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Teme
2009, vol. 33, iss. 4, pp. 1563-1576
article language: Serbian
document type: Reprinted Paper
published on: 02/02/2010
The role of a forensic psychologist in providing a psychiatric expert opinion
Univeristy of Niš, Faculty of Philosophy

e-mail: dimitrijevic.bojana@gmail.com

Abstract

The opinions on experts form on mental health and their role in the forensic process have changed during the former decades, from what was once the meager confidence and provision of limited tasks to these persons, to their better accepted and admitted roles, sometimes crucial in the judicial proceedings. Although very often psychological expertise is requested as a part of more complex psychological-psychiatric expertise, the psychologist's role itself has its major specificity's which promote this person as an independent expert. Generally, the psychological expertise most frequently refers to eight areas of human performance: academic success, intelligence, memory status, perceptive abilities, social maturity, affective status, personality and neuropsychological estimation. As an addition to the formal exploration the psychologist also conducts an informal estimation which includes orientation, memory for specific contents and specific abilities. The psychologist uses indirect data as personal history, general data and previous clinical documentation. It should be clear, relevant, informative and defensive, given in the form of the forensic report. Through the professional interpretation of carefully defined results, adequate professional estimation instruments and professional experience with similar cases, the forensic psychologist can lead to the understanding of the patient's specific behavioral pattern and be of substantial help for the concrete case which is the matter of the court's interest.

Keywords

psychological-psychiatric expertise; formal and non-formal exploration; estimation of intelligence; personality and specific abilities; the personality of forensic psychologist

References

Hess, A.K., Weiner, I.B. (1999) The handbook of forensic psychology. Willey
Kostić, M. (2000) Forenzička psihologija. Beograd: Centar za primenjenu psihologiju
Wallace, A., Kennedy, Ph.D. (1986) The psychologist as expert witness. Davis Company