Forensic Psychology: A Very Short Introduction

ISBN : 9780199550203

David Canter
160 Pages
115 x 174 mm
Pub date
Jun 2010
Very Short Introductions


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  • Examines the role of forensic psychology in the legal process, explaining it is, what it does, and where it came from
  • Explores whether there is a criminal psychological profile and whether criminals can be considered 'different' from the rest of society
  • Highlights the areas where forensic psychology has made a significant impact on the criminal justice system, such as assisting police interviewing techniques and reducing miscarriages of justice
  • Discusses the challenges to forensic psychology, most notably the conflict between the two disciplines of psychology and law
  • Defines the fundamental differences between forensic psychology and criminology
  • Considers the role that forensic psychology plays in the rehabilitation and 'treatment' of convicted criminals

Lie detection, offender profiling, jury selection, insanity in the law, predicting the risk of re-offending , the minds of serial killers and many other topics that fill news and fiction are all aspects of the rapidly developing area of scientific psychology broadly known as Forensic Psychology
Forensic Psychology: A Very Short Introduction discusses all the aspects of psychology that are relevant to the legal and criminal process as a whole. It includes explanations of criminal behaviour and criminality, including the role of mental disorder in crime, and discusses how forensic psychology contributes to helping investigate the crime and catching the perpetrators. 
It also explains how psychologists provide guidance to all those involved in civil and criminal court proceedings, including both the police and the accused, and what expert testimony can be provided by a psychologist about the offender at the trial. Finally, David Canter examines how forensic psychology is used, particularly in prisons, to help in the management, treatment and rehabilitation of offenders, once they have been convicted.


List of Illustrations

1. The excitement and challenge of forensic psychology
2. How to make a criminal
3. Experts in court
4. Psychology and legal proceedings
5. Working with offenders
6. Working with law enforcement
7. Always the bridesmaid?
Further reading

About the author: 

David Canter is Professor of Psychology at The University of Liverpool. He is a Fellow of the British Psychological Society and a member of its Forensic Division and a Chartered Forensic Psychologist. He has published 20 books and over 150 papers in learned professional journals, and lectured around the world on various aspects of scientific psychology. His book, Criminal Shadows, won the Golden Dagger Award for crime non-fiction. Aside from academic achievements he has given evidence to a number of major government enquiries and has advised in response to requests from over 150 police investigations world wide. He has recently been elected an Academician of the Academy of Social Sciences.

Lie detection, offender profiling, insanity in the law, the minds of serial killers, and many other topics that fill news and fiction are all aspects of the rapidly developing area of Forensic Psychology. David Canter shows how these often controversial topics bridge the gaps between academics and practitioners, behavioural sciences, and the law.

Forensic Psychology

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