Forensic Psychology

by Rebecca Halladay

What Is a Forensic Psychologist?

Forensic psychology: 90 second lecture (4/11)

What Does a Forensic Psychologist Do?

Forensic psychologists are typically involved in custody disputes, insurance claims, and lawsuits. Professionals work in family courts, offer psychotherapy services, perform child custody evaluations, and investigate reports of child abuse. Some even assess competency, provide second opinions, and provide psychotherapy to crime victims when working in civil courts.

What Type of Degree do Forensic Psychologists Need?

Forensic psychologists need a doctorate in clinical or counseling psychology. Clinical psychology deals more with disorders, and counseling helps people get through tough stages of time in their lives. A doctorate in psychology usually takes about 5 to 7 years of graduate study.

Forensic Psychology Case: People of the State of California vs. Orenthal James Simpson

On June 13, 1994 Nicole Brown Simpson, the wife of OJ Simpson, and Ronald Goldman were found dead outside of Brown's home in LA. Two years prior, Nicole and OJ had a divorce. Evidence found at the scene led the police to believe that OJ was the murderer. At the trial, the prosecution determined that Simpson was an egotist who saw himself above the law. According to Dr. Stephen Diamond, sociopaths tend to be conceited and don't feel bad about their behavior. This is speculated as to why Simpson's lawyer filed a motion to keep psychological testimony from the civil trial. On October 3, 1995, a verdict had been reached: OJ Simpson was found not guilty.


Cherry, Kendra. "Forensic Psychology Careers." Psychology. Guide, n.d. Web. 30 Jan. 2013.

"O. J. Simpson Murder Case." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 27 Jan. 2013. Web. 30 Jan. 2013.