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What My Research on the Training of Forensic Psychologists Taught Me

Did you learn something about the nature of research that you did not know before? If so, what was it?

How did the project make you a better researcher?

Lastly, did the article you chose make you want to learn more? If not, why not? If so, how will you learn more?

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For my Wiki article review I researched the training of a forensic psychologist. To this end I reviewed the article titled: Formal training in forensic mental health: Psychiatry and psychology by Robert L. Sadoff and Frank M. Dattilio. I found the article itself interesting, but it did not teach me anything new about the nature of research. The article only discussed the results from surveys of forensic psychology training programs. The article did not teach me anything new about data collection, research methods, or how to draw conclusions from data.

While the article did not help me to become a better researcher the final project did help me become an improved researcher. For this project I had to locate a peer-reviewed article related to a topic in forensic psychology. I have used the Shapiro library before, but I never had to specifically use it in order to find a peer-reviewed article on a certain topic. I learned about keywords and how to search the library effectively for materials. When I first started searching I had narrowed the parameters to peer-reviewed articles only and then I typed forensic psychology into the search bar. After that I learned that I had to be more specific in my use of search terms; I eventually found my article when I searched for forensic psychologist’s training.

The article that I did my Wiki research on did not encourage me to want to know more. The article was very dry and I found it boring. I feel as if the statistics of the article destroyed my interest in learning about how forensic psychologists are trained. However, if I did want to know more about the training of forensic psychologist, then I would begin with using Google. I feel like the article found through Google would be more interesting and less dry. I could also look for books on the topic of becoming a forensic psychologist. If I wanted a firsthand account I could write to forensic psychologists, forensic psychology professors, and forensic psychology training programs.


Sadoff, R. L., & Dattilio, F. M. (2012). Formal training in forensic mental health: Psychiatry and psychology. International Journal of Law and Psychiatry, 35(5-6), 343-347. doi:10.1016/j.ijlp.2012.09.010

What was the most valuable thing you learned in this course? What was the most surprising thing?

How do you anticipate using the knowledge you gained in this course as you go forward?

What aspects of forensic psychology covered in this course would you like to learn more about? Is there a particular question you would like answered regarding any theory or theme? How do you intend to research this topic or question?

I have enjoyed this course much more than I thought I would. In fact this course has been the most interesting course than I have taken at SNHU so far. The most valuable thing I learned in this course would be the ethics that psychologists need to use when consulting/evaluating/treating a client.
The most surprising thing I learned in this class would have to be the information on criminal profiling. Prior to this course I was under the impression that profiling was more of an art than an exact science, but that it was still an accurate way of catching criminals. I formed that opinion based on TV shows like Criminal Minds, Criminal Minds Suspect Behavior, and the Blacklist. Modern TV shows depict criminal profiling as what usually allows the cops/agents to catch the criminals. While the TV dramas do occasionally show parts of the profile being wrong, they almost never show the whole profile as being incorrect. To learn just how much the TV dramas got wrong about actual criminal profiling was very surprising to me.

I am as of yet unsure how I will use the knowledge I gained in this course as I go forward. I am unsure because I have yet to decide on what field I want to go into in psychology. My degree, which I am currently working on, is for a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a concentration in applied psychology. I believe I will use the information from this course in some of the psychology classes I will be taking to finish up my degree. I am currently thinking of going into wither child psychology or organizational psychology. If I go into child psychology than the ethics I learned about in this course may prove useful. If I go into organizational psychology then the information on how psychology interacts with the law may prove useful.

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The aspect of forensic psychology that I would like to know more about is criminal profiling. I know I do not want to be a criminal profiler, but I still found that aspect intriguing. One particular question I have about criminal profiling is: what is being done to improve criminal profiling techniques? I do not currently have time to research the answer to this question, but if I did I would begin with using the SNHU database. I could also reach out to college that train criminal profilers and ask them for their input.

With all the internet resources available, the temptation to neglect rigorous research when writing papers can be difficult to resist. After all, it’s easy to peruse Wikipedia and other online resources and cobble together a passable paper, right?
Wrong. This may work in high school, but in the world of undergraduate and graduate research, this isn’t going to cut it.
A good forensic psychologist is first and foremost a good researcher. And a significant aspect of being a good researcher is being well-versed in the current research in the field. For example, it would make no sense for us, professionally or ethically, to get up on the stand and testify to old outdated research or to quote research that has not been peer-reviewed.
Where do you want to go in psychology? What more do you need to learn? How has this course helped you to be a better researcher, and where will this new knowledge take you?


Costanzo, M., & Krauss, D. (2012). Forensic and legal psychology: Psychological science applied to law. New York, NY: Worth.


Chris Neal from Fishers, IN on March 21, 2015:

That was interesting and for such a short overview I did learn a bit more about researching a topic. Thank you for the article.

Sefina Hawke (author) on March 06, 2015:

Thank you for the great comment. I have yet o use Google Scholar myself, but I plan to use it for future research.

Dr Billy Kidd from Sydney, Australia on March 06, 2015:

The best source for most branches of psychology is Google Scholar.

I worked with a forensic psychologist. It takes years of working in the field to be able to soundly profile a criminal.

Myself, I worked with criminal for years. What is most interesting is the lack of remorse and the blaming of the victims.

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