WK3 – Application Assignment: Guidelines for Forensic Psychologists

The goals of the American Psychological Association’s (APA) Professional Guidelines are to “improve the quality of forensic psychological services; enhance the practice and facilitate the systematic development of forensic psychology; encourage a high level of quality in professional practice; and encourage forensic practitioners to acknowledge and respect the rights of those they serve.” The APA Guidelines suggest appropriate behavior, but they fall short of prescribing specific standards of practice or penalties.

In this Application Assignment, you conduct research to locate legal cases in which forensic psychologists have engaged in behaviors that resulted in mistrials or changes in sentencing. Then you search the APA Guidelines for suggestions on how psychologists could have handled their duties more professionally. Finally, you apply legal and ethical guidelines to your own behavior as a forensic interviewer.

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To Prepare for this Application Assignment:

Conduct an Internet search using search terms such as “ethical violations,” “forensic psychology,” “malpractice,” “incompetence,” etc.

Select a legal case that was compromised due to the unethical behavior of a forensic psychologist. Read the APA Specialty Guidelines for Forensic Psychology.

Submit a paper of two or more pages analyzing the following aspects of the legal case that you have selected:

The nature of the unethical behavior in question

Consequences of the forensic psychologist’s behavior for the suspect, witnesses, and victims in the case. Provide specific details.

APA guidelines (if any) addressing the forensic psychologist’s behavior

If you were the forensic interviewer in this case, what would you do differently?

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