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Introduction to Forensic Psychology

Introduction to Forensic Psychology
Research and Application

Fifth Edition

January 2018 | 688 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

“The text provides a great, general overview of different areas of criminal and civil forensic psychology.”
—Apryl Alexander, PsyD, Clinical Assistant Professor, University of Denver

Written by authors with extensive experience in the field and in the classroom, Introduction to Forensic Psychology: Research and Application, Fifth Edition demonstrates how to analyze psychological knowledge and research findings and then apply these findings to the civil and criminal justice systems. Focusing on research-based forensic practice and practical application, this text uses real-life examples and case law discussions to define and explore forensic psychology. This text introduces students to emerging specializations within forensic psychology, including investigative psychology, family forensic psychology, and police and public safety psychology. Students will develop a multicultural perspective with an ethnic and racial sensitivity, which is critical to the successful practice of forensic psychology. 

New to the Fifth Edition:

  • Updated statistics, research, and case law, such as recent Aid in Dying legislation, as well as analysis of recent events, help students see the real-world applications to current events. 
  • Updated Focus boxes empower students to dig deeper into current issues, such as mental health courts, community-oriented policing, child abduction, hate crimes, the death penalty, and more. All Focus boxes also contain discussion questions for students to debate in a classroom setting.
  • All new From My Perspective boxes provide students with information about career choices as well as helpful advice about pursuing their goals.
  • Increased attention to immigration-related issues offers students additional insights into immigration proceedings and ways to consult with the courts. 
  • Additional coverage of human trafficking and online sexual predators enables students to better understand the psychological effects on victims and the services available to help. 
  • Current research on violent video games, cyberbullying, and cyberstalking provides real examples of the effects of violent media.
  • New research on juveniles allows students to see the important contributions of neuropsychologists, particularly in terms of brain development in adolescents and promising community-based treatment approaches for juveniles. 

SAGE edge offers a robust online environment featuring an impressive array of free tools and resources for review, study, and further exploration, keeping both instructors and students on the cutting edge of teaching and learning. Learn more at

Part 1. Introduction
Chapter 1: Introduction to Forensic Psychology
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

Part 2: Police and Investigative Psychology
Chapter 2: Police and Public Safety Psychology
Police Psychology: A Developing Profession

Forensic Assessment in Police and Public Safety Psychology

Psychological Intervention Responsibilities

Operational Responsibilities

Consulting and Research Activities

Chapter 3: Psychology of Investigations
Investigative Psychology


Problems With Profiling

Police Interviewing and Interrogation

Detection of Deception

Forensic Hypnosis

Eyewitness Evidence

Pretrial Identification Methods

Part 3: Legal Psychology
Chapter 4: Consulting and Testifying
Court Structure and Jurisdiction

The Judicial Process

The Assessment of Risk

Trial and Litigation Consultation

Expert Testimony

Surviving the Witness Stand

Chapter 5: Consulting With Criminal Courts
Competency to Stand Trial


Assessment of Criminal Responsibility

Other Psychological Defenses Pertaining to Criminal Conduct

Sentencing Evaluations

Civil Commitment of Sexually Violent Predators

Chapter 6: Family Law and Other Forms of Civil Litigation
Family or Domestic Courts

Child Custody Evaluations

Forensic Psychology and Civil Litigation

Civil Capacities

Involuntary Civil Commitment

Sexual and Gender Harassment

Part 4: Criminal Psychology
Chapter 7: The Development of Delinquent and Criminal Behavior
The Juvenile Offender

The Nature and Extent of Juvenile Offending

The Developmental Perspective

Adolescent Brain Development

Developmental Factors in the Formation of Persistent Criminal Behavior

Additional Social Developmental Influences

Juvenile Firesetting: An Illustration of the Developmental Perspective

The Criminal Psychopath

Juvenile Psychopathy

The Female Psychopath

Racial/Ethnic Differences

Treatment and Rehabilitation of Psychopaths

Chapter 8: Psychology of Violence and Intimidation
UCR Data on Violent Crime

Gender, Race, and Ethnic Differences in Criminal Violence

Theoretical Perspectives on Violence

The Effects of Violent Media

Threat Assessment

Workplace Violence

Criminal Homicide

Hate or Bias Crimes

Stalking: The Crime of Intimidation

Chapter 9: Psychology of Sexual Assault
Definitions of Sexual Assault and Rape

Date or Acquaintance Rape

Demographics of Men Who Rape

Typologies of Men Who Rape

Child Sex Offenders

Female Sex Offender Typologies

Online Child Sexual Predators

Juvenile Sex Offenders

Recidivism Rates of Sex Offenders

Assessment of Sex Offenders

Part 5: Victimology and Victim Services
Chapter 10: Forensic Psychology and the Victims of Crime
Multiculturalism and Victimization

Legal Rights of Victims

Crime Victimization Data

Psychological Effects of Criminal Victimization

Homicide Victimization

Sexual Assault Victimization

Child Sexual Abuse Accommodation Syndrome (CSAAS)

Internet Victimization

Human Trafficking

Chapter 11: Family Violence and Child Victimization
Intimate Partner and Family Violence

Child Abuse

Repressed and Recovered Memories

Roles of the Forensic Psychologist in Child Abuse Cases

Child Abduction

Elder Abuse and Neglect

Part 6: Correctional Psychology
Chapter 12: Correctional Psychology in Adult Settings
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

Chapter 13: Juvenile Justice and Corrections
Juvenile Courts

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

Cases Cited
Author Index
Subject Index
About the Authors


Instructor Resource Site

SAGE edge for Instructors supports your teaching by making it easy to integrate quality content and create a rich learning environment for students

Password-protected Instructor Resources include the following:

· Microsoft® Word Test banks provide a diverse range of pre-written options as well as the opportunity to edit any question and/or insert your own personalized questions to effectively assess students’ progress and understanding.

· Sample course syllabi for semester and quarter courses provide suggested models for structuring your courses

· Editable, chapter-specific PowerPoint® slides offer complete flexibility for creating a multimedia presentation for your course.

· Access to full-text SAGE journal articles that have been carefully selected to support and expand on the concepts presented in each chapter is included.

· Lecture notes summarize key concepts by chapter to help you prepare for lectures and class discussions.

· “From My Perspective” Essays feature profiles of professionals who work in forensic psychology.

Student Study Site

SAGE edge for Students provides a personalized approach to help students accomplish their coursework goals in an easy-to-use learning environment.

· Mobile-friendly eFlashcards strengthen understanding of key terms and concepts.

· Mobile-friendly practice quizzes allow for independent assessment by students of their mastery of course material.

· A customized online action plan includes tips and feedback on progress through the course and materials, which allows students to individualize their learning experience.

· Access to full-text SAGE journal articles that have been carefully selected to support and expand on the concepts presented in each chapter is included.

“The text provides a great, general overview of different areas of criminal and civil forensic psychology.”

Apryl Alexander, PsyD
Clinical Assistant Professor, University of Denver

“Among the existing textbooks, Bartol & Bartol’s book is not only a comprehensive textbook on knowledge and research in forensic psychology and psychology and law, it has a strong orientation to contemporary practice of the field.  The book covers the full scope of forensic psychology with chapters organized under the five sub disciplines:  legal psychology, police and public safety psychology, criminal psychology, victimology and victim services, and correctional psychology.  The book also covers some of the emerging areas in forensic psychology such as family forensic psychology, public safety psychology, investigative psychology, and forensic neuropsychology.”

Albert Toh
University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff

 “…an excellent overall introduction to the field of forensic psychology…provides a very comprehensive overview to the specialty areas of forensic psychology which is very important for students who may not know what forensic psychology is or how broad the field is."

Kendell L. Coker, Ph.D., J.D.
University of New Haven

“Comprehensive, follows my model of forensic psychology and cost-efficient.”

Michael P. Hoff, Ph.D.
Dalton State College

Great book. Easy to follow. Amazing student and instructor resources!

Miss Jordan Aebli
Accounting, Penn State Univ-Wrthngtn Scrnt
October 4, 2020

Comprehensive but also provides depth to this fast evolving field.

Dr Clive Kennedy
Psychology Dept, Chicago Schl of Psych-Downtown
February 5, 2020

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