Date of Award

Spring 2007

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology

First Advisor

Campbell, Todd C.

Second Advisor

Goldfarb, Norman

Third Advisor

Melchert, Timothy


The purpose of this study was to examine the current status and potential future trends of forensic psychology in the State of Wisconsin. The information provided by this study will hopefully assist in the future development of the profession of forensic psychology in the State of Wisconsin. This study used the Delphi method to obtain this information. In an attempt to capture the expert opinions of all disciplines that have special knowledge of forensic psychologists' interactions with the legal realm, judges, attorneys, and forensic psychologists were represented in the expert panel. Specific Issues this study attempted to address were: a) areas in which psychologists and psychology are viewed to be helpful to the legal system: b) areas where psychology and/ or psychologists are believed to have been harmful to the legal system, and the prevalence of that harm; c) areas in which psychology and psychologists may contribute in the future; and d) any areas where there is statistically significant differences between these areas based on the participant's profession (i.e. judges, attorneys, and forensic psychologists). This dissertation begins with an overview of the Delphi methodology, definition of forensic psychology and a discussion of ethical issues specific to this unique field, the history of forensic psychology and forensic psychological assessment, and finally a discussion of training in forensic psychology. This study identified 184 areas in which psychology and/or psychologists are helpful to the legal system and are likely to have a contribution in the future. This study also identified 65 specific areas in which psychologists and/or psychology cause some amount of harm to the legal system. Overall, the three professions were in agreement as to the areas in which they believed forensic psychology is most helpful, which areas forensic psychology is likely to contribute to in the future, and when forensic psychologists are harmful. However, the three professions did have statistically significant differences in the amount of helpfulness, future contribution, or harmfulness for many of the areas.



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