What is the Psychology of Truth
How it works
One current problem with the field of forensic psychology is how every individual defines the phrase ‘tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth’ differently in the courtroom. What does the whole truth consist of? However, if a question is asked by someone other than the prosecutor, do these rules change? There are so many different situations that could arise and I don’t think that phrase is defined clearly enough for people who play a role in cases like forensic psychologists. Additionally, professional credentials is one major ethical dilemma that occurs within this field. For example, an individual may claim they have a Ph.D. or any type of degree that is higher than what they have actually earned. Or an individual may state they have received some sort of certificate or license that never existed. These misrepresentations of their credentials is very common in the court of law and because there are limited resources and methods used to fact check, they aren’t caught very often.
I think a big reason for these exaggerations/lies is to impress the judge or their client, or the individual wants to clear the option for cross-examination. They may think that if the jury or judge finds them incredibly intelligent or impressive, they have a better chance at proving their findings and winning the case. Another ethical issue that arrises with forensic psychologists occurs in the lab. All laboratories have specific protocols that everyone must follow, however it is getting more common for these protocols to be unfollowed. A forensic psychologist may analyze their results wrong or they will ‘dry-lab’ them, which is a phrase used to describe results that have been reported without anyone even opening a container. It is important for these tests and results to be reported clearly and correctly otherwise it could affect things later down the road.
How it works
Lastly, another major problem with forensic psychology is private and public employed scientists. A forensic psychologist working through a privately owned practice does not have a disciplinary code and had significantly less supervision. It is easier for them to ignore any rules they must follow and they have more financial incentives that cause them to break the law. Their work isn’t reviewed by as many people and when it does get reviewed, it usually isn’t reviewed properly. On the contrary, public employed forensic workers aren’t looked over by local law agencies or governments. Therefore, their labs aren’t apart of any law enforcement agency which is against what most people believe.
If I were to draft a letter to my congressional representative, my first idea would be to provide him/her with data/statistics that shows the amount of people who have lied in court and get caught in labs breaking protocol. In the field of law, ethics is one of the most prominent principles and it is disappointing that government officials aren’t doing anything about people lying and cheating. Next, I would appropriately ask him to look into the issue and himself and to make sure he could make laws more clear in court. Additionally, I would want him to make stricter protocols and be sure that there are more officials looking at forensics scientists work.