Forensic Psychology: An Applied Approach

Author(s): Christopher Cronin

Edition: 3

Copyright: 2019


Details: eBook w/KHPContent Access | 180 days |


Written by a practicing forensic psychologist and university professor, Forensic Psychology: An Applied Approach introduces the reader to the practice of forensic psychology. Forensic Psychology offers the reader a broad overview of the many opportunities available to forensic psychologists.

The first section of the book presents an overview of the forensic psychology field. The remaining chapters present the work of forensic psychologists in specific areas: criminal responsibility and competency to stand trial evaluations, police psychology, correctional psychology, child custody evaluations, and personal injury evaluations as well as exploring emerging trends in the field. The text also presents information from the field of legal psychology including trial consultation, eyewitness testimony and investigative psychology (profiling, hypnosis, detection of deception and psychological autopsies).

  • Each chapter includes an overview of the particular area of practice, key concepts, terms, career information for each area of practice, and a brief summary.
  • Case examples are provided when appropriate including examples from the author’s own clinical work.
  • An appendix provides an extensive list of useful websites.
  • An extensive instructors resource package including PowerPoint Presentations and Test Banks are provided to all adopters.

Features include:

  • Current research and new material throughout, including new court cases.
  • “Essential Questions” in each chapter guide the reader to identify key concepts presented.
  • A “test your knowledge” section that provides practice in all chapters.
  • Case studies that students can use as active learning exercises in class.
  • A glossary of terms and a list and brief description of important court cases.

Accompanying website includes:

  • Learning Objectives
  • Chapter outlines
  • Key terms
  • PowerPoint® slides
  • Post quizzes
  • Master glossary
  • Master Resources - website links and case law descriptions




About the Author

1 Introduction to the Field of Forensic Psychology

Definition of Forensic Psychology

Areas in Legal Psychology

Social Psychology

Cognitive Psychology

Developmental Psychology

Training in Forensic Psychology

Doctoral Degrees

Practicing Forensic Psychology at the Master’s Level

Full-Time versus Part-Time

Forensic Work

Overview of This Book

Test Your Knowledge

2 Ethical Issues Related to the Practice of Forensic Psychology

Ethics, Morality, Competence,

Professionalism, Character, and Law

A Clash of Cultures: Ethics, Psychology, and the Legal Profession

Expert Witness Testimony

Who Can Be Qualified as an

Expert Witness?

Admissibility of Expert Testimony

Case Law Regarding Admissibility of Expert Testimony

Frye v. United States ()

Federal Rules of Evidence

Daubert v. Merrell Dow


Ultimate Issue and Penultimate Issue

The Three Possible Roles for an

Expert Witness

Possible Pitfalls for the Expert Witness

Surviving the Witness Stand

A Clash of Cultures: Knowledge, Psychology, and the Legal Profession

Test Your Knowledge

3 Psychological Assessment

Types of Assessment Activities

Forensic Assessment in Criminal Proceedings

Forensic Assessment in Civil Proceedings

Psychological Assessment and Psychological


Purpose of the Evaluation

Examiner–Examinee Relationship

Who is the Client?

Motivation of the Examinee

Written Report

The Psychologist’s Cognitive Set

Professional Accountability

Temporal Focus of the Assessment

Assessment Instruments

Assessment Tools: The Interview

Assessment Tools: Psychological Tests

Psychometric Properties of Assessment




Normative Group

Standard Error of Measurement

Assessment Instruments

Measures of Intellectual Ability

Measures of Personality—General

Projective Techniques

Objective Techniques

Measures of Personality—Forensically Relevant


Forensic Assessment Instruments


Test Your Knowledge

4 Competency Evaluations, Criminal Responsibility and Risk Assessments

Criminal Responsibility

Mens Rea

Myths Regarding the Insanity Defense

Historical Perspectives of the

Insanity Defense

Evaluation of Insanity

Competency to Stand Trial

Defining Competency

Competency to Stand Trial (CST)


Forensic Instruments Used in

CST Evaluations

Violence Risk Assessment

Approaches to Predicting Dangerousness


Role of the Forensic Psychologist in Capital

Punishment Sentencing

Test Your Knowledge

5 Police Psychology

Police Department’s History with Psychology

Police Officer Evaluations

Pre-employment Evaluations

Pre-employment Assessment


Pre-employment Interview


Special Assignment Assessments

Psychological Counseling

Health and Wellness Counseling

Critical Incident Counseling



Management Consultation

Careers in Police Psychology


Test Your Knowledge

6 Correctional Psychology

Definition of Correctional Psychology

Recent Growth in the Field of Correctional Psychology

Therapy in Correctional Settings: Can I Leave?

Prison Overcrowding

Theories of Punishment and the

Goals of Incarceration





Restorative Justice

Correctional Facilities: Jails and Prisons

Psychologists’ Duties in Correctional


Assessment in Correctional Facilities

Treatment in Correctional Facilities

Unique Challenges for the Correctional


Court Decisions Regarding the Rights of Inmates

Unique Aspects of Working in a Correctional Facility: Tips for the

Beginning Clinician

Careers in Correctional Psychology


Test Your Knowledge

7 Assessment of Psychological Injury

Criminal Law versus Civil Law

Criminal Law

Civil Law

The Civil Court System

Federal Courts

State Courts

Appellate Process

The Law of Torts

Role of the Forensic Psychologist as Examiner

Practice Standards for Personal Injury


Employment Litigation Involving

Psychological Injury

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 

Sexual Harassment

Assessment of Psychological Injuries in

Discrimination and Harassment Claims

The Eggshell Plaintiff

Legal Psychology’s Contribution to

Discrimination and Harassment Claims

PTSD and the Use of Syndrome Evidence

Battered Woman Syndrome

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder


Test Your Knowledge

8 Child Custody Evaluations

The Challenge of Child Custody


Multiple Participants

The Psycholegal Question Involved in Child

Custody Evaluations

Confusion Regarding the Assessment

Process and Instruments

Adversarial Nature of Child Custody


Attitudes and Biases of Those Involved in the Decision-Making Process

Psychologist’s Roles

Current State of Child Custody in

Divorce Proceedings

Child Custody Laws

The Legal Relevance of Mental Health

Professionals’ Recommendations

Types of Custody Arrangements

Professional Organizations’ Guidelines for Child Custody Evaluations

The Evaluation Process

Assessment Interviews

Direct Observation

Collateral Sources

Psychological Testing

The Custody Report



Test Your Knowledge

9 Trial Consultation

Are Lawsuits out of Control?

Qualifications of Trial Consultants

Services Offered by Trial Consultants

Voir Dire and Jury Selection

The Technique of Jury Selection

Characteristics Used to Predict Verdicts

Demographic Variables

Personality Traits and Attitudinal Predictors

Effectiveness of Scientific Jury Selection

Guilty or Not Guilty: Does It Matter?

Change of Venue Requests

Witness Preparation

Other Activities the Trial Consultant May


Ethical Issues in Trial Consultation



Test Your Knowledge

10 Criminal Investigative Techniques

Criminal Profiling

Definition of Criminal Profiling

Historical Approach

Profiling Criminals’ Common


Crime Scene Analysis

The Process of Generating a Criminal Profile

The Effectiveness of Criminal Profiling

The Polygraph

The Polygraph Instrument

The Relevant/Irrelevant

Technique (R/I)

The Control Question

Technique (CQT)

The Concealed Information or

Guilty-Knowledge Test

The Uses and Accuracy of the Polygraph

Brain Activity

Autonomic Measures


Direct Investigation

False Confessions


Psychological Autopsies

Status of Expert Testimony for Psychological Autopsies

Test Your Knowledge

11 Eyewitness Memory and Recovered Memory

Eyewitness Memory Fallibility

Admissibility of Expert Testimony on the

Fallibility of Eyewitness Memory

Recommended Procedures to Improve

Eyewitness Memory

Initial Report of a Crime

Mug Books and Composite Images

Lineup Procedures

Supreme Court Rulings on the

Admissibility of Eyewitness Identifications

Recovered Memory versus

False Memory


Test Your Knowledge

12 Emerging Trends in the Field of Forensic Psychology

Increased Growth and Sophistication

Increased Cooperation between Law and Psychology

Influencing Public Policy


Training in Legal Psychology

Summary Regarding Training

Therapeutic Jurisprudence


Test Your Knowledge





Christopher Cronin

Christopher Cronin received his BS in psychology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and his MA and PhD in clinical psychology at the University of Delaware. He completed his internship at the University of California, Davis in the Department of Psychiatry at the University Medical Center in Sacramento. He has also completed a Post-doctoral Certificate in Clinical Psychopharmacology at Fairleigh Dickinson University. Dr. Cronin is a licensed clinical psychologist who has held academic positions in Europe (University of Maryland, Munich Campus), Australia (Flinders University of South Australia), and the United States (Transylvania University and Saint Leo University). He has practiced forensic psychology since 1991, conducting competency to stand trial and criminal responsibility evaluations for the Commonwealth of Kentucky. He is Professor of Psychology at Saint Leo University in Florida and has conducted over 5,500 court-ordered forensic evaluations in the Tampa Bay area. In addition to various journal articles, Dr. Cronin is the editor of Military Psychology: An Introduction, which was translated into Chinese, and author of Forensic Psychology. He regularly consults as a subject matter expert for the development of online and ground-based undergraduate and graduate courses in forensic psychology. Additionally, he presents continuing education workshops to mental health professionals on topics related to forensic psychology. Dr. Cronin also presents continuing education workshops for first responders on resiliency and unconscious bias training.

 I had been looking forward to taking this class since I started at Saint Leo. It has exceeded my expectations. I not only learned about areas of forensic psychology, but the various fields of study. That was something that I had not expected as much of. The information given on education requirements, job satisfaction and the future of specific areas was very helpful. I felt that the book was very thorough and easy to read. If one is considering a job in the field of forensic psychology, this book is very accommodating. I found the weekly tests to be pretty difficult. Sometimes the way a question was phrased would confuse me a little bit. I think that it may have helped to have a simple study guide for the midterm and final exams, even if it just had key words to focus on. With as much material as there is in the book, some of the questions are pretty specific and could be overlooked while studying. This was one of my favorite classes. Thank you for all your time.
Heather Antonie, Student
Saint Leo University

As I have mentioned to you before, I have really enjoyed this class. In my opinion, this has been one of the most informative classes I have taken thus far. The book was very well written and organized. Sometimes I have trouble reading text books, because they tend to be boring and read like stereo instructions. Psychology in general is a complex subject and the ability to break it down so the average person can understand the basics is difficult. You mastered this task in your textbook, lectures, and the study guide. I graduate in May and I have thoroughly enjoyed this entire experience. Thank you for being a good instructor! Good luck in all your future endeavors!
Allison Swygert, Student
Saint Leo University

Thank you for all that I learned in this course. I feel that the text, lectures, and study guide were extremely interesting and informative. You assisted me in deciding what I want to do with the rest of my life (which is a huge deal!). I believe if I had not taken this course I could have wasted years and money educating myself for a job I am not emotionally capable of doing. I admire the courage and strength it takes to perform this job well; however, it is just too ugly and pressurized for someone as soft as I am. I do not think I could be objective or have the courage to be torn apart by a prosecutor. My hat is off to you, sir, as a teacher as well as a forensic psychologist. I thoroughly enjoyed the class. I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to be your student twice. I wish you all the best and thank you again for all of your help.
Holly Janes, Student
Saint Leo University

I just would like to say that this has been an informative course. As far as the course as a whole, I feel as if I learned a lot. (Even if my grade does not reflect it) I especially enjoyed the police psychology chapter. I worked in the courthouse for 5 years and got to know a lot of the officers and people that worked for the Sheriff's Department, and my husband is a deputy, so it was a little informative to see the psychological aspect in black and white. I can say from experience that you really hit the nail on the head. I should have done my paper on that! All in all this was a very well written book, it goes in order. Most school textbooks you have to skip around for it to really come together and make sense. I have enjoyed this course and hope that I pass. Thank you for the experience.
Penny Wallace, Student
Saint Leo University

Related ISBN's: 9781524982256, 9781524970611

Ebook Package



ISBN 9781524982256

Details eBook w/KHPContent Access 180 days