesses; scientist or advocate? o IF you only work for one side (prosecution or defense), who do you work for? Not the patient. What about confidentiality? Next week we will consider this. o We will look at Park Dietz. He only ever testifies for the prosecution. He worked on cases like Yates, Dahmer, and the Unabomber. Who does he work for and is he fair if he only works to convict people? Week 3: SELECTED MENTAL DISORDERS • Mental disorders according to the DSM-5 o Selected disorders o Controversies like Hebephilia. Definition: attraction to early adolescent children roughly between 11 to 14. This would be a subset of pedophilia (for children a little older). o Is this the same as pedophilia? Or should be considered something separate? o Criticism of this is that there is a possibility that many people could be attracted teenagers (some of which may be in this age range due to the onset of puberty) but perhaps not primarily as suggested by supporters of this potential condition. o Hebephilia is proposed to catch men and put them in mental hospitals. o This disorder was not admitted to the DSM-5 but is that significant? o Disorders are not admitted into the DMS by science. The APA puts a panel together and votes. Event the public has a chance to vote online. Week 4: PSYHCOPATHY • Most wildly miss-portrayed. It is a personality disorder exhibiting as a lack of empathy, no remorse, impulse control issues, short sighted decision making, etc. o How should it be measured? o Is it a result of nature or nurture? o What is the correct treatment? Forensic Psychology – 9/28/16 Class Notes Overview of Forensic Psychology o Is treatment effective? This is the most common topic in court. Most psychologists will testify that psychopaths cannot be treated. Some research says that treatment will make a psychopath’s symptoms worse so treatment should be avoided. o What about women and children? Are there female psychopaths? Some think so but they are less common than men and they tend to manifest their symptoms differently. o What about white collar psychopaths? Some studies have found that many CEO’s score high as psychopaths. o Legal and ethical issues: is it inherited (nature)? If so, is it ethical to punish them? § We will watch a documentary on this. Week 5: RISK ASSESSMENT • Barefoot vs. Estelle in Texas. In TX you must be considered a danger in future to issue the death penalty. o Prosecution called Dr. James Grigson (Doctor Death). He always testifies in favor of the death penalty based on his “clinical judgment”. The supreme court heard this case in the 1980’s. UCI professor Monohan wrote a monograph and said results are 1 in 3 that predictors are correct in assessing someone to be a future danger. Even though the statistics are not very strong that Monohan’s prediction is correct, they upheld the ruling and Barefoot was put to death. o Now they use structured risk assessment that uses algorithms more complex than a clinical judgment. Clinical judgment definition: a educated hunch. § Current criticisms of risk assessment: to hat extend is it legitimate, ethically sound, mortal, and mathematically accurate to apply group statistics and patterns to an individual? Week 6: MIDTERM • Will have 1 hour 20 minutes to take. Will be ½ of more multiple choice with short written answers. Week 7: SEX OFFENDERS • Sexual disorders: paraphilia like sadism, pedophilia, masochism, etc. • Assessment techniques: If a client comes to therapy willfully and admit that they have an issue and want to get better for does their willingness impact treatment vs someone in prison who is forced into therapy by a requirement or a desire to be released? In prison, if you are trying to get out, people will not admit that they are still struggling. • PPG: a physical method to assess if someone is still afflicted with a sexual disorder. It is a monitor that measures penile engorgement when a stimulus is presented visually. This is supposed to negate the possibility of false verbal reporting of treatment efficacy by patients. • Legal application: CA has sex predator law that can keep the convicted in a facility after they are released from jail. o Movie will be watched: Inside Coalinga. Week 8: INSANITY • Wildly popular and wildly miss-portrayed. o Insanity is rare. Very few people plead insanity and even fewer people are successful in their plead. If you fail in pleading this way, the future conviction is statistically much harsher. Forensic Psychology – 9/28/16 Class Notes Overview of Forensic Psychology • What the law calls for: the definition is precise and each state has different “legal standards” for insanity. • What psychologist can offer: They have to predict what the client was thinking during the commission of the crime; this is exceedingly difficult. o Movie will be watched: the Andrea Yates case. There was an uproar in TX. Week 9: COMPETENCIES • Extremely widespread practice by psychologists. • Example: Andre Thomas killed his wife and children. He used 3 different knives so that their blood would not contaminate and allow the demons to get them. Then he called the police. While in custody he pulled out one of his eyes. Then later he pulled out his other eye and ate it. He though that pulling out his eyes was the only way to keep the government from stealing his thoughts. Can someone be so delusional and psychopathic that you cannot assist your defense attorney in defending you? This is “competency to stand trial”. o CST: Competency to stand trial. o CBE: Competency to be executed. Do you understand the reason and outcome of your execution? o CPG: Competency to plead guilty. • How psychologists assess o Neuropsychologists and IQ § And IQ under 70 is retarded. What do you do if you has an ID of 69 and a 5 point margin of error? Week 10: CIVIL COMMITMENT • Preventative confinement. o Mentally ill o Danger to oneself or others o Grave disability § The law is retroactive, mental illness is preventative. • Do you have the right to refuse treatment? o 72 hour hold can be traumatic. Meds can have lasing and serious side effects. Do you have the right to refuse meds if you are mentally ill? • Outpatient treatment. o LA county ha chains on the door because they were overfilled. People were sleeping on cots and there was somewhere around 2x as many patients as their should have been in the facility. If they kept the doors locked, police couldn’t bring people in. They did this because once the patient made it into the building, the staff had to treat them and couldn’t turn them away.


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