: Forensic Psychology – Psychological Report
Details of task:
Hello. I manage a large, international law firm. The firm represents a diverse range of clients and we are in the market for good forensic psychologists to join our team. We want to show the members of a jury that our trial strategy is based on solid psychological theories and research. That’s where you, our new forensic psychologist, come in.
Your task: Write a report that discusses the issues and presents reasoned arguments for a potential psychological disorder that could be used to reduce our client’s sentence, or get them transferred to a mental health facility in lieu of jail time. Remember, we are looking for a scientist, not another lawyer. So, make sure your ideas are clearly backed by scientific principles. Prove your grasp of the science by diagnosing our client, with a few appropriate and well used references. Also, you should discuss the tests you use to diagnose the client, treatment options, and the client’s likely prognosis.
If we like your psychological report we will ask you to put it into action – to be an expert witness. But first things first – give me a reason to short-list you.
Note: The following link contains a sample psychological report. You can use this framework to develop your report. Please note that you will not need to include every section present in the sample in your actual report. It is also understood that you may need to “invent” some information (e.g., create information that you get from the client during a fictitious interview) to provide sufficient detail in certain sections. This is fine, but make sure the detail you invent/provide is consistent with your diagnosis
On completion of the Psychological Report you should be able to:
•Describe and critically evaluate different diagnoses
•Attempt an analysis of criminal activity using psychological principles
•Outline possible motivations underlying criminal behaviour
•List characteristics that might elevate an individual’s risk of violence
Greene, E., & Heilburn, K. (2011). Wrightman’s Psychology and the legal system (8th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
White, L.T. (1987). Juror decision making in the capital penalty trial: An analysis of crimes and defense strategies. Law and Human Behavior, 11(2), 113-130.
You will also need to find other relevant literature in order to support claims you make in your assignment. Ensure that your references are peer-reviewed. Access proper journals and limit your use of internet websites (e.g., Wikipedia) which may contain unsubstantiated information.
1. Joe Davola is a 40-year-old man charged with assault. It is alleged that he became violent and caused hemispatial neglect in his victim. Mr Davola expressed concerns that his spouse had been unfaithful, a belief that was later proven to be incorrect. The victim was the person Mr Davola believed was having an affair with his partner. Mr Davola has no prior psychiatric history.
2. Lloyd Braun, a 35-year old single man with few sexual contacts, was recently charged with stalking. Mr Braun believes that his victim (Miss EB) is in love with him. Mr Braun has a low-level job, and is socially withdrawn. Mr Braun met EB through mutual friends and, allegedly, interpreted her neutral actions as evidence that she was in love with him. It is thought that his interactions with EB demonstrate paradoxical conduct because he interprets her persistent rebuffs as secret affirmations of her love. Mr Braun has a history of major depressive disorder.
3. Dr Tim Whatley is a dentist with a remarkable ability to be clear and logical. He was recently charged with defamation. Some time prior to the charge, Dr Whatley converted to Judaism. An acquaintance (Mr JS) expressed indignation regarding Dr Whatley’s conversion. Dr Whatley, in turn, felt mistreated by JS and believed JS “had it in for him” because Dr Whatley is a dentist. In retaliation, Dr Whatley, allegedly, made disparaging and sometimes hostile statements that JS believed harmed his reputation.
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