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Introduction to Forensic Psychology

Introduction to Forensic Psychology
Research and Application

Sixth Edition

January 2021 | 736 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

Written by authors with extensive experience in the field and in the classroom, Introduction to Forensic Psychology: Research and Application, Sixth Edition demonstrates how to analyze psychological knowledge and research findings and apply these findings to the civil and criminal justice systems. Focusing on research-based forensic practice and practical application, the authors use real-life examples and case law discussions to define and explore forensic psychology. Students are introduced to emerging specializations within forensic psychology, including investigative psychology, family forensic psychology, and police and public safety psychology. Research related to bias, diversity, and discrimination is included throughout the text to give students a multicultural perspective that is critical to the successful practice of forensic psychology.

Included with this title:

  • Instructor Online Resources: Access online resources for this title via the password-protected Instructor Resource Site. Learn More

List of Boxes, Tables, and Figures
About the Authors
Chapter 1 • Introduction to Forensic Psychology
Chapter Objectives

The Forensic Sciences

Forensic Psychology: An Overview

Brief History of Forensic Psychology

Forensic Psychology Today

Forensic Psychology, Forensic Psychiatry, and Forensic Social Work

Ethical Issues

Careers in Psychology

Forensic Psychology as a Specialty

Research and Practice Careers in Forensic Psychology

Summary and Conclusions

Key Concepts

Questions for Review

Chapter 2 • Police and Public Safety Psychology
Chapter Objectives

Law Enforcement Numbers Today

Police Psychology: A Developing Profession

Forensic Assessment in Police and Public Safety Psychology

Psychological Intervention Activities

Operational Responsibilities

Consulting and Research Activities

Summary and Conclusions

Key Concepts

Questions for Review

Chapter 3 • Psychology of Investigations
Chapter Objectives


Eyewitness Evidence

Lineups and Photo Spreads

Police Interviewing and Interrogation

False Confessions

Detection of Deception

Summary and Conclusions

Key Concepts

Questions for Review

Chapter 4 • Consulting and Testifying
Chapter Objectives

Court Structure and Jurisdiction

The Judicial Process

Trial and Litigation Consultation

Expert Testimony

The Assessment of Risk

Summary and Conclusions

Key Concepts

Questions for Review

Chapter 5 • Consulting With Criminal Courts
Chapter Objectives

Competency to Stand Trial


Other Psychological Defenses

Sentencing Evaluations

Civil Commitment of Sexually Violent Predators

Summary and Conclusions

Key Concepts

Questions for Review

Chapter 6 • Family Law and Other Forms of Civil Litigation
Chapter Objectives

Family or Domestic Courts

Family Forensic Psychologists

Child Custody Evaluations

Forensic Psychology and Civil Litigation

Civil Capacities

Involuntary Civil Commitment

Sexual and Gender Harassment

Summary and Conclusions

Key Concepts

Questions for Review

Chapter 7 • The Development of Delinquent and Criminal Behavior
Chapter Objectives

The Juvenile Offender

The Nature and Extent of Juvenile Offending

The Developmental Perspective

Developmental Factors In The Formation Of Persistent Criminal Behavior

Additional Social Developmental Influences

The Criminal Psychopath

Summary and Conclusions

Key Concepts

Questions for Review

Chapter 8 • Psychology of Violence and Intimidation
Chapter Objectives

UCR Data on Violent Crime

Gender, Race, and Ethnic Differences in Criminal Violence

Guns—A National Emergency

Theoretical Perspectives on Violence

The Effects of Violent Media

Threat Assessment

Workplace Violence

Criminal Homicide

Hate or Bias Crimes

Stalking: The Crime of Intimidation

Summary and Conclusions

Key Concepts

Questions for Review

Chapter 9 • Psychology of Sexual Violence
Chapter Objectives

Definitions of Sexual Assault and Rape

Definitions for Gathering Statistics

Date or Acquaintance Rape

Demographics of Sex Offenders

Typologies of Men Who Rape

Child Sex Offenders

Female Sex Offender Typologies

Online Child Sexual Predators

Juvenile Sex Offenders

Recidivism Rates of Sex Offenders

Risk Assessment of Sex Offenders

Summary and Conclusions

Key Concepts

Questions for Review

Chapter 10 • Forensic Psychology and the Victims of Crime
Chapter Objectives

Multiculturalism and Victimization

Legal Rights of Victims

Victimization Data

Psychological Effects of Criminal Victimization

Homicide Victimization

Sexual Violence Victimization

Internet Victimization

Human Trafficking

Summary and Conclusions

Key Concepts

Questions for Review

Chapter 11 • Family Violence and Child Victimization
Chapter Objectives

Intimate Partner and Family Violence

Child Abuse

Repressed and Recovered Memories

Child Abduction

Elder Abuse and Neglect

Summary and Conclusions

Key Concepts

Questions for Review

Chapter 12 • Correctional Psychology in Adult Settings
Chapter Objectives

Institutional Corrections

Overview of Correctional Facilities

Legal Rights of Inmates

Roles of the Correctional Psychologist

Psychological Assessment in Corrections

Treatment and Rehabilitation in Correctional Facilities

Treatment of Special Populations

Obstacles to the Treatment Of Inmates

Community-Based Corrections

Summary and Conclusions

Key Concepts

Questions for Review

Chapter 13 • Juvenile Justice and Corrections
Chapter Objectives

Data and Overview of Important Issues

A Brief History of the Juvenile Court

Juvenile Assessment: An Overview

Juvenile Amenability to Rehabilitation

Out-of-Home Placements

Psychological Treatment in Juvenile Facilities

Approaches to Rehabilitation

Summary and Conclusions

Key Concepts

Questions for Review

Cases Cited
Author Index
Subject Index


Instructor Resource Site

Online resources included with this text

The online resources for your text are available via the password-protected Instructor Resource Site, which offers access to all text-specific resources, including a test bank and editable, chapter-specific PowerPoint® slides.

I used the previous edition

Dr Kathleen Hart
Psychology Dept, Xavier University
August 12, 2022

I have used previous versions of this text in the past and find it comprehensive and easy to follow. Also, the instructor resources are wonderful!

Dr Kendell Coker
Psychology/Sociology Dept, University Of New Haven
December 2, 2022

I do not teach this course.

Dr John Fisher
Criminology, Univ Of Texas-Permian Basin
May 13, 2021
Key features


  • Increased coverage of racial, ethnic, sexual, and religious discrimination, as well as bias against persons with disabilities emphasizes the multicultural perspective that is an integral part of the day-to-day work of all practicing and research psychologists.
  • Increased attention to immigration-related issues offers additional insights into how this population has been impacted by deportation and family separation.
  • New material on the forensic interviewing of children exposes the latest findings on this group such as eyewitness identification and adolescent brain development.
  • Current recommendations for conducting police lineups and interviewing witnesses and suspects enable students to conduct risk assessment and be aware of the evaluation research on the various methods and measures they employ.  
  • Updated with the newest Comprehensive Student Threat Assessment Guidelines (CSTAG), this edition illustrates the most current prevention methods for school shootings and other school violence.
  • Updated statistics, research, and case law help students see the real-world applications to current events.
  • Updated Focus boxes dig deeper into current issues relating to mental health courts, community-oriented policing, shooter bias, juvenile risk-taking, hate crimes, and the death penalty.
  • A comparison of procedures in civilian and military courts illustrate the differences between the two courts.
  • More emphasis on forensic geropsychology and family forensic psychology gives students a better understanding of these rapidly emerging fields.
  • Broad coverage makes the text ideal for both Criminal Justice and Psychology majors at both the undergraduate and graduate level as it exposes readers to the many careers related to forensic psychology.
  • The book concentrates on the application side of the field, focusing on research-based forensic practice to emphasize the use of psychological knowledge, concepts, and principles in both the civil and criminal justice systems.
  • An emphasis on the multicultural perspective helps students see how multiple cultures play a part in the day-to-day work of all practicing and research psychologists.
  • "Practitioner Perspectives" feature individuals currently working in the field and provide information about career choices as well as helpful advice about pursuing goals.
  • In-text learning aids include chapter-opening learning objectives, chapter-ending review questions, chapter summaries, focus boxes with discussion questions, and a glossary of key terms.

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