A Brief History of Forensic Psychology

Court room scene
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法医心理学是一个热门话题。Think about all the books,电影,电视节目讲述了如何深入调查犯罪背后的思想,有助于解决犯罪,为受害者带来正义。But for all its popularity in the media,,法医心理学在现实生活中扮演着重要的角色。Here's a look at how this fascinating specialty in the field of psychology evolved.

Early Research

The first seeds of forensic psychology were planted in 1879,什么时候威廉·冯特,通常被称为心理学之父,founded his first lab in Germany.自从Wundt,the field of forensic psychology has blossomed,with contributions by lots of other experts.

卡特尔,例如,conducted some of the earliest research on the psychology of testimony.He posed a series of questions to students at Columbia University,asking them to provide a response and rate their degree of confidence in their answer.他发现了惊人的不准确度,inspiring other psychologists to conduct their own experiments in eyewitness testimony.即使是目击者也不确定自己,这就引起了关于它们在法庭上有效性的严重问题。

Inspired by Cattell's work,,Alfred Binetreplicated Cattell's research and studied the results of other psychology experiments that applied to law and criminal justice.他的智力测试工作对法医心理学的发展也很重要,很多未来的评估工具都是基于他的工作。

Psychologist William Stern also studied witnesses' ability to recall information.In one of his experiments,他要求学生们总结他们目击的两个同学之间的纠纷。斯特恩发现错误在目击者中很常见,并得出结论,一个人的情绪会影响他记忆事物的准确性。Stern continued to study issues related to court testimony and later established the first academic journal devoted to applied psychology.

Forensic Psychology in the Courts

During this time,心理学家开始在整个欧洲的刑事审判中充当专家证人。In 1896,a psychologist by the name of Albert von Schrenck-Notzing testified at a murder trial about the effects of suggestibility on witness testimony.

德国裔美国心理学家雨果·蒙斯特伯格认为心理学在日常生活中有实际的应用,这也促进了法医心理学的发展。In 1908,曼斯特伯格出版On the Witness Stand,"a book advocating the use of psychology in legal matters.

斯坦福大学心理学家刘易斯·特曼于1916年开始将心理学应用于执法。在修改了比奈的智力测验之后,the new Stanford-Binet test was used to assess the intelligence of job candidates for law enforcement positions.

1917,心理学家威廉·马斯顿发现,收缩压与说谎有很强的相关性。This discovery would later lead to the design of the modern polygraph detector.

Marston testified in 1923 in the case of Frye v. the United States.This case is significant because it established the precedent for the use of expert witnesses in courts.The Federal Court of Appeals determined that a procedure,technique,or assessment must be generally accepted within its field in order to be used as evidence.


直到第二次世界大战后,美国法医心理学才有了显著的发展。Psychologists served as expert witnesses,但只有在那些不被视为侵犯医学专家的试验中,他们被视为更可信的证人。In the 1940 case of People v.Hawthorne,the courts ruled that the standard for expert witnesses depended on how much the witness knew about a subject,不是那个人是否有医学学位。

在标志性的1954年,布朗诉。Board of Education,several psychologists testified for the plaintiffs and the defendants.Later,the courts gave support to psychologists serving as mental illness experts in the case of Jenkins v.the United States.

Forensic psychology has continued to grow and evolve during the past three decades.越来越多的研究生课程提供心理学和法学双学位,while others offer specialized degrees emphasizing forensic psychology.In 2001,the American Psychological Association officially recognized forensic psychology as a specialization within psychology.

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