Randy Kolin, Psy.D
Forensic psychologists are behavioral scientists who work in all areas of the legal arena: law enforcement, corrections, probation, parole, juvenile, dependency, administrative, civil, family and criminal judicial systems, and on all levels; local, county, state, federal and international.
Forensic psychologists apply critical thinking and a scientific framework to the analysis of any and all data. The data collection is a hypothesis testing or alternative explanation process culminating after data collection is exhausted. The data analysis involves evaluating threats to the reliability of the evidence pertaining to the forensic issue at hand. Analysis methods used by forensic psychologists, referred to as actuarial procedures, include administering and evaluating psychological tests, documentation of records analysis, electronic recording analysis, polygraph and computer voice stress analysis.
Having a Forensic psychologist as a team member on a case helps attorneys, investigators and the “Trier of Fact” better understand the psychological factors affecting motive or the “why” part human behavior. When the data analysis is competed, the forensic psychologist anchors the results or evidence to the relevant scientific research. The forensic psychologist, as a legal team player, provides investigators and attorneys with the case relevant behavioral science research designed to educate and assist the overall legal plan. In some cases, the forensic psychologist is called upon to testify as an expert witness and present the science to the Trier of Fact as a balanced neutral and factual educational information package. As part of the legal team, the purpose of providing testimony to the Trier of Fact, for the attorney, is to help the attorney get essential information providing tools that will assist in evaluating the evidence.
To better understand some of the psychological testing, look at “Psych Tests” on this web site. You may also want to review information contained in some of the “Abstracts” on this web site to ascertain in more detail forensic research and issues that may be relevant to your case.