Many believe that forensic science and psychology is the same thing. However, this is not true. Both, forensic science and psychology, are two different sciences that deal with different aspects of forensic.
Here is a brief explanation on what forensic science and psychology are and how they differ from each other.
Forensic science uses scientific principles to investigate crimes. Forensic scientists use the latest technology to get clues from a crime scene so that they can be used as evidence in the court of law. In other words, forensic science is the use and application of science in legal proceedings.
Forensic scientists are mostly laboratory bound and they are called upon to use and apply their knowledge of science when an investigation of a crime is being carried out. However, forensic scientists are also used as experts in civil cases like validating a signature on a will or proving that an industry in following environmental rules and laws.
In a crime scene, forensic scientists are collect all physical evidence like blood or saliva traces, body fluids, hair, fingerprints, footwear impressions, tire impressions, take samples of tissue, blood and urine, or check for explosives. Using the evidence(s), forensic scientists have to establish fact, make a report of their investigation and then appear in court to give evidence. Usually the scientists work alongside the police and help the law enforcement authority get scientific evidence that can be used in the court against the perpetrator of the crime.
On the other hand, forensic psychology is the connection between psychology and the criminal justice system. A forensic psychologist has to understand criminal law so that he or she can interact with judges, attorneys and other legal professionals. One of the main tasks of a forensic psychologist is to testify in court and give information about his psychological findings in such a way that it is understood while still using legal language.
A forensic psychologist has to understand the philosophy, working, rules and standards of the American judiciary.
A forensic psychologist can be trained in clinical, social, organizational or any other branch of psychology. A forensic psychologist does not help a person psychologically. Rather he has to convert psychological information into the legal framework. For instance, when an offender has to stand trial, the court will ask a forensic psychologist to assess whether the offender is competent enough to stand trial. Here the psychologist will evaluate the offender's sanity or insanity when committing the crime and then report the findings to the court.
In addition, a forensic psychologist offers recommendation on sentencing, treatment and any other information that the judge asks like whether the offender is a future risk, mitigating factors leading to the crime etc.
Is forensic science and psychology the same thing? No, both are completely different fields dealing with different aspects of the judiciary system.
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