Psychological Research and Public Policy/Law

Psychological Research and Public Policy/Law

Psychological research is and has been applied to many areas of daily life. From television commercials to a first grade classroom, you can see the effects of research in action. When psychological research is used to influence and shape public policy, in general, and specific laws, trained forensic psychologists and forensic psychology professionals typically are behind the scenes. Individuals who understand psychological research and the legal/political/legislative process are excellent candidates to help meld these two seemingly dissimilar areas.

To prepare for this Discussion:

  • Review the article, “Washington’s Sexually Violent Predator Law:Legislative History and Comparisons With Other States.” Think about how historical and forensic psychological research contributes to the establishment of law and policy.
  • Review the article, “Stalking: Lessons From Recent Research.” Pay particular attention to how research is used to influence community action and thereby affect public policy.
  • Review the article, “Sexually Violent Predator Evaluations: Empirical Evidence, Strategies for Professionals, and Research Directions.” Consider how the findings described in this article might be helpful in influencing or setting public policy.

With these thoughts in mind:

Post a brief summary of the research study you selected. Be sure to include the population studied, key data and results, and other important takeaways of the article. Then, explain how a forensic psychology professional might use the results of the study to influence public policy and/or law in forensics or in forensic settings.

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