We know that studying psychology for playing mind games is fun, but what does it have to do with law?
In the world of television and film showbiz, some professional fields tend to be more dignified than others. When it comes to psychologists, Hollywood portrays them as “criminal profilers.” In reality, criminal justice attorneys get advised to study psychology to make judicial determinations.
One of the fundamental conceptions of studying psychology is that it helps you analyse the mind, or perhaps, judge one’s ability to answer questions like:
- How well do you remember the scene?
- Can you report the facts?
- Do you remember his face?
Law and psychology is a broad field that includes multiple applied and essential research areas. In mental health, jury behavior, evaluation of legal processes and laws, and memory. Due to the versatility of topics within these areas, a final statement regarding psychology results in criminal justice remains intangible. Still, to integrate this assortment of ideas, Finkelman and Ogloff (1999) defined the field as “the scientific study of the influence of law on people.”
As to why criminal justice attorneys study psychology, check out this brief montage.
PURPOSE OF PSYCHOLOGY IN LAW
For a moment, let’s think generally. A legal system is essential for a community’s proper functioning since it tries to resolve multiple problems existing in today’s times. Unfortunately, some legal authorities do not consider psychology relevant to law, but it plays a vital role in studying different behavior theories. The traditional doctrines, procedures, and rules reflect the basic expectations of human nature.
Here’s how psychology is useful to the law:
- Psychology can help the present decision-makers make lawful decisions by offering more accurate images of human preferences and perceptions.
- It can help reduce false confessions by using peace models such as those used in the United States.
- It can also check witnesses’ legitimacy, as eyewitnesses are often threatened or afraid of the suspect.
- Psychological studies include the evaluation of specific areas that have social and legal significance.
- Pronouncing judgments by the psychological aspects of the suspect’s mind gives justice a real meaning.
- It is based on legal establishments’ psychological and empirical research. It focuses on permissible psychology rather than clinically-concerned forensic psychology.
You cannot pick your suspect if you can’t judge. Therefore, criminal justice attorneys must study psychology to make informed and reliable decisions with impressive evidence.
HUMAN RELATIONS AND LAW
In line with the over-all fields that require psychological elements, criminal justice attorneys studying law and psychology emphasize cognition, individuals’ experiences, and emotions involved in the legal system. Indeed, all individuals within reach of the American legal system get engaged to some extent. The involvement appears prudent for lawyers, defendants, trial consultants, police officers, judges, corrections officers, and others currently working or evaluated by the legal system. However, some connections within the traditional structures are less apparent.
Furthermore, upcoming criminal justice attorneys must understand the importance of psychology. For that purpose, opting for a bachelor of arts in psychology online can be a great option to expand the learning horizons. By taking online enrollment, students can opt for their dream universities all around the world. After all, learning and adapting to new skills is what gets you through the system!
ROLE OF PSYCHOLOGY IN THE JUSTICE SYSTEM
Law enforcement attorneys with psychological degrees have a lot to do in the legal system. More generally, criminal justice attorneys can impact the law in numerous ways. Basic researchers who seek general knowledge, and applied researchers who study practical problems, can massively influence the legal system.
However, these applied and fundamental approaches appear to be very different; they act as two ends of the same spectrum. Both the primary and applied researchers of the law have a unique job on hand. But basic researchers notify the legal system by increasing knowledge of human cognition, social influence, and memory.
FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGY AND LAW
Criminology requires the kind of law that will not take any nonsense. And so, here’s another reason why criminal justice attorneys study psychology: to understand and assess the roots of a problem thoroughly.
All that seems appropriate, but what is forensic psychology? Forensic psychology adds behavioural research to the courtroom, and it plays a decisive role in the world of criminal justice. To understand this concept, let’s take you to Hollywood. In films, forensic psychology experts are constantly encountering investigators. However, in real life, their expertise is required by attorneys, city planners, mental health facilities, judges, military units, school administrators, police officers, and correctional institutions.
Furthermore, An interesting fact is that forensic psychology can also play a critical role in preventing and punishing crime. The term forensic is described as “the scientific method for investigating a crime.” As a result, forensic psychology is a common subject of study among criminal justice attorneys.
THE DISAPPROVAL OF PSYCHOLOGY
- The most frequent and primary criticism of psychology is that science cannot guarantee certainty, whereas law demands confidence.
- It is only helpful in specific areas of law like family law, criminal law, etc.
- Another criticism relates to a psychologist’s work as amicus belief, where due to lack of training, is just cited to portray the psychologist’s assumptions.
The truth is, criminal justice needs psychology.
As it has already been witnessed through multiple cases, no legal system is faultless. However, psychology is called “the one step forward” approach to making a legal system worth the trouble. Any research that relates to psychological principles with standard applications is called legal psychology. Forensic psychology offers knowledge about the suspect’s mental state and witnesses with information regarding the treatment.
Criminal justice attorneys have to study psychology because they must provide the legal system with a new perspective and different solutions. Therefore, psychology in the criminal justice system modifies our local network and does a great job maintaining a good conscience, equity, and justice.