Forensic Psychology

Jason Feng

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The Merger of Law and Psychology

Forensic psychologists deal in the prevention and punishment of crimes and criminals. They are charged with very serious tasks: figure out what types of people commit crimes, why certain types of people commit crimes, and how to prevent people from committing future crimes.

How to Become a Forensic Psychologist

Skills Required:

Forensic psychologists need to conduct research by examining crimes and criminals. This involves detective work at the scene of crimes, and interviewing both criminals and their associates. They may also act as expert witnesses in the event of a trial. Their expertise in both human psychology and forensics often proves vital in determining the guilt or innocence of an alleged criminal.

Training/Education Required:

Aspiring forensic psychologists will focus on courses in psychology, criminology, and forensics. Though one must attain a PHD in order to be recognized as a psychologist, students with and Master's degrees can often find opportunities in the work force. Those with Bachelor's degrees will most likely not be qualified enough for a career in this field.

Economic Outlook

While the Bureau of Labor Statistics does not publish statistics specifically about forensic psychology, the median pay for a psychologist is $69,280 a year. Because forensic psychology is a more specialized field, the annual median pay may be higher depending on multiple factors.

Daily Duties

Forensic psychologists will find work with police, courts, and law firms. They may also be employed by jails and prisons in order to analyze their inmates. Forensic psychologists will meet with criminals to garner information about their motives and mental condition in order to understand and prevent crime. They will also testify in court as expert witnesses. The evidence they provide can often influence a jury's decision about a case.
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